IP66/IP67 - What do the numbers mean?

IP66/IP67? What do the numbers mean?

I was recently asked an excellent question, and I realized that many of our readers are likely wondering the same thing. I hope this column is useful, and I encourage you to keep the questions coming!  Submit your comments using the form on this website. 

The OLCT-IR infrared detector is IP66/67 certified. What does that mean? Does it have IP66 or IP67 certification?

The IP protection rating system is a standard defined in international standard IEC 60529. This rating system classifies the degree of protection provided by an electrical equipment enclosure against solid objects (such as dust) and liquids (water, oil, etc.).

The degree of protection provided by an enclosure is indicated with a two-digit (IPXX) system as described below:

The first number indicates the degree of protection against solid objects

The second number indicates the degree of protection against liquids

X: Not measured

X: Not measured

0: Non-protected

0: Non-protected

1 = protected against ingress of solid foreign objects ≥ 50 mm in diameter

1 = Protected against vertical dripping

2 = protected against ingress of solid foreign objects ≥ 12.5 mm in diameter

2 = Protected against dripping (15% tilt)

3 = protected against ingress of solid foreign objects ≥ 2.5 mm in diameter

3 = Protected against spraying (60% tilt)

4 = protected against ingress of solid foreign objects ≥ 1 mm in diameter

4 = Protected against splashing

5 = protected against dust (limited entry, no harmful deposits)

5 = Protected against jetting

6 = dust-tight

6 = Protected against powerful jetting

 

7 = Protected against temporary immersion (up to 1 meter for 30 minutes)

 

8 = Protected against continuous immersion (depth of more than 1 meter for period of time specified by the manufacturer)

How do I read the protection ratings? (For this example, we’ll use the OLCT100 gas detector with an IP66 certification.)

The first number corresponds to the degree of protection provided against solid objects. The second number corresponds to the degree of protection provided against liquids. The rating IP66 thus corresponds to a product that is completely dust-tight and protected against powerful water jetting.

Note: if the criterion has not been tested for, the number will be replaced by the letter “X” (for example, the rating IPX6 indicates that the enclosure was not tested for protection against the ingress of solid objects).

Up to and including second characteristic numeral 6, the designation implies compliance also with the requirements for all lower characteristic numerals.  Equipment with an IP65 certification is thus authorized for applications requiring an IP55 or IP64 certification.

IEC 60529 standard (article 6) considers that an enclosure designated with second characteristic numeral 7 or 8 is unsuitable for exposure to water jets (designated by second characteristic numeral 5 or 6) unless it is dual coded (ex: IPX5/IPX7 or IPX6/IPX7).

The Oldham OLCT-IR meets both requirements and has successfully passed water ingress testing with both jetting water and temporary immersion. This is why it is marked IP66/67.

Oldham produces detectors for demanding industrial applications. Our gas detectors have IP ratings from IP55 to IP67.

Oldham has more than 100 years of experience in the field of gas detection and safety and we manufacture the majority of our detection sensors. More information about the IP ratings of our gas detectors and central controllers can be found in our product brochures, which you can download from our website.

 

Michel Spellemaeker

Global Director of Product Development

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