IP protection classes - what should you know?
IP ratings, or Ingress Protection ratings, are international standards used to determine the degree of protection provided by devices against various external factors such as dust, water, impact, and other environmental factors. This standard is defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and is widely accepted worldwide.
The IP code (Ingress Protection Rating) consists of two digits: the first digit indicates the level of protection against solid objects, such as dust, and the second digit indicates the level of protection against water.
IP Protection Levels
Protection against solid objects (first digit)
The first digit in the IP code indicates the level of protection of the device against solid objects:
- IP0X: No protection
- IP1X: Protection against objects larger than 50mm
- IP2X: Protection against objects larger than 12.5mm
- IP3X: Protection against objects larger than 2.5mm
- IP4X: Protection against objects larger than 1mm
- IP5X: Protection against dust in harmful quantities
- IP6X: Complete protection against dust
Protection against water (second digit)
The second digit indicates the level of protection against water:
- IPX0: No protection
- IPX1: Protection against vertically falling water droplets
- IPX2: Protection against water droplets falling at an angle up to 15 degrees
- IPX3: Protection against water droplets falling at an angle up to 60 degrees
- IPX4: Protection against water splashing from any direction - the equipment should operate despite possible wetting
- IPX5: Protection against water jets (6.3mm nozzle) from any direction
- IPX6: Protection against strong water jets (12.5mm nozzle) from any direction
- IPX7: Protection against temporary immersion up to 1m depth for 30 minutes
- IPX8: Protection against continuous immersion, depth and time according to manufacturer's specification
- IPX9K: Protection against high-pressure water jets, steam, and high temperature
Application of IP Protection Classes
In practice, IP protection classes are relevant to various industrial sectors and individual consumers. They are essential for manufacturers of electronic devices to determine the extent to which their products are resistant to environmental influences. They also help consumers make informed purchasing decisions based on the devices' resistance to external factors.
For example, smartphones often have a high IP rating, such as IP67 or IP68, indicating that they are completely dustproof and can be briefly immersed in water. On the other hand, outdoor devices like outdoor cameras need to have a very high IP protection level to withstand extreme weather conditions.
Impact of IP Protection Classes on Safety and Durability
IP protection classes directly impact the safety and durability of devices. Devices with a low IP protection level may be susceptible to damage caused by dust, moisture, water, or other external factors. Such damage can lead to device failure, posing risks to users.
On the other hand, devices with a high IP protection level are generally more durable and safer to use. They are better prepared to deal with challenging environmental conditions and are less prone to damage, resulting in longer device lifespan and user safety.
IP Protection Class in Hand Dryers
Hand dryers are devices that can greatly benefit from a high IP protection class. Due to the nature of their operation, hand dryers need to be particularly resistant to these factors.
The principle of operation of hand dryers involves removing moisture from clothes using warm air. During this process, the moisture from the clothes transforms into water vapor, which needs to be effectively expelled. Otherwise, excessive accumulation of moisture inside the device can lead to corrosion and other technical issues. A high IP protection level can provide better protection against such problems.
Hand dryers also deal with a significant amount of dust and other solid particles that can enter the device along with the clothes. Dust and other solid particles can cause various issues, such as clogging filters and other vital components of the hand dryer. Again, a high IP protection level can help prevent these problems by protecting the internal components of the hand dryer against solid objects.
Choosing a Hand Dryer with the Appropriate IP Protection Class
When choosing a hand dryer, it is worth paying attention to its IP protection class. Not all hand dryers have the same level of protection, so it is important to select a device that best meets your requirements.
For example, if you live in a humid climate where the hand dryer will be exposed to high levels of moisture, it is advisable to choose a device with a high level of water protection. Such a device will be better suited to operate in challenging conditions.
On the other hand, if you are using the hand dryer in an environment with a lot of dust or other solid particles, you should choose a device with a high level of protection against solid objects. This will help protect your hand dryer from damage and prolong its lifespan.
External Factors Resistance and Hand Dryer Durability
Choosing a hand dryer with an appropriate IP protection class not only affects the safety of its use but also its durability. A high IP protection class can significantly contribute to the long-term performance of the hand dryer.
In particular, hand dryers with a higher level of water protection are less susceptible to damage caused by corrosion. This is particularly important for hand dryers that are intensively used and may be exposed to large amounts of moisture.
Similarly, hand dryers with a higher level of protection against solid objects are less prone to damage caused by the blocking of their internal components by dust or other particles. This means that such hand dryers can operate efficiently for a longer time, requiring less maintenance and repairs.
Author: Marcel Apola