Protection against contact and infiltration of water and dirt in electric devices

Electric devices have to work in a safe way during a long period of time and under adverse environmental conditions. The dust and the humidity cannot be avoided and neither the presence of foreign objects. The different protection classes define to what extension an electric device can be put in adverse environment conditions without being damage and without being a risk for the security or the health.

Protection against contact and infiltration of water and dirt in electric devices

Definitions

Protection grade: protection level against the entrance into hazardous parts given by the enclosure, against the entrance of solid foreign objects, against infiltration of water or against the exterior mechanical impacts, and which are verify by standardized test methods.

Enclosure: the part which gives the protection against external influences and in any direction.

IP Code (Ingress Protection)

It is a coding system to define the different protection degrees against the entrance of solid foreign objects and against the infiltration of water given by the enclosure. This IP code has two numbers, placed immediately after the letters “IP”.

  • The number placed in the first position, define the protection of the people against the entrance to hazardous areas, avoiding the entrance of a part of the body or an object taken by a person and guaranteeing the protection of the device against the entrance of solid foreign objects. This number goes from 0 (zero) to 6 (six) and as the number increases the size of the object the enclosure leaves to entrance is lower.

  • The number placed in the second position, define the protection of the inner part of the device against the damages caused by the water penetration. This number goes from 0 (zero) to 8 (eight). As the number increases the amount of water that tries to enter the enclosure is higher and comes from different directions (1 would be vertical dripping and 4 would be water coming from every directions).
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