Ensure Connectors are IP Rated for Each Type of Application
IP Rated connectors follow the IP Code, or Ingress Protection Rating, (also known as International Protection Rating), which outlines the degree of protection provided by electrical enclosures and components.
When environments are harsh, applications are demanding and requirements are strict, getting the right connector is essential for any electrical contractor or OEM.
IP Ratings Classify and Rate the Protection Against Solid Objects
The IP ratings are for rating their protection against all solid objects (including human body parts like fingers), dust and water. Published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the ratings’ goal is to provide detailed information about specs for waterproofing and more.
IP Rating consist of 2 or 3 numbers. When there is no protection rating with regards to one of the criteria, the number will be replaced with an X.
The first set of numbers classifies the IP-Rated level of protection from solid objects and hazardous parts.
0 – no protection against contact and ingress of objects.
1 – 50 mm any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part.
2 – 12.5 mm fingers or similar objects.
3 – 2.5 mm tools, thick wires, etc.
4 – 1 mm most wires, screws, etc.
5 – dust protected ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment; complete protection against contact
6 – dust tight no ingress of dust; complete protection against contact.
The second set of numbers describes the IP-Rated protection against water.
0 – not protected
1 – dripping water Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect.
2 – dripping water when tilted up to 15° Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15° from its normal position.
3 – spraying water Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.
4 – splashing water Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
5 – water jets Water projected by a nozzle against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
6 – powerful water jets Water projected in powerful jets against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
7 – immersion up to 1 m Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).
8 – immersion beyond 1 m The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer.
NOTE: Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that produces no harmful effects.
If a third number is present, it indicates protection against mechanical impact.
NEMA vs. IP Ratings
In many cases, IP Ratings are viewed as more important than NEMA ratings because of their global application, where NEMA is only used in the USA. Although some ratings can be mapped to each other in some cases, there are different types of ratings that do not overlap.
IP66, IP67 and IP68 ratings typically align with NEMA4 and 4X compliance regulations, which are the most common requirements in our industry.