Select Page

Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP38: Tool-Sized Object & Extended Immersion

IP38 testing is a critical standard for assessing a product’s ability to guard against the entry of objects as small as 2.5mm, similar in size to small tools or thick wires, and its endurance during extended periods of immersion in water. This testing is particularly important for products that are expected to operate in environments where prolonged submersion in water and exposure to small objects are likely. 

Meeting ingress protection compliance requirements can be difficult. As an ISO 17025 certified lab, we understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.  Additionally, Keystone offers immediate emergency scheduling. Our proven process helps avoid product launch delays. 

Request a quote to see why so many companies partner with Keystone Compliance. Contact us to receive more information on ingress protection liquid and solid particle testing.

Summary of IP 38 Ingress Protection Testing

Within the International Protection (IP) Marking system, governed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the IP38 rating provides a measure of the level of protection offered by electrical enclosures.

The IP38 rating signifies a product’s capability to maintain operational integrity and safety under these challenging conditions, essential for a variety of applications in industrial, marine, and outdoor environments.

This rating specifically addresses the product’s resistance to 2.5mm tool-sized objects and its ability to withstand extended immersion in water, ensuring the safety and durability of the equipment.

Understanding IP38 Testing

IP38 testing encompasses two crucial protective measures:

2.5mm Tool-Sized Object Protection (First Digit – ‘3’)

This test ensures the enclosure can prevent the penetration of objects that are 2.5mm in diameter, protecting the product from accidental contact with internal hazardous parts.

Extended Immersion Protection (Second Digit – ‘8’)

This aspect of the test assesses the product’s capability to resist water ingress during extended immersion under more severe conditions than standard immersion tests.

IP 38 Laboratory Testing Procedures

The procedure for IP38 testing is detailed and comprehensive:

Test for 2.5mm Tool-Sized Object Protection: The test involves using a 2.5mm diameter object to attempt to penetrate the enclosure. The object should not be able to fully penetrate the enclosure or come into contact with any hazardous internal components.

Test for Extended Immersion Protection: The product is submerged in water at a depth and for a duration specified by the standard, typically deeper and longer than the requirements for standard immersion tests.

This test ensures that no harmful amount of water can penetrate the enclosure during this extended period of submersion, thereby protecting the internal components.

Importance of IP38 Testing

Enhanced Safety and Durability

IP38 testing is vital for ensuring that products are robust against small object penetration and prolonged immersion in water, enhancing their overall reliability for various uses.

Consumer Confidence

Meeting the IP38 standard reassures consumers and users about the product’s durability and safety in conditions involving potential extended water exposure.

Compliance with Regulatory Standards

Adherence to the IP38 standard indicates a product’s commitment to safety and quality standards, especially in the electrical equipment sector.

Suitability for Challenging Environments

The IP38 rating is essential for products used in settings where prolonged immersion is a possibility, such as in marine applications or outdoor environments where flooding may occur.

Industry Applications

IP38 testing is particularly relevant in:

Marine and Underwater Equipment: For devices used in deep-sea exploration, marine research, or underwater operations where prolonged immersion is common.

Outdoor Electrical Installations: In environments where equipment is exposed to natural water bodies or subjected to flooding conditions.

Industrial Machinery: Especially in industries where machinery might be submerged for extended periods due to environmental or operational conditions.

Expert IP 38 Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing Laboratory

IP38 testing plays a crucial role in verifying a product’s ability to resist intrusion from 2.5mm tool-sized objects and endure extended periods of immersion in water. This testing not only confirms the product’s physical robustness but also ensures its safety and reliability in demanding and prolonged submersion environments.

As technology progresses, the relevance and application of the IP38 standard will continue to be essential in assessing and ensuring product safety in diverse operational settings.

Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing. Keystone has a full lab of test equipment which permits us to provide short lead times on scheduling. In addition to IP 38 testing, we offer a full range of IP Code tests, from IP10 to IP69K, ensuring comprehensive coverage for all ingress protection testing standards.

Have a question about our ingress protection laboratory testing capabilities? Contact us or call (724) 657-9940 and we will determine the best course of action.


For similar tests to IP38, visit the following:

Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP08: Large Object & Extended Immersion Protection
Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP18: Large Object & Extended Immersion Protection
Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP28: Finger-Sized Object & Extended Immersion Protection
Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP48: Wire & Extended Immersion Protection
Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP58: Limited Dust Ingress & Extended Immersion Protection
Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP68: Dust-Tight & Extended Immersion Protection
Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP30: Tool-Sized Object Protection
Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP31: Tool-Sized Object & Drip Water Protection
Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP32: Tool-Sized Object & Tilted Drip Water Protection
Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP33: Tool-Sized Object & Spray Water Protection
Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP34: Tool-Sized Object & Splashed Water Protection
Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP35: Tool-Sized Object & Water Jet Protection
Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP36: Tool-Sized Object & Powerful Water Jet Protection
Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP37: Tool-Sized Object & Immersion Protection
Ingress Protection (IP Code) Testing – IP39: Tool-Sized Object & High-Temperature Water Jet Protection