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What is an IP Rating for Industrial Instrumentation?

  • The IP Rating for industrial instrumentation are used to indicate the resistance of the device’s enclosure to liquids and solids
  • Different applications and environmental conditions can require higher IP Ratings, especially devices that are outdoors or in humid, wet, or dusty locations
  • The first IP number indicates resistance to solids and the second indicates resistance to liquids, with 0 meaning “no resistance” and resistance to ingress increasing as the IP number increases

Electronic equipment, such as industrial instrumentation, often includes an IP Rating, which indicates how resistant instrumentation is from various types of intrusions into its enclosure. IP Ratings are a standardized system that classifies the resistance to solids and liquids for enclosures of electronic devices. IP Ratings are set and governed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), a global nonprofit organization founded in 1906 for the purpose of improving growth and development in the industry by standardizing electronic equipment. The IP Rating for industrial instrumentation is a critical consideration when deciding which device is best for your use.

An IP Rating indicates an electronic enclosure’s Ingress Protection. Ingress is defined as “the act of entering.” Ingress of liquids and solids, like dust, into the enclosure of electronic devices can cause instrumentation to malfunction or stop working completely. And depending on the application and location of the instrumentation, higher IP Ratings may be required to ensure the device will continue working for any given time. In addition to IP Ratings, other organizations grant ingress protection ratings, such as NEMA.

Solids: IP Rating for Industrial Instrumentation

Electronic devices are rated with an IP code, or IP Rating, which begins with “IP” and is followed by two numbers that indicate the actual resistance rating of the device. The first number indicates the instrumentation’s resistance against solids, with 0 indicating “no resistance” and 6 indicating that no dust should be able to enter the enclosure.

IP Rating for Liquids

The second IP number indicates the liquid resistance of industrial instrumentation. On this scale, 0 again indicates “no resistance” while 9 indicates resistance in conditions up to hot water at high-pressure, from different angles. The IP rating that is required for automation instrumentation depends on the specific application and environmental conditions in which the device will used and/or mounted as well as how critical the instrumentation is to maintain process safety.

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The IP Rating for Industrial Instrumentation indicates the level of resistance an enclosure offers for water or solids under specific conditions.

For example, automation instrumentation mounted outdoors that monitors critical processes at a gas plant may require an IP Rating of “IP69,” which is currently the highest IP Rating. Whereas an IP Rating of “IP10” would offer protection against solids up to 50 mm in diameter, but would offer no protection against liquids.

First Digit in IP Rating: Solid Particle Protection

First DigitRated Protection Against Solids
0No Protection
1Protected against solid objects up to 50 mm in diameter
2Protected against solid objects up to 12 mm in diameter
3Protected against solid objects over 2.5 mm in diameter
4Protected against solid objects over 1 mm in diameter
5Protected against dust particles / minimal ingress
6Totally protected against dust

Second Digit in IP Rating: Liquid Ingress Protection

Second DigitRated Protection Against Liquids
0No Protection
1Protection against vertically falling drops of water (rain or condensation)
2Protection against direct sprays of water when enclosure is tilted up to 15˚ in either direction from vertical position
3Protection against direct sprays of water when enclosure is tilted up to 60˚ in either direction from vertical position
4Protection against splashes of water any direction, resulting in no harmful effects
5Protection against low pressure splashes / jets of water from all directions, resulting in no harmful effects
6Protection against high pressure splashes / jets of water from all directions, resulting in no harmful effects
7Protection against water while temporarily immersed under water in standardized conditions: pressure and time
8Protection against repeated or long periods of immersion under water in conditions agreed upon by the manufacturer and user
9Protection against water jets at high temperature and pressure, resulting in no harmful effects
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