Product Specification Series: What is the IP Code?

by Andy on March 26, 2012

International Electrotechnical Commission Logo While we have gone over some information on UL certification, there are many more rating systems in the electronics industry. Each of these rating systems were created to ensure that consumers and companies know exactly what they can expect from their products. Over the next few weeks, I will be detailing some information on various rating systems, starting today with the IP code system.

“IP” stands for “ingress protection”, and it deals with both solid and liquid protection. This rating system was created by the International Electrotechnical Commission, which creates standards for electrical technologies.

The format for the code is the letters IP followed by two numbers, the first for solid and the second for liquid. Higher numbers mean better protection, and the numbers go from 1-6 for solid and 1-8 for liquid.

First Number Solid Protection Second Number Water Protection
1 Protection from objects 50mm and larger 1 Protection from vertically falling water drops
2 Protection from objects12.5mm and larger 2 Protected from vertically falling water drops when tilted up to 15°
3 Protection from objects 2.5mm and larger 3 Protected against spraying water
4 Protection from objects 1mm and larger 4 Protected against splashing water
5 Dust-protected 5 Protected against water jets
6 Dust-tight 6 Protected against powerful water jets
7 (none) 7 Protected from 1 meter immersion in water (tested for 30 minutes)
8 (none) 8 Protected from more than 1 meter immersion in water (typically stated on product information)

So now if you need to know what the rating is on your AEMC digital multimeter, Tempo 2-way telephone set, or Pelican hard protector case, you can figure out just how much ingress protection they offer. Are there any other ratings systems that you want to know about? Let us know in the comments and we may write an article on it next Monday!

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