The protection rating (IP)
The protection rating (IP) of an enclosure is a two-digit code, of which the first digit is associated with protection against the ingress of solids (dust, insects, etc.) and the second digit is associated with protection against the ingress of water or other liquids.
There is a reciently created 9K level that considers high-pressure water jets. It does not concern us at the moment.
So when we see a requirement for an enclosure we find a two-digit IP, for example IP55.
This means that no particles even smaller than 1 mm in size can enter and that no water can enter unless there is 12.5 litres/minute at high pressure, more than 3 minutes, etc.
For example, if it rains a normal rain, no water can enter. And normally this is the data we are interested in. An enclosure that is simply weatherproof must be at least IP55.
In practice, we understand that an IP55 system is what we colloquially call ” waterproof “. These are the requirements that we will normally find outdoors in a FO installation. For these purposes, installations in garages, warehouses, etc. are usually understood to require IP55 as well, in case of humidity, etc.
An enclosure that is not placed on a pole or a facade but in a manhole may occasionally be flooded and that is why the requirement will be IP68. This protection rating is actually defined by the manufacturer. However, the standard indicates that it is always better than IP67, which is already given to submersible enclosures, but only for a short time.
IP68 enclosures are considerably more robust, with neoprene seals, snap fasteners, etc. This makes them generally more expensive. It is important, therefore, to match the requirements to the actual needs. Installing an IP68 enclosure where an IP55 enclosure is sufficient is a higher cost for which there is no return.
In any case, it is important that the manufacturer whose material you are working with has a wide range of enclosures in its programme to solve different situations in different stages.
Did you like our post on how to the protection rating (IP)? Did we leave anything out? If so, or on the contrary, if you still have any doubts, please contact us.
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