IPX4 Ingress Protection Testing
IPX4 Ingress Protection (IP) Code Testing determines a device’s resistance to water ingress, specifically water exposure from all directions. It is a splashing water test. The test simulates the effects of water exposure on the device in various environments, including rain or high humidity.
The IPX4 ingress protection rating is part of the IEC 60529 standard. The two digits after IP signify the level of protection. The first number indicates the level of protection against solid particles. The second number indicates the level of protection against liquids.
How is IPX4 Water Resistance Testing Completed?
The IPX4 IP Code Testing involves exposing an electronic device to water sprayed from all directions for at least ten minutes. The water volume will depend on the method used to apply it but can range between 0.7 liters per minute per hole to 10 liters per minute.
Similar to IPX3 testing, IPX4 testing can be completed by using either an oscillating tube or a spray nozzle.
The oscillating tube has spray holes over the entire 180 degrees of the semicircle. The water flow is 0.7 liters per minute per hole. The water is regulated by a flow meter. The oscillating tube essentially sprays around the entire enclosure. It completes passes of 180 degrees on both sides of the vertical middle.
The testing time for IPX4 water resistance testing is 10 minutes.
When using the spray nozzle, the enclosure is sprayed from all possible angles. The test time is based on the size of the unit. The requirement is one minute of spray for every square meter of surface area. The minimum test time is five minutes.
Upon completion of the IPX4 IP code testing, the device is inspected for any signs of water penetration. This can include discoloration, deformation, or other physical changes that may occur due to water ingress.
The acceptance criteria are essentially water splashed against the enclosure from any direction shall have no meaningful effects.
If water does enter the enclosure, the water should not interfere with the designed operation of the equipment or impact safety. It should not deposit on insulation parts where it could lead to tacking along the creepage distances.
What is the Objective of IPX4 IP Rating Testing?
IPX4 IP code testing determines if an enclosure is effective at being water-resistant from splashing water. A device that is IPX4 certified is not considered waterproof.
How Does IPX4 IP Code Rating Testing Help Manufacturers?
The test helps manufacturers identify any openings that may cause water to penetrate the device’s enclosure. The objective of the enclosure is to protect the internal components from exposure to water and humidity. This helps prevent electrical failures and malfunctions that may occur from water exposure.
How Does IPX4 Ingress Protection Rating Testing Help Consumers?
IPX4 testing provides consumers with the confidence that enclosures, shipping containers, and electronic devices they purchase are water-resistant. This provides peace of mind that these items can be used in various environments without the risk of water damage.
What Can Cause a Failure to IPX4 IP Code?
Failures to IPX4 are often traced back to product design and not being able to withstand the impact of water spray from multiple directions. The design could include gaps in the enclosure or the use of inadequate materials.
Another catalyst for failures to IPX4 is improper installation. Are closures for openings and doors securely fastened? Are seals properly installed? Are there gaps created by the aesthetic features of the product?
These are all aspects of product and enclosure design that can lead to IPX4 challenges.
What Equipment Should Be Tested to IPX4 Ingress Protection?
IPX4 is most appropriate for electronic devices that are frequently exposed to water. These can include outdoor equipment, portable speakers, and smartphones. It is also appropriate for electronic devices that are frequently exposed to water splashes. These can include kitchen appliances and bathroom gadgets.
Specific examples of other products commonly IPX4 certified include flashlights, portable fans, digital cameras, wearable devices, and power tools. Determining the optimal IP certification test program is determined by the product’s operation as well as its placement. Products associated with pools or located around pools are often IPX4 certified.
How to Obtain IPX4 Ingress Protection Certification for Your Device or Enclosure?
Keystone Compliance is an accredited ingress protection test lab with a comprehensive scope that includes every single ingress protection test. We have significant experience in ingress protection testing and can test products in various sizes.
Our team provides quick turnaround times on quotes, short lead times on scheduling, and constant communication before, during, and after the test program is complete. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (724) 657-9940 to request a quote or learn more about our ingress protection expertise.
Learn more about other water-related ingress-protection testing standards: