Ingress Protection Testing, aka IP Code Testing
Ingress protection testing is a form of enclosure testing. Testing involves determining the level of protection against solids and liquids. The ingress protection standard specifies levels of dust resistance and water resistance. The level of protection is called the IP Code or ingress protection level. IP standards for International Protection marking.
Electrical enclosure testing is extremely important. NEMA 250 identifies various levels of enclosures. For more information, please see our electrical enclosure ratings. At the end of the day, water ingress testing equipment is essential to user and consumer safety.
Solid Particle Testing
A product’s susceptibility to solid particle ingress is determined through the use of calibrated IP testing equipment. Solid foreign objects can include fingers and other solid items. It also can include using sand testing and dust testing.
To test larger solid objects, IP testing facilities will use calibrated items of certain dimensions. These items are also called accessibility probes to see if there are openings in a case that allow penetration.
For the dust test, the test item is placed in a dust chamber. The dust is a calibrated material that is agitated so that it is suspended in the chamber and covers the test item. Once the dust ingress testing is completed, the outside of the enclosure is thoroughly cleaned. The enclosure is then opened to see how much dust is inside.
One of the more popular sand and dust military standards is RTCA-DO-160 Section 12.0.
Water Ingress Testing
There are several methods of determining if a case is a waterproof enclosure. The waterproofness testing can include liquid of various levels, volumes and test durations. Products can be exposed to dripping water testing. They can also undergo driving rain tests or spraying water tests. The driving rain or water jet test can be from a garden hose or a fire hose.
Immersion testing is also a component of ingress protection IP testing. The test item is immersed in water. The depth of the submersion and time of exposure is defined in the international standards. Different products must be immersion proof to meet the IP test standard requirements.
Liquids for IP testing can also be conditioned. Products going on ships may need to be tested in cold water. The liquids can also be corrosive. For example, we have completed several ocean simulations. Products were immersed in cold salt water to simulate ocean conditions. Few IP Code labs can conduct this testing.
How is an IP Code Determined?
The IP Code has two digits. The code ranges from IP0X to IPX9. The first digit ranges from 0 to 6. It is the ingress protection against solid bodies. The second digit ranges from 0 to 9. It is the ingress protection against liquids. The two digits in an ingress protection marking code are completely independent of each other.
Some devices only need to be IP rated to one of the two digits. If a product is only tested to liquid and not solids, it can have an “x” for the solids digit. This is why the testing is sometimes called IPX testing. Given these parameters, there are 70 combinations of ingress protection codes.
To provide some examples of IP Codes:
IP 67 test: The test item is dust tight and provides immersion protection up to 1 meter.
IPx4 testing: The item was not tested to solids but provides splashing water ingress protection. For more information, view our list of Popular IP Code Standards.
Also, please visit our complete IP Ratings Table.
What is IP69K Testing?
There is on IP code case test different than the rest. IP 69K ratings represent an enclosure that is dust tight and liquid resistant from high pressure and high temperature water jets. The IP69K rating is also considered steam jet testing. This rating provides the highest level of case, enclosure and seal testing.
What are the Most Common Enclosure Protection Standards?
One of the most popular enclosure testing standards is IEC 60529 / EN 60529. NEMA 250 ingress protection is also very popular. Some of the other popular standards are IEC 60598 and ISO 20653. There is a cross-reference chart between NEMA and IP Codes, which has been included below.
There are also several military enclosure standards. These include MIL-STD-810, MIL-STD-202, MIL-STD-750 and MIL-STD-883. RTCA-DO-160 also has a waterproofness section. The degree of protection is extremely important to the military. IP ratings for retailers can also reference military standards to enhance product marketability.
Why is Keystone Compliance the Best IP Code Test Lab?
From IP0X to IPX9, Keystone Compliance can accommodate every ingress protection test needed. Our ISO-17025 accreditation includes all 70 IP rating combinations. Our experience sets us apart. We help manufacturers determine ingress points in their products. We also are experts at identifying potential solutions.
We also have significant expertise in interpreting the standards. This provides manufacturers with help in determining acceptable amounts of ingress. If the unit that requires testing is too large to move, no problem. We have experience completing ingress protection testing at our customer’s facilities.
Our customers enjoy our short lead times. We take pride in our ability to explain the process and testing requirements. We offer consultative engineering support when failures occur. From a budget perspective, our pricing is affordable. This combination has made us one of the fastest growing companies in the country.
We are also one of the most respected enclosure testing labs in the country. Contact us to receive a quote for ingress protection testing. You will see why we are the only ingress protection lab for so many manufacturers from around the country.