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Understanding IP Rating: Why Knowing the IP Rating is Essential for your Application
When purchasing electronic and mechanical devices or planning outdoor installations, you may have encountered terms like "IP rating" without fully understanding their significance. IP ratings, or Ingress Protection ratings, provide valuable information about the protection level of an electronic device or enclosure against the intrusion of solid objects and liquids.
Understanding IP ratings is crucial for ensuring that your devices or installations can withstand the environmental conditions they will be exposed to. In this blog post, we will explore the various levels of IP ratings and emphasise the importance of understanding the IP rating relevant to your specific requirements.
IP Rating System
IP ratings are composed of two digits, each representing a specific level of protection against different environmental elements.
The first digit establishes the protection against solid objects, while the second digit indicates the protection against liquids. These digits work together to create the IP rating. Together, this informs you of the precise level of protection that the specific case or enclosure will offer. Let's explore each digit in detail:
A) Protection Against Solid Objects (First Digit):
- 0: No protection against objects.
- 1: Protection against objects larger than 50mm (e.g., a hand).
- 2: Protection against objects larger than 12.5mm (e.g., fingers).
- 3: Protection against objects larger than 2.5mm (e.g., tools).
- 4: Protection against objects larger than 1mm (e.g., small wires).
- 5: Dust-protected; limited ingress of dust is permitted.
- 6: Dust-tight; no ingress of dust is permitted.
B) Protection Against Liquids (Second Digit):
- 0: No protection against liquids.
- 1: Protection against vertically falling drops of water.
- 2: Protection against vertically falling drops of water when a device is tilted up to 15 degrees.
- 3: Protection against spraying water at an angle of up to 60 degrees.
- 4: Protection against splashing water from any direction.
- 5: Protection against water jets from any direction.
- 6: Protection against powerful water jets or heavy seas.
- 7: Protection against temporary immersion in water.
- 8: Protection against continuous immersion in water.
Importance of Knowing the IP Rating for Your Intended Purpose
The importance of the IP rating is directly related to the safety and reliability of your manufactured devices. Understanding the IP rating ensures that you select devices or enclosures suitable for the environmental conditions they will be exposed to. This knowledge helps prevent accidents, damages, or malfunctions due to factors like dust, water, or extreme temperatures.
For outdoor applications such as garden lighting, security cameras, weather stations, and campervans require an appropriate IP rating. Devices with higher IP ratings, such as IP65 or IP66, offer better protection against dust, rain, and other weather elements, ensuring their longevity and uninterrupted functionality.
It is vital to consider IP ratings in industrial settings where machinery, control panels, or sensors are present. Higher IP ratings provide protection against dust, dirt, moisture, and even corrosive substances, thus safeguarding the devices and preventing production downtime.
Bathrooms and Kitchens
In areas exposed to moisture and water splashes, such as bathrooms and kitchens, it is essential to use devices with suitable IP ratings; for example, IP44 or higher is recommended for electrical fixtures to ensure safety and prevent electrical hazards.
Access Hardware IP Ratings
Having a clear understanding of IP ratings is crucial when making informed decisions about the suitability of electronic and mechanical devices or enclosures for specific environments. At Metrol Springs, we prioritise offering access hardware of the highest quality, equipped with high IP ratings.
For example, our range of compression latches is rated to IP65. This IP rating indicates that the latches are protected against dust ingress and are also resistant to low-pressure jets of water from any direction. In comparison, our range of swing handle locks consists of various ratings, including IP40, IP54 and IP65.
IP Rated Access Hardware from Metrol Motion Control
We aim to ensure optimal protection and performance of your products in their intended applications while effectively handling various environmental factors. Check the IP rating before buying or installing electronics. It ensures devices can withstand specific purposes and ecological conditions. Contact us to discuss what IP rating your application needs.