IP Explanation and Ratings
EN 60529 outlines an international classification system for the sealing effectiveness of enclosures
of electrical equipment against the intrusion into the equipment of foreign bodies (i.e. tools, dust, fingers) and moisture. This classification system utilizes the letters “IP” (“Ingress Protection”) followed by two or three digits. (A third digit is sometimes used. An “x” is used for one of the digits if there is only one class of protection; i.e. IPX4 which addresses moisture resistance only.)
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Degrees of Protection – First Digit
The first digit of the IP code indicates the degree that persons are protected against contact with moving parts (other than smooth rotating shafts, etc.) and the degree that equipment is protected against solid foreign bodies intruding into an enclosure.
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
3 Protection from entry by tools, wires, etc., with a diameter of thickness greater than
4 Protection from entry by solid objects with a diameter or thickness greater than 1.0mm
5 Protection from the amount of dust that would interfere with the operation of the
6 Dust tight.
Degrees of Protection – Second Digit
The second digit indicates the degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against the harmful entry of various forms of moisture (e.g. dripping, spraying, submersion, etc.)
0 No special protection
1 Protection from dripping water.
2 Protection from vertically dripping water.
3 Protection from sprayed water.
4 Protection from splashed water.
5 Protection from water projected from a nozzle
6 Protection against heavy seas, or powerful jets of water.
7 Protection against immersion.
8 Protection against complete, continuous submersion in water.
Submersion depth and time must be specified by the end-user. The requirement must be more
onerous than IP67
The IP Code Symbols
The chart below illustrates the use of special symbols in the IP classification system. In the “1st
digit” column, note the grid-like symbols next to numbers 5 and 6. In the “2nd digit” column numbers 3-8 are symbolised by teardrop shaped symbols, sometimes enclosed in a box or a triangle, sometimes unenclosed (#7-8). These symbols can be placed on equipment to illustrate the IP protection provided.