INGRESS PROTECTION OF ENCLOSURES

BACKGROUND

Many applications require that an electrical enclosure is sealed to protect the contents from the elements. - There are several specifications to describe such sealing (MIL SPEC, DEF-STAN, NATO, etc.).
One such standard often used in industry is the "IP" standard. "IP" stands for Ingress Protection. the IP standard is controlled by the IEC and is documented in IEC 60529. This summary refers to edition 2.1 dated 27 Feb 01. This document summarizes the IP standard.
The IP standard can be downloaded at http://webstore.iec.ch

IP Nomenclature

The IP standard defines protection levels against solid objects, dust and water. This is documented in a code with format "IP-xy" where the first digit "x" defines solid object and dust protection, and the 2nd digit "y" defines water protection.

An example would be "IP-67". This refers to solid and dust protection level 6 and water protection level 7.

Solid and dust level 6 means "dust tight" and no solid object 1.0mm or larger can penetrate the enclosure
Water protection level 7 means protected against temporary (30minutes) immersion in water with maximum depth of 1 meter.

Solid Object Penetration

The first numeral defines protection against access to hazardous internal parts. Degrees of protection against access to hazardous parts indicated by the first characteristic numeral

First characteristic numeral
Degree of Protection
Brief Description
Definition
0
Non-protected
-
1
Protected against access to hazardous parts with the back of a hand
The access probe, sphere of 50mm Ø, shall have adequate clearance from hazardous parts
2
Protected against access to hazardous parts with a finger
The jointed test finger of 12mm Ø, 80mm length, shall have adequate clearance from hazardous parts
3
Protected against access to hazardous parts with a tool
The access probe of 2.5mm Ø shall not penetrate
4
Protected against access to hazardous parts with a wire
The access probe of 1.0mm Ø shall not penetrate
5
Protected against access to hazardous parts with a wire
The access probe of 1.0mm Ø shall not penetrate
6
Protected against access to hazardous parts with a wire
The access probe of 1.0mm Ø shall not penetrate

 

Dust Protection

The first numeral also defines protection against dust prevention

Degrees of protection against solid foreign objects indiated by the first characteristic numeral

First characteristic numeral
Degree of Protection
Brief Description
Definition
0
Non-protected

-

1
Protected against solid foreign objects of 50mm Ø and greater

The object probe, sphere of 50mm Ø, shall not fully penetrate*

2
Protected against solid foreign objects of 12.5mm Ø and greater

The object probe, sphere of 12.5mm Ø, shall not fully penetrate*

3
Protected against solid foreign objects of 2.5mm Ø and greater

The object probe, sphere of 2.5mm Ø, shall not fully penetrate*

4
Protected against solid foreign objects of 1.0mm Ø and greater

The object probe of 1mm Ø, shall not fully penetrate at all

5
Dust-protected

Ingress of dust is not totally prevented, but dust shall not penetrate in a quantity to interfere with satisfactory operation of the apparatus or to impair safety

6
Dust-tight

No ingress of dust

* The full diameter of the object probe shall not pass through an opening of the enclosure.

 

Water Protection

The second numeral defines protection against water penetration. Degrees of protection against water indicated by the second characteristic numeral

First characteristic numeral
Degree of Protection
Brief Description
Definition
0
Non-protected
-
1
Protected against vertically falling water drops

Vertically falling drops shall have no harmful effects

2
Protected against vertically falling water drops when enclosure tilted up to 15°

Vertically falling drops shall have no harmful effects when the enclosure is tilted at any angle up to 15° on either side of the vertical

3
Protected against spraying water

Water sprayed at an angle up to 60° on either side of the vertical shall have no harmful effects

4
Protected against splashing water

Water splashed against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects

5
Protected against water jets

Water projected in jets against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmdul effects

6
Protected against powerful water jets

Water projected in powerful jets against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmdul effects

7
Protected against the effects of temporary immersion in water

Ingress of water in quantities causing harmful effects shall not be possible when the enclosure is temporarily immersed in water under standardized conditions of pressure and time

8
Protected against the effects of continuous immersion in water

Ingress of water in quantities causing harmful effects shall not be possible when the enclosure is continuously immersed in water under conditions which shall be agreed between manufacturer and user but which are more severe than for numeral 7

- The IP standard states that the water shall be fresh water, temperature within 5°C of the enclosure.
- The IP standard indicates that the immersion tests, IP-x7 and IP-x8, are not more severe than the spray and jet tests (IP-x3, x4 and x5)

Test means and main test conditions for the tests for protection against water

Second characteristic numeral
Test means
Water flow rate
Duration of test
0 No test required - -
1

Drip box
Enclosure on turntable

1 +0.5/-0 mm/min
10min
2

Drip box
Enclosure in 4 fixed positions of 15° tilt

3 +0.5/-0 mm/min
2.5min for each position of tilt
3

Oscillating tube
Spray ± 60° from vertical, distance max. 200mm
or
Spray nozzle
Spray ± 60° from vertical

0.07 l/min ± 5% per hole, multiplied by number of holes

 

10 l/min ± 5%

10min

 

 

1min/m³
at least 5min

4 As for numeral 3
spray ± 180° from vertical
As for numeral 3
5

Water jet hose nozzle
Nozzle 6.3mm diameter, distance 2.5m to 3m

12.5 l/min ± 5%
1min/m³
at least 3min
6

Water jet hose nozzle
Nozzle 12.5mm diameter, distance 2.5m to 3m

100 l/min ± 5%
1min/m³
at least 3min
7

Immersion tank
Water-level on enclosure:
0.15m above top
1m above bottom

-
30min
8 Immersion tank
Water-level: by agreement
-
by agreement

 

IP-x3 and x4 Spray Tests

Two methods are allowed by IEC

Oscillating Tube

Spray Nozzle


IP-x7 and IP-x8

- According to the standard, these are immersion tests.
- The standard provides no method to test them with any form of spray nozzle.
- The standard advises that passing an immersion test does not imply the enclosure will pass any of the spray tests (it should be separatedly tested)

IntriCon has in-house capability to perform the following water ingress tests: IP-x3, IP-x4, IP-x7 and IP-x8. Beyond the scope of the standard we also have capability to perform a 3 meter immersion test.


Immersion (x7 and x8)

 

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