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Immersion Testing

Ingress Protection: Immersion Water Tests (IPX7 and IPX8)

Ingress protection testing tests the degree of protection an enclosure provides against intrusions. One such set of ingress protection tests involves immersing the equipment under test (EUT), in water. These tests are included in the Ingress Protection Code or IP Code ratings as IPX7 and IPX8. 

The first digit, represented by the “X”, ranges from 0 to 6 and specifies the protection from solid particles. The solid particles can include probes, fingers and dust testing. The second digit in the ingress protection code rating, in the case of the immersion ingress protection testing, would always be a 7 or an 8.

What are the IP Codes Associated with Immersion Testing?

Below is a brief description of the two types of immersion tests included in ingress protection testing per the IEC 60529 test standard.

IPX7 Testing:

  • IP X7 immersion testing is defined as immersion in up to one meter of water.
  • The IPX7 waterproofness test requirement is that the ingress of water is not considered to be in harmful quantities. This determination is made when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time. 
  • The defined conditions could be water at a certain temperature. It could also be liquid of a certain salinity or the use of other chemicals.
  • The test details include a test duration of 30 minutes and a water depth of less than one meter.
  • A product IPX7 rated is able to meet the requirements of this water ingress test. 

IPX8 Testing:

  • IP X8 immersion testing is defined as immersion in over one meter of water.
  • The IPX8 waterproofness test requirements are typically set by the manufacturer but normally mean:
    • The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under specific conditions. These specific conditions should be specified by the manufacturer.
    • Typically, the equipment is hermetically sealed. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter. If there is some liquid intrusion, it should only occur in a manner such that it produces no harmful effects.
    • Similar to IPX7 ingress testing, the liquid can contain chemicals. It can also be conditioned to various temperatures.
    • The test duration is specified by the manufacturer.
    • A product IPX8 rated is able to meet the requirements of this liquid enclosure test. 

Why is Immersion Testing Important?

Immersion testing has always been important, but it has become a key marketing point for many manufacturers over the last couple of years. Many cell phone manufacturers now publicize and promote their immersion test IP Code rating. They boast the level of protection.

It is a competitive advantage to be able to say that their phone is not damaged if it is submerged in water. The term water resistant is frequently used. This marketing push has forced engineers to get creative with the design of enclosures.

What was once accepted is no longer the case. For decades, the expectation was that if an electronic product got wet, it would probably not work. Conventional wisdom stated that if an electronic product got submerged, it would definitely not work. Such is no longer the case.

The change in expectations started with the creation of portable electrical equipment. Initially a portable product was a product that could be moved, but probably would not be moved that much. As products evolved, the handling increased. 

Products that occasionally would get moved in the past are now being constantly moved because they are now part of the consumer. Like cell phones, wearable technology must undergo rigorous enclosure testing including immersion testing.

Despite the emphasis on consumer products, a lot of other products must be tested in an immersion test lab. Military products must be ruggedized to meet a variety of different challenging environments. Immersion and enclosure testing is essential for product certification.

Many industrial products must meet ingress protection test standards as well. Mining equipment and transportation equipment often encounter very wet conditions. Products going on ships are obvious candidates to need immersion test lab visits. Manufacturers need ip code testing to learn the levels of water resistance.

Lastly, the advent of waterproof fabrics such as gore tex has influenced the emphasis on ip ratings. The ingress protection ip testing of fabrics is now a substantial market. A product completing a one meter immersion test can be a significant competitive advantage.

For a complete list of all of the possible IPX7 and IPX8 ipcode combinations, please see the chart at the bottom of this page. There is a list of every code for the testing of solid foreign objects and water immersion testing.

Why is Keystone Compliance the Best Immersion Test Lab?

As a leader in ingress protection testing, Keystone Compliance is the chosen immersion testing lab of many manufacturers. We have substantial capabilities with ingress protection and all other mechanical / environmental testing.

Our liquid testing scope is highlighted by our enclosure immersion testing. Our scope also includes dripping water test, spraying water test, water jets test and high temperature and high pressure water test. In addition to water ingress protection testing, we also offer testing of solid items including dust ingress testing as well.

We also offer testing to many commercial and military ingress protection standards. These include MIL-STD 750 Method 1011.1, MIL-STD 883 1002, and RTCA DO-160 Section 10.0 Waterproofness Testing. Some of the more common commercial standards include NEMA 250 testing , IEC 60529 testing, ASTM D951 testing and ISO 20653 testing.

Contact us to request a quote and realize firsthand why so many companies trust Keystone Compliance as their immersion test lab.

IP RatingDegree of Protection Against Solid Foreign ObjectsDegree of Protection Against Water
IP08Not ProtectedImmersion beyond 1 m
IP18Solid object >50 mmImmersion beyond 1 m
IP28Solid object >12.5 mmImmersion beyond 1 m
IP38Solid object>2.5 mmImmersion beyond 1 m
IP48Solid object>1 mmImmersion beyond 1 m
IP58Dust protectedImmersion beyond 1 m
IP68Dust tightImmersion beyond 1 m
IP07Not ProtectedImmersion up to 1 m
IP17Solid object >50 mmImmersion up to 1 m
IP27Solid object >12.5 mmImmersion up to 1 m
IP37Solid object>2.5 mmImmersion up to 1 m
IP47Solid object>1 mmImmersion up to 1 m
IP57Dust protectedImmersion up to 1 m
IP67Dust tightImmersion up to 1 m