IP65, IP67, IP68…What do protection ratings mean?
If you are working on a project that calls for an electric motor unit, you will certainly have come across the terms IP65, IP67 and IP68. What do these protection ratings cover? Which protection should be chosen based on your project? Here's a brief answer to these questions.
Choosing your drive with IP protection following to your application
The IP protection rating is an important factor to be taken into account when choosing a motor unit, since the chosen protection rating will vary according to the use (outdoor, exposure to dust/water infiltration, etc.). To avoid any risk of a fire outbreak in case of water seepage or damage due to dust, it is advisable to choose an IP65 protection rating, which guarantees complete airtightness and very satisfactory watertightness. This is particularly the case with motor units with IDX integrated electronics.
For more demanding applications where specific protections are required – for example in a hostile environment or for the food processing industry – maxon's teams can offer you specific development of adequate protections for your IDX solution. Contact our teams.
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What is an IP protection rating?
It is a standard defined by international IEC standard 60529 of the International Electrotechnical Commission. It makes it possible to determine whether, for example, the electrical equipment is resistant to dust or weather. Apart from the industrial sector, it is aimed at various sectors, such as food processing, pharmaceuticals, etc. IP ratings have also become a selling point for smartphones. Generally speaking, this standard guarantees a product’s protection and resistance against the ingress of solid materials and liquids. This directly concerns the risk of damage to the devices until an incident occurs, such as the outbreak of a fire. In an industrial context, the protection rating therefore guarantees that the equipment can, for example, be left outside without risk of damage or personal safety risks.
IP issues for manufacturers
Among the various standards certifying the safety and durability of equipment, the protection rating is an essential standard throughout the manufacturing process. Ensuring that equipment, such as a motor, is certified by an IP standard and that the standard is appropriate for its use is therefore fundamental to the manufacture of its own products.
Similar to protection against the risk of toy fires, IPs require equipment manufacturers to perform laboratory tests to establish the protection level. The purpose is to certify the product with its IP rating or, alternatively, to reject it and thus go back over certain manufacturing phases.
For manufacturers, IP ratings are therefore an essential tool for guaranteeing the quality of their products and the satisfaction of their customers, whether individuals or professionals.
Want to learn more about IDX? Contact our experts.
How do IP protection ratings work?
Protection ratings are based on two numbered codes that define the exact degree of protection. The first digit is resistance to solids, and the second digit is resistance to liquids. All these protection ratings therefore take the form of “IP” followed by two digits. Generally speaking, the higher the number, the greater the protection against small solids and the better the seal.
The first digit: resistance to solids
The first digit following “IP” refers to the device’s ability to withstand solid objects:
- 0 = Zero means that there is no protection against penetration of solid particles, objects, or dust.
- 1 = The object or equipment is protected against any solid object larger than 50 mm.
- 2 = The object or equipment is protected against any solid object larger than 12.5 mm.
- 3 = The object or equipment is protected against any solid element larger than 2.5 mm. This would apply, for example, if a user attempted to insert fine tools, cutting objects, etc.
- 4 = The object or equipment is protected against any solid object larger than 1 mm, i.e. other types of tools or even screws.
- 5 = This protection rating indicates that the object is partially protected against dust. In other words, dust can enter crevices of the equipment but cannot damage the equipment. It also ensures that contact is not possible.
- 6 = In this case, the product is completely dustproof. Dust cannot enter the crevices and therefore cannot damage or soil it internally under any circumstances.
The second digit: resistance to liquids
The IP protection against liquids concerns both the amount of water and the depth of immersion or even the power of a jet.
- 0 = Zero here means that there is no protection against moisture or any liquid that would come into contact with the device or object.
- 1 = This indicates that the object is protected against liquid falling vertically only.
- 2 = The object is protected against drops falling at 15 degrees.
- 3 = In this case, the object is protected against liquid sprays in all directions, provided that they do not exceed 60 degrees.
- 4 = The object is protected against splashing.
- 5 = This rating guarantees the protection of the device against water projections.
- 6 = The object is protected against powerful water jets, for example with a high-pressure cleaning device.
- 7 = In this case, the object is waterproof up to a depth of 1 m.
- 8 = The object is waterproof beyond a depth of 1 m. Although water can seep into the equipment, it cannot damage the equipment.