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Monday - June 6, 2022

How to Decode IP Ratings

Ingress Protection (IP) Ratings were established in 1976 by the International Electromechanical Commission (IEC) in order to standardize the level of protection an electrical enclosure provides against the ingress of dust and water. Before IP ratings, manufacturers of components and devices would use vague language such as “water-resistant” or “dust-proof” – without a defined standard, buyers couldn’t be sure that their device would be adequately protected. Establishing detailed standards also fosters consumer confidence for avoiding potential electrical shocks when using electronic devices or tools.

Today, manufacturers submit their devices to a certified testing facility to obtain ingress protection designation. The device undergoes standardized testing protocols to determine if the device meets defined protection levels. The IEC has also defined unique ratings for each level of protection for both solid and liquid contaminants – as the numbers get higher, the protection increases.

Below is a chart that breaks down each level of protection:

IP Ratings Chart

NMB offers various products with ingress protection such as fans, motors, switches and connectors. It is important to determine which level of protection is required for your specific application – if you have too little protection, your product may fail and place you at risk, while too much protection can increase costs. We have local engineers that can help specify which IP rating is ideal for your application.

Jayme Meyers
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