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IP Protection Classes

The protection of enclosures against ingress of dirt or against the ingress of water is defined in IEC529 (BSEN60529:1991). Conversely, an enclosure which protects equipment against ingress of particles will also protect a person from potential hazards within that enclosure, and this degree of protection is also defined as a standard.

The degrees of protection are most commonly expressed as ‘IP’ followed by two numbers, e.g. IP65, where the numbers define the degree of protection. The first digit shows the extent to which the equipment is protected against particles, or to which persons are protected from enclosed hazards. The second digit indicates the extent of protection against water. The wording in the table is not exactly as used in the standards document, but the dimensions are accurate.

Protection against
Human Contact 
Protection against
Foreign Bodies 
0 No special protection  No special protection
1 With back of hand  Large foreign bodies, diam. >50mm
2 With a finger Medium-sized foreign bodies, diam. >12.5mm 
3 With tools and wires etc with a thickness >2.5mm Small foreign bodies, diam. >12.5mm 
4 With tools and wires etc with a thickness >1mm  Granular foreign bodies, diam. >1mm 
5 Complete protection  Dust protected; dust depostites are permitted, but their volume must not affect the function of the unit
6 Complete protection  Dust-proof 


Protecton against Water Ingress 
0 No special protection 
1 Water dripping vertically 
Water dripping at an angle (up to 15 degress from the vertical) 
Spray water (any direction up to 60 degress from the vertical) 
Spray water from all directions 
Water jets from a nozzle in all directions
High pressure jets 
7 Temporary immersion
8 Permanent immersion

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