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What is an Ingress Protection (IP) Rating ?
IP ratings are not new in the Tech World. In fact, a lot of the Electrical appliances and Technologies you have at home come with it. An IP rating, (or International Protection Rating, sometimes also interpreted as Ingress Protection Rating*) basically tells you the level of protection any electrical device has against solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact and liquid (water) objects. It acts as a security measure to determine what objects the device can handle without malfunctioning. The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof.
IP ratings are defined in international standard EN 60529 (British BS EN 60529:1992, European IEC 60509:1989). They are used to define levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies (tools, dirt etc) and moisture.
The IP code is an IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standard, which is why you can also see IP codes on products like smartphones, cameras etc. The standard gives the consumer a way to see through vague marketing terms and understand the given product’s degree of protection.
An increasing number of Android handsets and gadgets are being released with variations of an IP rating. Two common ratings for consumer devices are IP67 and IP68.
What do the numbers in an IP Rating mean?
The numbers that follow IP each have a specific meaning. The first indicates the degree of protection (of people) from moving parts, as well as the protection of enclosed equipment from foreign bodies. The second defines the protection level that the enclosure enjoys from various forms of moisture (drips, sprays, submersion etc).
The tables below should help make sense of it:
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What does IP68 or IP67 rating mean ?
An IP code consists of the IP identification and two digits that describes the level of protection.
– The first two letters “IP” indicates that it is an IP code.
– The first digit represents the level of protection against solid particles such as (dirt, dust, or sand).
– The second digit describes the level of protection against liquids such as water.
The smartphone have the IP68 rating which means:
IP = IP identification
6 = The smartphone is dust tight.
8 = The smartphone can be submerged in water down to 1 M.
First digit: Protection against Solids
IP Code Protection
0 No protection against contact and ingress of objects.
1 Any large surface of the body, but not against deliberate contact with a body part.
2 Protection against Fingers or similar objects.
3 Protection against tools, thick wires, etc.
4 Protection against most wires, slender screws, large ants etc.
5 Partial protection against Ingress of harmful dust.
6 Full protection against Ingress of harmful dust.
Second digit: Protection against Moisture
IP Code Protection
0 No protection.
1 Protection against dripping water.
2 Protection against dripping water when tilted at 15 degrees.
3 Protection against spraying water.
4 Protection against spray and splash of water.
5 Protection against low pressure water jets (6.3mm nozzle).
6 Protection against powerful water jets (12.5mm nozzle).
7 Protection from immersion in water, up to 1-meter depth for 30 minutes.
8 Protection from immersion in water, more than 1-meter depth for 30 minutes.
IP67 vs IP68: What’s the Difference
– IP68 means that an electronic device can remain intact more than 1 meter (mostly up to 1.5 meters) deep in the water for half an hour.
– IP67 means that an electronic device can remain intact up to 1 meter deep in the water for half an hour.
– Both are dust, dirt, and sand resistant.
There are two leading IP ratings at present: IP67 and IP68.
Both these ratings mean that your device is water resistant, it’s just a matter of depth and time period.
The first number of both IP67 and IP68 is ‘6’ which means protection against solid matter such as dirt, dust, and sand. A rating ‘6’ under solid protection means that your device is protected against dirt and other particulates. All the handhelds released these days are dust-tight, which means that the first digit of IP rating for the present devices will always be ‘6’.
The second number of these IP ratings are ‘7’ and ‘8’ which deal with protection against liquids. Under liquid protection, ‘8’ is the highest rating available and it means that your device can be submerged in fresh water deeper than 1 meter for half an hour without any sign of damage.
On the other hand, a ‘7’ liquid protection rating means that the device can be submerged in fresh water up to one meter of depth for half an hour.
Does IP67 vs IP68 Protect against all Liquids ?
– Keep in mind that IEC ratings are strictly assigned against fresh water. These ratings, be it IP68 or IP67, do not cover protection against other types of liquid such as tea, coffee, oil, soda, beer, etc.
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– So, if you accidentally spill any liquid other than fresh water on any IP68 or IP67 rated device, quickly clean it off. If you leave the liquid for a longer period of time, it may damage your expensive devices such as an iPhone or android phone.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
– Water resistance testing is often done in fresh water; salt water can have a different impact on phones. Your device isn’t necessarily guaranteed to handle the ocean the same as a dip in the pool.
– Taking a shower could also mess with your phone. The pressure that comes from your shower head or jets could damage the device over the long term. You might not see it right away, but repeated trips to the beach or showers may harm your beloved phone in the end.
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– Some devices may require you to cover ports (headphones, charging, etc.) to ensure water does not seep in. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S5 had a protective rubber boot which is needed to cover the charging port. Should you fail to close that up you’ll undoubtedly let water in and turn that phone into a paperweight.
– Temperatures can also impact the way your phone handles water, too. Saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs could do harm to your handset. Oh, and if you can, avoid pushing buttons (volume, power, camera, etc.) if your phone is in water. Every little press is a tiny opportunity for water to find a way in.
– When it comes to smartphones, we discuss how water-resistant they are. Because smartphones cannot survive underwater indefinitely. All the android phone ,iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices released to date are water resistant, not waterproof.
source: wikipedia, rainfordsolutions
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