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    August 29, 2023

    Ingress Protection Made Simple

    What is Ingress Protection?
    Ingress Protection (IP) is a standard classification system used to define and rate the degree of protection an enclosure provides against the intrusion of foreign objects (like dust, dirt, or liquids) and its resistance to environmental conditions.

    What is an IP Code? 
    The IP code often indicates the suitability of electronic devices, electrical equipment, and mechanical enclosures for various environments, such as outdoor or industrial settings. The IP Code assigns a two-digit number to indicate the degree of protection. The first digit represents protection against solid objects, and the second digit represents protection against liquids.

    Here's a breakdown of the requirements for each digit:

    First Digit (Protection Against Solids):

    • 0: No protection against solid objects.
    • 1: Protection against solid objects larger than 50 mm (e.g., the back of a hand).
    • 2: Protection against solid objects larger than 12.5 mm
    • 3: Protection against solid objects larger than 2.5 mm
    • 4: Protection against solid objects larger than 1 mm
    • 5: Dust protected; limited ingress of dust is permitted
    • 6: Dust-tight; no ingress of dust is allowed

    Second Digit (Protection Against Liquids):

    • 0: No protection against liquids
    • 1: Protection against vertically dripping water
    • 2: Protection against dripping water when tilted up to 15 degrees
    • 3: Protection against spraying water at an angle up to 60 degrees
    • 4: Protection against splashing water from any direction
    • 5: Protection against water jets from a nozzle from any direction
    • 6: Protection against powerful water jets and waves
    • 7: Protection against temporary immersion in water up to 1 meter deep
    • 8: Protection against continuous immersion beyond 1 meter under specified conditions
    • 9: Protection against high-pressure, high-temperature water jets and other specialized conditions.

    Why is ingress protection important?
    Ingress Protection (IP) is important for several reasons, primarily to ensure the durability, safety, and reliable performance of devices and equipment in various environments.

    Here are some key reasons why ingress protection is important:

    • Protection from Environmental Factors: Devices can encounter a wide range of environmental factors, including dust, dirt, moisture, water, and other foreign substances. IP ratings help ensure that devices are designed to withstand these elements, preventing damage or malfunctions.
    • Durability and Longevity: Devices with proper IP protection are more likely to have a longer lifespan because they are designed to resist the wear and tear caused by exposure to elements like dust, water, and extreme temperatures.
    • Safety and Reliability: In certain industries, such as electronics, medical equipment, and industrial automation, safety and reliability are paramount. IP-rated devices are less likely to malfunction or pose risks to users due to exposure to dust or moisture.
    • Compliance with Regulations: Many industries have specific regulations and standards that require devices to meet certain IP ratings. Compliance with these standards is often mandatory to ensure that products are safe and suitable for their intended applications.
    • Suitability for Environments: Different environments have varying levels of exposure to dust, moisture, water, and other contaminants. IP ratings help users select appropriate devices for specific environments, preventing damage and performance issues.
    • Cost Savings: Devices with appropriate IP protection can reduce maintenance and replacement costs. Not adequately protected devices may fail prematurely, leading to costly repairs or replacements.
    • Consumer Confidence: Consumers and businesses have come to expect certain protection from the products they purchase. Displaying clear IP ratings on products increases consumer confidence in the product's quality and suitability for its intended use.
    • Industry-Specific Requirements: Different industries have unique needs and challenges. For example, outdoor equipment, marine devices, and medical instruments each require specific levels of protection to function reliably in their respective environments.
    • Risk Mitigation: In environments where safety is critical, such as in electrical systems or hazardous locations, devices with appropriate IP ratings can mitigate risks associated with malfunction or exposure to environmental hazards.


    In summary, ingress protection ensures that devices and equipment perform well and remain safe in various environments. It provides users with the information needed to make informed decisions about the suitability of devices for specific tasks and conditions, contributing to the overall reliability and longevity of the products.

    How can Nemko help?
    Nemko's accredited ingress protection tests include spraying, splashing, flushing, submerging in water tanks, and condensation via dripping. We also provide a full range of dust ingress tests in dust circulation chambers and ingress tests with various foreign objects and standardized access probes. We can perform fully automated and accredited tests for the whole range of IP classifications according to IEC 60529.


    Contact us to learn more!

    Jose Elias

    Jose Elias, the dedicated Site Manager at Nemko. With an extensive background in engineering and a passion for problem-solving, Jose plays a pivotal role in overseeing Environmental Safety, EMC, and Wireless areas. Jose brings experience, enthusiasm, and problem-solving prowess to his role as Site Manager,...

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