Ingress protection rating, abbreviated IP rating, is an international standardized method for defining the degree of protection provided by electrical enclosures (e.g. sensor housings) against ingress of dust and liquid or from accidental contact. The IP rating of equipment (including sensors, signal conditioners, process controllers and I/O cards) is normally found within the manufacturer’s data sheet. The table below provides an explanation of what each ingress protection rating means. A rating of IP44 is considered the minimum required for outdoor use, though IP65 is preferred for continuous outdoor use over extended periods of time. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association provide an alternative (though less widely used) to the IP rating, called the NEMA rating. The two standards are similar but cannot be mapped directly from one to the other.
Ingress protection testing
The following three videos show the proccess for testing the IP rating of equipment against solid and liquid ingress in order to receive IP certification. Testing is carried out by external testing laboratories which have the required equipment to perform the tests.