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Decoding IP Ratings

Does water and dust matter?

Most electrical equipment has an Ingress Protection (IP) rating that conveys how protected it is against solids and liquids. Understanding the differences of these ratings is an important aspect of choosing the correct unit for a particular application and/or environment.

IP Ratings typically consist of a two-digit number. The first digit represents the degree to which the enclosure protects against contact, foreign bodies and solid particles (such as dust). The second digit indicates the level to which the equipment is protected against ingress of liquids. The following chart shows the meanings of each of the numbers.

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By referencing this chart, you can see a device with an IP65 rating, for example, is totally dust proof and can survive jets of water being sprayed from all directions. A truly rugged computer will have a rating of IP54 or higher.

Now that you know what the ratings mean, you are better prepared to determine the level of protection needed for your application or environment.


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