IP Code

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Not to be confused with IP address or Intellectual property.

The IP Code, International Protection Marking, IEC standard 60529, sometimes interpreted as Ingress Protection Marking, classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures. It is published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof. The digits (characteristic numerals) indicate conformity with the conditions summarized in the tables below. Where there is no data available to specify a protection rating with regard to one of the criteria, the digit is replaced with the letter X. The digit 0 is used where no protection is provided.

A rating of X for one or more of the protection criteria can be erroneously misinterpreted as "no protection." To illustrate, a piece of electronic equipment rated IPX7 will almost certainly demonstrate a robust resistance to the ingress of particles, even though a rating for ingress of solids hasn't been formally assigned. Hence, an X designation shouldn't be automatically misconstrued as a lack of protection.

For example, an electrical socket rated IP22 is protected against insertion of fingers and will not be damaged or become unsafe during a specified test in which it is exposed to vertically or nearly vertically dripping water. For example, a particular cellular phone rated at IP58 is "dust resistant" and can be "immersed in 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes". IP22 or 2X are typical minimum requirements for the design of electrical accessories for indoor use.

The ratings for water ingress are not cumulative beyond IPX6. A device which is compliant with IPX7, covering immersion in water, need not be compliant with IPX5 or IPX6, covering exposure to water jets. A device which meets both tests is indicated by listing both tests separated by a slash, e.g. IPX5/IPX7.

There are no hyphens in a genuine IP code. IPX-8 (for example) is thus a false IP code.

Code breakdown[edit]

IP indication Solid particle protection Liquid ingress protection Mechanical impact resistance Other protections
IP Single numeral: 0–6 Single numeral: 0–9 Single numeral: 0–9 Single letter
Mandatory Mandatory Mandatory No longer used Optional

Solid particle protection[edit]

The first digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against access to hazardous parts (e.g., electrical conductors, moving parts) and the ingress of solid foreign objects.

Level Object size protected against Effective against
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.
6 Dust tight No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust tight)

Liquid ingress protection[edit]

The second digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against harmful ingress of water.[1]

Level Protected against Effective against Details
0 Not protected
1 Dripping water Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect. Test duration: 10 minutes

Water equivalent to 1 mm rainfall per minute

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. Test duration: 10 minutes

Water equivalent to 3 mm rainfall per minute

3 Spraying water Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect. Test duration: 5 minutes

Water volume: 0.7 litres per minute
Pressure: 50–150 kPa

4 Splashing of water Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect. Test duration: 5 minutes

Water volume: 10 litres per minute
Pressure: 50–150 kPa

5 Water jets Water projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects. Test duration: at least 3 minutes

Water volume: 12.5 litres per minute
Pressure: 30 kPa at distance of 3 m

6 Powerful water jets Water projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects. Test duration: at least 3 minutes

Water volume: 100 litres per minute
Pressure: 100 kPa at distance of 3 m

6K Powerful water jets with increased pressure Water projected in powerful jets (6.3 mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction, under elevated pressure, shall have no harmful effects. Test duration: at least 3 minutes

Water volume: 75 litres per minute
Pressure: 1000 kPa at distance of 3 m

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). Test duration: 30 minutes

Tested with the lowest point of the enclosure 1000 mm below the surface of the water, or the highest point 150 mm below the surface, whichever is deeper.

8 Immersion beyond 1 m The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects. Test duration: continuous immersion in water

Depth specified by manufacturer, generally up to 3 m

9K Powerful high temperature water jets Protected against close-range high pressure, high temperature spray downs. Test duration: -

Water volume: 14–16 litres per minute
Pressure: [8000–10000 kPa / 80–100 Bar] at distance of 0.1–0.15 m
Water temperature: 80 °C

(The IPx9K level is defined by DIN 40050-9, and not the original IEC 60529.)

Additional letters[edit]

The standard defines additional letters that can be appended to classify only the level of protection against access to hazardous parts by persons:

Level Protected against access to hazardous parts with
A Back of hand
B Finger
C Tool
D Wire

Further letters can be appended to provide additional information related to the protection of the device:

Letter Meaning
f Oil resistant
H High voltage device
M Device moving during water test
S Device standing still during water test
W Weather conditions

Mechanical impact resistance[edit]

An additional number has sometimes been used to specify the resistance of equipment to mechanical impact. This mechanical impact is identified by the energy needed to qualify a specified resistance level, which is measured in joules (J). This has now been superseded by the separate 'IK code' specified in EN 62262.

Although dropped from the 3rd edition of IEC 60529 onwards, and not present in the EN version, older enclosure specifications will sometimes be seen with an optional third IP digit denoting impact resistance. Newer products are likely to be given an IK rating instead. However, there is not an exact correspondence of values between the old and new standards.

Approximate IK equivalents to IP drop level
IP level
Equivalent impact IK
Impact energy
Equivalent impact
0 00 Unprotected No test
01 0.15 Drop of 200 g object from 7.5 cm height
1 0.225 J 150 g dropped from 15 cm 02 0.2 Drop of 200 g object from 10 cm height
2 0.375 J 250 g dropped from 15 cm 03 0.35 Drop of 200 g object from 17.5 cm height
3 0.5 J 250 g dropped from 20 cm 04 0.5 Drop of 200 g object from 25 cm height
05 0.7 Drop of 200 g object from 35 cm height
06 1 Drop of 500 g object from 20 cm height
5[dubious ] 2 J 500 g dropped from 40 cm 07 2 Drop of 500 g object from 40 cm height
7[dubious ] 6 J 1.5 kg dropped from 40 cm 08 5 Drop of 1.7 kg object from 29.5 cm height
09 10 Drop of 5 kg object from 20 cm height
9[dubious ] 20 J 5.0 kg dropped from 40 cm 10 20 Drop of 5 kg object from 40 cm height


German standard DIN 40050-9 extends the IEC 60529 rating system described above with an IP69K rating for high-pressure, high-temperature wash-down applications.[2] Such enclosures must not only be dust-tight (IP6X), but it must also be able to withstand high-pressure and steam cleaning.

The test specifies a spray nozzle that is fed with 80 °C water at 8–10 MPa (80–100 bar) and a flow rate of 14–16 L/min. The nozzle is held 10–15 cm from the tested device at angles of 0°, 30°, 60° and 90° for 30 seconds each. The test device sits on a turntable that rotates once every 12 seconds (5 rpm).

The IP69K test specification was initially developed for road vehicles, especially those that need regular intensive cleaning (dump trucks, cement mixers, etc.), but it also finds use in other areas (for example, the food industry and car wash centers).

NEMA rating[edit]

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association defines NEMA enclosure types in NEMA standard number 250. Ratings are not directly equivalent between the two standards, but the following table outlines the NEMA ratings that would correspond to the performance required by an IP code. NEMA ratings also require additional product features and tests (such as functionality under icing conditions, enclosures for hazardous areas, knock-outs for cable connections and others) not addressed by IP ratings.

IP Code Min. NEMA Enclosure rating to satisfy IP Code
IP21 3R
IP54 3
IP55 12
IP65 4
IP66 4X
IP67 6
IP69 6P

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ingress Protection: The System of Tests and Meaning of Codes .
  2. ^ DIN 40050-9: Straßenfahrzeuge; IP-Schutzarten; Schutz gegen Fremdkörper, Wasser und Berühren; Elektrische Ausrüstung [Road vehicles; degrees of protection (IP-code); protection against foreign objects, water and impact; electrical equipment], May 1993 . An English translation of the German original is available from DIN.

External links[edit]