Equipment Degrees of Protection – IEC Ingress Protection (IP) Ratings ~ Learning Instrumentation And Control Engineering Learning Instrumentation And Control Engineering

Equipment Degrees of Protection – IEC Ingress Protection (IP) Ratings

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Although every equipment has to fulfil its functional requirement, it also has to be 
protected against possible external influences that may be harmful to the equipment, the user, operator or the environment.

Against this backdrop, the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) 60529 Standard, specifies an international classification system for the ‘’sealing effectiveness of enclosures of electrical equipment against the intrusion into the equipment of foreign bodies i.e., tools, dust, fingers and moisture’’. This classification system utilizes the letters "IP" which stands for Ingress Protection followed by two digits. 

An "X" is used for one of the digits if there is only one class of protection for example IP X4 addresses moisture resistance only.

How to Interpret the IP Codes of Equipment
The IP codes defined in the IEC 60529 degrees of protection provided by enclosures for equipment consist of two digits and two optional extra letters.
The first numeral 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or X defines the protection against ingress of solid foreign objects and against access to hazardous parts. 
The second numeral 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or X defines the protection against the ingress of water. The sketch below illustrates the standard arrangement of the IP code:

In the IP code designation for equipment protection the higher the number, the more stringent the protection requirement.

Numerals & Letters of the IP Code and their various Meanings:

 Code Letters/Numerals
 IP Code
 Meaning for the Protection of Equipment
 Meaning for the Protection of  Persons
First Numeral

 Against ingress of foreign solid  objects:
 Against access to hazardous  parts with:

X
 Not Required
 Not Required

0
 Non-Protected
 Non - Protected

1
 Greater than or equal to 50mm  diameter
 Back of hand

2
 Greater than or equal to 12.5mm  diameter
 Finger 

3
 Greater than or equal to 2.5mm  diameter
 Tool

4
 Greater than or equal to 1.0mm  diameter
 Wire

5
 Dust - Protected
 Wire

6
 Dust - Tight
 Wire




Second Numeral

 Against ingress of water with harmful  effects:
 Not Defined

X
 Not Required


0
 Non - Protected


1
 Vertically Dripping


2
 Dripping (15 degree tilted)


3
 Spraying 


4
 Splashing


5
 Jetting


6
 Powerful Jetting


7
 Temporary Immersion


8
 Continuous Immersion





Additional Letter (Optional)

 Not Defined
 Against access to hazardous  parts with:

A

 Back of hand

B

 Finger

C

 Tool

D

 Wire




Supplementary Letters (Optional)

 Supplementary information  specific to:
 Not Defined

 H 
 High voltage apparatus


M
 Motion during water test


S
 Stationary during water test


W
 Weather conditions