The Ingress Protection (IP) rating is a protection standard, which gets defined by the European IEC in 60509:1989 (International EN 60529; British BS EN 60529:1992). This standard informs the customer, which level of protection does a product´s electrical enclosure offer against solids and liquids.
What is an IP Rating?
An IP Rating represents the level of protection provided by a device against the intrusion of solid objects and liquids. An IP Rating usually has two numbers: The first number represents the level of protection from solid materials and the second number represents the level of protection from liquids. A third letter describing other information can be used but is often omitted.
Protection against solids
The first digit of an IP Rating is a number that describes the object’s protection against solids, with 0 offering no protection and 6 offering the most protection.
Protection against liquids
The second digit of an IP rating is a number that describes the level of protection against liquids, with 0 offering no protection and 9K offering the most protection.
Taking a look at the CCTV Camera for example. It has an IP67 rating, which means that the device is completely protected from solid materials like dirt or sand. Furthermore, it indicates that the device can be immersed into liquids up to 1 m for a period of max. 30 minutes.
Let’s break it down. As in the short example above, the rating standard gets indicated by the letters “IP”, always followed by two digits e.g. IP67.
Why is an IP Rating important?
When a manufacturer desires an IP Rating for their product, they must have it tested by an independent and certified company. That company assigns a numerical IP Rating to the product to signify how well the item protects against intrusion of solids and liquids.
Having a certified IP Rating means manufacturers can confidently make product claims about the level of protection their product provides. It legitimizes the item, offering assurance to the customer that they can determine if a product meets their needs.
Additionally, a user of IP Rated equipment is fully aware of its protective measures (or lack of), so they can work more safely, with less risk of injury to themselves or damage to the equipment.