Ingress ProtectionWhat does IP stand for?
IP is an acronym for Ingress Protection
Why is Ingress Protection Important?
Liquid and/or solid particle ingress into electrical equipment may not only be harmful to the equipment, it may also be dangerous to the operator. Therefore when buying electrical equipment whether it be an electric motor, a light fiiting or an enclosure, it is essential to know what degree of ingress protection the item offers.
So how is Ingress Protection quoted?
An "IP" number, or as it is commonly known, an IP rating is used to specify the environmental protection offered. The IP rating is composed of two numbers, the first referring to the protection against solid object ingress and the second against liquid ingress. The higher the number the better the protection.
Are there standards covering these ratings?
The applicable European standards for ingress protection are:
- BS EN 60529 Specification of Degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures
- IEC 529 Specification of Degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures
What are the numerical codes?
What do they use outside Europe?
In North America, the NEMA classification is used. NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) is a US trade association representing the interests of electroindustry manufacturers of products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end-use of electricity.
How does the IP and NEMA systems compare?
The IEC and NEMA degrees of protection can not be fully compared as equivalent ratings. The NEMA Standard includes tests for environmental conditions such as mechanical damage, corrosion, rusting, ice formation, etc. However the follwoing table can be used as a guide:
Does NEMA produce standards?
NEMA Standard Publication 250 and UL 40 Standard Publication both provide further information on ingress protection ratings used in the US.
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