Whether its for engineering project or industrial use, choosing the right enclosure is very critical to the overall success of one project. However, it is important to know the conditions the enclosure will be exposed to have a better shot of success.
However, all installations that will require enclosures to be installed outdoors or be exposed to water, or be exposed to different foreign objects/materials like dust should be in line with the standards set by the industry. How does this affect your decision?
Luckily, the IEC or International Electrotechnical Commission has established certain guidelines for setting ratings for different types of enclosure. This rating will have its purpose of determining which enclosure is applicable to any type of application. Especially when the enclosure is to be used outdoors. The IP code or International Protection Rating gives design engineers or architects a good basis for enclosure design. This rating will also help engineers decide which enclosure. should they use
Basic Understanding of IP Codes
To have a better understanding of the different levels of protection enclosure gives, we need to first understand what these IP codes are defined.
The IP ratings or International Protection Rating are composed of two digit designation. These two digits has their own standard of protection provided from solid or water ingress. From human fingers to dust particles, IP rated enclosure offers six level of protection against solid ingress (first digit.)
For the second digit, it gives the consumers the idea of the level of protection an IP rated enclosure provides from non-reactive liquids such as water. However, it is important to note that IP rated enclosures can only give protection from clear liquid ingress. This code is based on eight-level rating system – from basic water ingress protection against water dripping to protection from fully submerged product.
Weatherproof IP Enclosures
According to the International Electrotechnical Commission, an enclosure will only considered to be weatherproof if it is rated for protection that ranges from dripping water to hose directed low pressure sprayed water.
This type of enclosure is usually the best option for an enclosure that will be installed in places wherein there is an additional means of protection. Meaning an enclosure should be protected by a roof or fascia. However, it is important to note that the weatherproof enclosure can be jeopardized if dust or water is directed to the enclosure at a high pressure. For added level of protection, use enclosures that has high rating for both weatherproof and waterproof protection.
Waterproof IP Enclosures
An electrical enclosure is considered to be “waterproof” if it is able to protect the equipment or inside contents of the enclosure from water ingress or liquid intrusion when it is completely immersed underwater (at a limited depth.)
Waterproof enclosures gives a comprehensive and holistic form of protection and they are the best choice in locations where there is presence of high moisture or harsh environments where there is harmful elements.
In addition to this, waterproof enclosures always exceed the minimum standards of a weatherproof electrical enclosure. Thus it gives and assures greater safeguards to prevent electronics failure because of a possible water ingress.