IP testing

IP testing

IP testing

IP testing is a common requirement for products that need to provide some protection against the ingress of solid objects and liquids from environmental sources into an electrical product’s enclosure.

Product Approvals Ltd is able to carry out IP testing up to IP68.

If you would like to find out more and get a price for testing please call us on +44 (0)1588 620192 or email us at info@productapprovals.co.uk

The base standard used for testing is IEC 60529 ‘Degrees of protection provided by enclosures (IP Code)’. As well as provided a classification of the ability of an enclosure to protect against the ingress of solid objects and liquids, the IP code letters also have a safety-related meaning regarding protection against electric shock risk. Many product safety standards specify minimum required IP levels for electrical products and may specify different IP levels for different application requirements within the product safety standard. For example, luminaires that are intended to be mounted in an outdoor location where the luminaire will be exposed to rain, require a minimum IP44 rating. A breakdown of IP coding system is given below.

Explanation of IP codes

IP codes are split into two digits e.g. IP20. In product safety standards sometimes one will see an ‘X’ representing one of the digits and this just means that the digit with the X is not important for that particular requirement in the product standard. However in product specifications, as a minimum, both digits are specified for complete clarity. And when asking a test laboratory to carry out an IP test, they will need to know what IP level you wish us them to test to. At Product Approvals Ltd, we can carry out IP tests either as ad-hoc testing or as part of our CMS (Compliance Management Service) scheme. Contact us for more details / enquire further.

First numeral:

The first numeral denotes the level of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects.

Second numeral:

The second numeral denotes the level of protection provided by the electrical equipment enclosure against ingress of water.

Additional letter (optional)

The IP code can optionally container a letter after the two digits which denotes the specific protection afforded by the electrical enclosure against electric shock or other hazard (e.g. moving parts) in accordance with relevant section of the IEC 60529 standard. See table below.

Supplementary letter

This optional letter, if specified, placed after the ‘additional letter’ may impose additional or varied IP testing due to one of the classifications as in the table below. Note that absence of specification of the S & M letters applies that the product IP rating is valid whether part(s) such as an impeller or cooling fan are in motion or not. If there is doubt, the test may need to be repeated in both modes. Refer to the product standard to see if any additional evaluation is required related to the supplementary letter of the IP code – IEC 60529.