The Electric and electronic equipment deteriorate or malfunction when water or dust enters the device. The IEC has developed the ingress protection (IP) ratings, which grade the resistance of an enclosure against the intrusion of dust or liquids.The ratings are widely used throughout industry.
In recent years, many consumers have taken an interest in smartphone features that include resilience against liquid and dust. However, it can be difficult to assess the meaning of terms such as waterproof or water-resistant when used for marketing purposes.
IEC 60529 has been developed to rate and grade the resistance of enclosures of electric and electronic devices against the intrusion of dust and liquids. It also rates how easy it is for individuals to access the potentially hazardous parts within the enclosure.
The IP code is composed of two numerals:
The first numeral refers to the protection against solid objects and is rated on a scale from 0 (no protection) to 6 (no ingress of dust).
The second numeral rates the enclosure’s protection against liquids and uses a scale from 0 (no protection) to 9 (high-pressure hot water from different angles).
The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof. For example, a cellular phone rated at IP67 is "dust resistant" and can be "immersed in 1 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes". Similarly, an electrical socket rated IP22 is protected against insertion of fingers and will not become unsafe during a specified test in which it is exposed to vertically or nearly vertically dripping water. IP22 or IP2X are typical minimum requirements for the design of electrical accessories for indoor use.
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