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What is an IP rating?

In our latest blog post, we take a look at IP ratings. What are they, and how can you use them to determine how waterproof and dustproof your gas monitor is?

As you probably know, technology is advancing at a fast rate.

If you watch adverts for the latest smartphones, they are more than likely going to be boasting about new special features that you wouldn’t have dreamed of 10 or 15 years ago.

At the age of 11 I thought I was super cool owning a Nokia 3330 with two games, including the highly addictive Snake II, but times have definitely changed.

Everywhere you look, electronic devices such as phones, tablets and digital cameras, are being used on a daily basis.

Unfortunately there are various environments where water and dust are a threat to their continued usage, so manufacturers are trying to make their products more water resistant and dustproof.

However you should never believe claims that a product is fully waterproof until you see what their IP rating is.

What is an IP rating?

IP stands for Ingress Protection, and is a rating system published by the International Electrochemical Commission (IEC).

It is used to define the level of protection provided by electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies, such as dust and moisture.

On all of Analox’s products you will see that we issue them with an IP rating, which consists of the letters IP followed by two numbers and an optional letter.

It’s understandable you may not know what the different ratings mean, so to clear up any confusion we have provided an explanation of what the numbers represent, so you can choose the right product for the right environment.

What do the numbers in an IP Rating mean?

The IP number is composed of two numbers, the first indicates the degree of protection against solid objects, and the second against moisture, such as drips, sprays and submersion.

In general, the higher the number the better the protection. To help you make sense of it, the definition of each number is listed below.

First number (Solids)

0 – No protection (Sometimes X)

1 – Protection from solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter

2 – Protection against fingers or other objects not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter

3 – Protection from entry by tools, thick wires etc, with a diameter of 2.5mm or more

4 – Protection against solid bodies larger than 1mm e.g. most wires and fine tools

5 – Protection against dust (but not entirely) that may harm equipment

6 – Totally dust tight

Second number (Liquids)

0 – No protection (Sometimes X)

1 – Protection against vertically falling drops of water, such as condensation

2 – Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical

3 – Protection against water falling as a spray up to 16° from vertical

4 – Protection against water splashed from all directions

5 – Protection against low pressure water jets from all directions

6 – Protection against powerful jets of water or heavy seas

7 – Protection against immersion up to 1m for 30 minutes

8 – Protection against long periods of immersion under conditions specified by the manufacturer

Where can I find the IP ratings for Analox’s products?

Analox always list the IP ratings for our products, whether it’s in the manual or advertised on our datasheets.

We’ve identified that it is not possible to manufacture a fully waterproof ambient air monitor, because if air can penetrate the unit, so can water. Despite this we strive to provide gas monitors with the best IP rating to suit all of our customer’s needs.

Our Ax60, a wall mountable carbon dioxide (CO2) detector, is designed specifically for the hospitality industry, such as fast food restaurants and pub cellars.

It continuously monitors the ambient air and triggers one or more alarms if it detects a potentially hazardous level of CO2 in the building’s atmosphere.

To maintain a high level of hygiene, food and drink establishments use pressure washers and sprays to clean walls, floors and other surfaces so there is a likelihood of liquid splashing onto the gas detector.

The Ax60 carbon dioxide monitor

The Ax60 carbon dioxide detector – protected against dust and water

The Ax60 provides a central display with a rating of IP54, meaning it provides protection against dust (but not entirely) that may harm equipment, and is protected against water splashed from all directions.

The central display can be connected to a maximum of four CO2 sensors and eight CO2 alarms that have a rating of IP55. They have the same level of protection against dust as the central display, but they have a slightly higher rating against liquids meaning they are protected against low pressure water jets from all directions.

If you have a query about any of our IP ratings contact our sales team who will be happy to discuss them with you.

Author: Araminta Hartley, Content Writer

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Founded in 1981, Analox Sensor Technology provides niche and custom gas detection solutions to industries including beverage and fast food, commercial diving and laboratories. Analox has over 325 years of collective, specialist electronics and software engineering expertise, as well as a worldwide distributor network. Contact us to see how we can provide expert gas monitoring solutions and help you achieve your goals.

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