IPX8 Ingress Protection Testing
IP Rating IPX8 is an immersion test that is used to test products to custom levels of water exposure. IPX8 is designed to evaluate the ability of units and enclosures to protect their contents while being submerged under water for specified times and at specified conditions.
IEC 60529 is the test standard that details the specifics of IPX8 testing. 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 IPX8 Ingress Protection Testing Completed?
Unlike every other ingress protection standard, there is no set test procedure for IPX8 testing. The test program is determined by the manufacturer or customer. The standard states the following.
Unless there is a relevant product standard, the test conditions are subject to agreement between manufacturer and user, but they shall be more severe than those prescribed in IPX7 and they shall take into account the condition that the enclosure will be continuously immersed in actual use.
IPX8 water resistance testing is completed by completely immersing an enclosure in liquid. Since this is a custom test, the liquid can be conditioned at a different temperature. There can also be something in the liquid such as a chemical or substance like salt.
The test duration is completely customized, as are the unit’s orientation and depth. All test parameters must be tracked, recorded, and summarized in the test report.
The acceptance criteria is essentially the ingress of water in quantities causing harmful effects shall not be possible when the enclosure is temporarily immersed in water under standardized conditions of pressure and time.
What is the Objective of IPX8 IP Rating Testing?
The objective of IPX8 testing is to determine a unit’s or enclosure’s ability to withstand more extreme immersion conditions than those spelled out in IPX7. Units tested to IPX8 are primarily units designed to be submerged either permanently or for long periods of time.
How Does IPX8 IP Code Testing Help Manufacturers?
A device or enclosure that can meet customer requirements provides manufacturers the peace of mind that failures are much less likely to occur in the field. IPX8 testing conditions can be extreme and entirely custom. Manufacturers must be prudent in selecting accurate conditions to effectively simulate the conditions their units will experience.
How Does IPX8 Water Resistance Testing Help Consumers?
Given the extreme nature of IPX8 ingress protection testing, it is not unusual for customers to have input into the test requirements. Many products tested to IPX8 are custom products designed for specific applications. For that reason, customer input is typically involved when designing the test program.
What Can Cause a Failure to IP Code Rating IPX8?
The most common failure seen for IPX8 water resistance testing is insufficient sealing. Issues with seals can stem from one of three factors.
The first is a poor design. If the product or enclosure is not designed properly, the device will not meet the requirements. Engineers must properly design openings such as doors, ports, and ventilation areas with the extreme demands of this testing in mind.
Second is the use of poor or inferior materials. Since IPX8 testing can involve extreme conditions such as prolonged immersion, the introduction of chemicals, or temperature extremes of the liquid, some materials may break down when exposed to these conditions.
This is poor construction. A great design and selection of materials will not matter if the units or enclosures are not properly constructed. For a unit to effectively meet the requirements of IPX8 testing, there has to be a combination of proper design, correct materials, and accurate construction.
A shortfall in any one of these areas will likely result in a failure of the product.
What Equipment Should Be Tested to IPX8?
Enclosures and electronic devices compliant with IPX8 are considered fully waterproof. These devices are typically specialized in nature. They include items used in scuba diving such as communication equipment, cameras, and dive watches.
Equipment used in military settings often require IPX8 certification testing. These can include specialized medical equipment, GPS devices, and communication equipment. Various industrial equipment can require IPX8 compliance such as electronic controllers and sensors in water treatment plants.
How to Obtain IPX8 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: