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Hazardous Location Fixtures and IP Protection

  • Sep 16, 2019
  • By : Admin
  • Events & News
In hazardous locations depending on the exposure to the different environments, one of the most important aspects to consider before buying the fixtures is the level of protection against external agents like humidity, dust, and water.  The IP code (International Protection Marking -ingress protection) has different specifications and a misunderstanding on these differences could be detrimental for the facilities. Also, it must always be specified in the fixture which is the standard that it adheres to. 
The protection level is indicated by two numbers, the first one describes the level of protection against solids like dust and the second one describes the level of protection against liquids. When there is an X in the second space, it means that there is no data to specify protection in terms of that criteria Then, the index of protection against solids ranges from 0 to 6, with the value 0 having no protection against the ingress of external solid objects and the value 6 total protection against any ingress of dust. In the case of protection against liquids, the value 0 does not present any special protection, whereas the highest value, represented by 9, would support the induction of pressurized water. For example, IPX6 indicates protection covering exposure to water jets (not protection about any particles); differently to IP69K where there is complete protection against dust and water jets. Additional letters provide information related to the protection of the device like the “K” in this case signifies high pressure. Other letters are “H” high voltage, “C” protection against access with a tool, and “D” wire, between others.
It is really important to match the level of standard IP to the necessities of the facilities. Some might need to get wet without any damage IP54 even If they need full submersion in water IP67 or IP68. Although most of the standards have been summarized here, buyers and users should be sure to buy fixtures that have performed the tests under the IEC60529 (International Electrotechnical Commission) or the EN60529 (European Standard) safety standard. The European standard is the EN60529. 

IP Codes Level of Protection
  Protection against the ingress of solid foreign objects.   Protection against the ingress of water with harmful effects
0 No protection against contact and ingress of objects 0 No protection
1 Protection against any large surface of the body 1 Dripping water should not interfere with  the  equipment
2 Protection against fingers or similar objects 2 Dripping water when tilted at 15° should not interfere with the equipment
3 Protection against tools, thick wires, etc. 3 Protection against spraying water
4 Protection against most wires, slender screws, large ants etc. 4 Protection against splashing of water
5 Protection against ingress of dust in sufficient quantity to interfere with the  equipment 5 Protection against water jets
6 Complete protection against contact 6 Protection against powerful water jets (12.5 mm nozzle) 
    6K Protection against  powerful water jets with increased pressure
    7 Protection against  effects caused by a complete immersion, up to 1 m depth
    8 Protection against  effects caused by a immersion, 1 m or more depth
    9K Protection against  powerful high temperature water jets