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What is an IP rating?

IP rating - Ingress Protection rating is the international standard used to define levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies including dirt and moisture.

The numbers that follow an IP rating each have a specific meaning:

The first number indicates the degree of protection for dirt, dust and intrusion protection.

0 - No special protection
1 - Protection from a large part of the body such as a hand (but no protection from deliberate access); from solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter.
2 - Protection against fingers or other object not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter.
3 - Protection from entry by tools, wires etc, with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more.
4 - Protection against solid bodies larger than 1mm (eg fine tools/small etc).
5 - Protected against dust that may harm equipment.
6 - Totally dust tight.

The second number defines the level of protection against moisture.

0 - No protection.
1 - Protection against condensation.
2 - Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical
3 - Protected against spray up to 60° from vertical.
4 - Protected against water spray from all directions.
5 - Protection against low pressure water jets (all directions)
6 - Protection against string water jets and waves.
7 - Protected against temporary immersion.
8 - Protected against prolonged effects of immersion under pressure.

The larger the value of each digit, the greater the protection. As an example, a product rated IP65 would be better protected against environmental factors than another similar product rated as IP42.

When an IP rating has an X figure in part, this means that the protection rating has no significance to the product.

E.g IPX4 the dust and intrusion protection is not relevant although the moisture rating is rated at 4 which is applicable to the product.

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