What You Need to Know About IP Rating

Apple Rubber Housing Seal

When talking about electronic devices and enclosures, the terms IP-65 or IP-67 are often mentioned. Simply put, these numbers indicate the level of protection your electrical devices have against outside elements. By knowing where and how your electrical equipment will be used, you can ensure the electrical enclosure with the proper rating will be selected. Here’s what you need to know before you make the decision:

The IP rating system was established by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

While the IP code was published by the IEC in the United States, IEC is a worldwide organization for standardization. In the U.S., the standard IP code is  IEC 60529. The equivalent European standard is EN 60529. The IP rating system has become increasingly important with the rising demand for consumer electronic devices such as mobile phones, smartwatches and speaker accessories. Typically, the protective properties of these electronic devices are described using vague terms, like dustproof, water-resistant and waterproof. With the IP system, consumers are provided with an accurate protection rating, so they know exactly what to expect. The IP rating provides a specific test requirement and standardized level of protection for both industrial and consumer devices. 

IP stands for “Ingress Protection.” 

The numerical value in the rating specifies the level of protection from various elements. The first number indicates the degree of protection from moving parts within the enclosure, but more often the exclusion of foreign bodies or solids from entering the enclosure. The second number defines the level of protection from various forms of moisture.

For example, if an enclosure is dust-tight, preventing any foreign objects from entering, the first number of the IP rating will be six, which is the highest level of protection. Looking into moisture, if the enclosure protects against strong jets of water, but still allows some water to leak inside, the second number in the rating will be five, which represents good protection, but not the best. 

The following IP Ratings Guide is curated from Nemaen Closures:

Nemaen Closures IP Ratings guide

IP Ratings Applied to Housing Seals and Gaskets.

Most housing gaskets and seals will cover either IP-66, IP-67 or IP-68 requirements. These ratings show that housing seals provide excellent protection against dust, debris and moisture. Using these ratings, consumers will know exactly what their seal will protect against. 

A good gasket and seal design will help produce the highest protection and rating classification. Apple Rubber can custom design housing seals to meet your exact requirements, providing you with a seal that offers optimal protection. Contact an Apple Rubber Engineer to help with the design of your seal and housing gasket.