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IP ratings: The importance of understanding your manufacturing environment

31 January 2024

iPhone users can dive to a maximum depth of 6m for up to 30 minutes with the new iPhone 15, rated IP68. Ingress protection (IP) ratings provide valuable information about the protection level of an electrical enclosure against the intrusion of solid objects and liquids. Here, David Strain, Technical Director of Technidrive, explores the importance of IP ratings in protecting equipment from common environmental hazards in industrial applications.

IP ratings were introduced to standardise the performance expectations for electrical enclosures and mechanical casings. It's essential to understand the IP rating system established by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), as it provides a clear indication of industrial equipment’s ability to withstand environmental factors, particularly water and dust.

IP ratings are composed of two digits, each establishing a specific level of protection. The first refers to the protection against solid objects, while the second indicates the protection against liquids. Devices with higher IP ratings, like IP65 or IP66, offer better protection against dust, rain, and even corrosive substances, safeguarding equipment and ensuring uninterrupted functionality. However, higher IP ratings do not necessarily mean better protection.

For example, an IP rating of 68 provides protection against dust and continuous immersion in water, but it might not be suitable for areas with high humidity levels because it may not protect against condensation.

Read the full article in DPA's February issue

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