IP55, IP67, IP68, and others: what they mean and types of protection of a phone or device

We will talk to you about the protections against dust and water of electronic devices, the famous IP protections. All devices today usually include this type of protection, but using a numerical code that is never easy to understand, and that is what we will help you do today.

As we will explain to you in the simplest way we can, each IP protection number has its meaning. Therefore, it is not a complete figure; you do not have to interpret them as IP68 protection, for example, but rather IP 6 and 8 protection. The first digit is one thing, and the second represents another.

What the IP protection numbers mean

IP protection is a standard developed to classify the level of protection against the ingress of foreign materials. The objective is to show this degree of protection in an alphanumeric way that is easier for everyone to understand and interpret.

In IP protections, each digit refers to a different type of protection. The first number refers to protection against dust, while the second number refers to protection against water or other liquids. Therefore, if you have a mobile phone with IP68 protection, you have protection against dust level 6 and protection against water level 8.

Here, you don’t have to get carried away because one figure is lower than the other. After all, each one has different levels of protection. Dust protection has six levels, while water protection has 9 levels. Also, in some cases, there may be an additional letter, which also has its meaning.

These are the dust protection levels of the IP standard and the meanings of each of them:

  • Level 0: No protection.
  • Level 1: Avoid the entry of objects that are spheres of 50 mm in diameter and whatever is more significant than that measurement.
  • Level 2: Avoid the entry of objects that are spheres of 12.5 mm in diameter and whatever is more significant than that measurement.
  • Level 3: Avoid the entry of objects that are spheres of 2.5 mm in diameter and whatever is more significant than that measure.
  • Level 4: Avoid the entry of objects that are spheres of 1 mm in diameter and whatever is more significant than that measurement.
  • Level 5: Some dust will enter, but not a large enough amount of dust to interfere with the proper operation of the device.
  • Level 6: Protection against dust; no dust will enter under any circumstances.

These are the levels of protection against liquids of the IP standard and the meanings of each of them:

  • Level 0: No protection.
  • Level 1: Protection against dripping. It has been proven that it does not let water in for 10 minutes when it falls from a height of 200mm.
  • Level 2: Protection against dripping. It has been proven that it does not let water in for 10 minutes when it falls from a height of 200mm. The test is done 4 times at different inclinations of the device.
  • Level 3: Protection against water mist. Protection against mist or spray water, when sprayed from an angle of up to 60º to the left or right, for more than 5 minutes at 11 liters per minute at a pressure of 80-100 kN / m².
  • Level 4: Protection against jets of water. It has been proven that it does not let in jets of water reaching it from any angle for more than 5 minutes at about 10 liters per minute at a pressure of 80-100 kN / m².
  • Level 5: Protection against jets of water. It has been tested not to let in jets of water from any angle that have been launched with a 6.3 mm diameter nozzle and, at an average of 12.5 liters per minute from a distance of at least 3 meters for a minimum of 3 minutes at a pressure of 30 kN / m².
  • Level 6: Protection against total jets. It has been tested not to let in jets of water from any angle that have been launched with a 12.5 mm diameter nozzle, at an average of 100 liters per minute from a distance of at least 3 meters for a minimum of 3 minutes at a pressure of 100 kN / m².
  • Level 7: Protection against complete immersion in water. No water should enter if the device is submerged 1 meter deep for 30 minutes.
  • Level 8: Protection against complete and continuous immersion in water. No water should enter if the device is continuously submerged to the depth and for the time specified by the manufacturer.
  • Level 9: Protection against high-pressure and high-temperature short-range jets. It has been proven that it does not let in jets of water from any angle that have been launched at an average of 14 to 16 liters per minute from a distance of 0.1–0.15 meters, at a pressure of 8000–10000 kPa / 80–100 Bar] and at 80 ° C water temperature.

In addition to this, a letter can also be added to attach additional information on how the certification tests have been carried out:

  • D: Wired device
  • f: Protection also against the oil
  • H: The device is high voltage
  • M: The device was in motion during the test
  • S: The device was immobile during the test
  • W: Weather conditions

Therefore, the maximum protection that an electronic device can enjoy is IP69K. However, those of the highest range in mobile phones are usually IP68 protection that guarantees that no water enters the mobile even if you immerse it or dust. Everything that goes below these figures has its risk, which will be greater the smaller its number.

Therefore, the next time you read the specifications for resistance to water and dust in a datasheet, you will know that the higher each number that has its IP, the greater the protection. If you look closely, you will see that mobiles try to advertise that they are resistant to “splashes,” and these protections are not always as robust as others’. There may also be some devices more resistant to water but less to dust.

In conclusion, to avoid risks, your mobile should have IP68 protection, since with it you could go quietly to the beach and even swim with it without too many risks. From there down, the more you download, the more chances there will be. Ensure that the first figure is six so that at least you are not at risk with sand and other particles, and if the water resistance is less than 8, you better not risk too much.

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