What are IP ratings or Codes?
IP (or “Ingress Protection”) ratings are defined in international standard EN 60529 (British BS EN 60529:1992, European IEC 60509:1989). They are used to define levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies (tools, dirt etc) and moisture
The two digits of IP ratings explained
An IP rating is, in summary, a two-digit code. The first digit establishes the level of protection against intrusion of foreign bodies. The second the resistance against moisture intrusion.
Together, this informs you of precise the level of protection that will be offered by the specific case or enclosure.
Any product with an IP rating must withstand an assortment of tests. These tests determine the items’ efficiency in a range of circumstances.
First Digit (intrusion protection)
0. (or X – see section below): No special protection. Not rated (or no rating supplied) for protection against ingress of this type
1. Protection from a large part of the body such as a hand (but no protection from deliberate access); from solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter.
2. Protection against fingers or other object not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter (accidental finger contact).
3. Protection from entry by tools, wires etc, with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more.
4. Protection against solid objects larger than 1mm (wires, nails, screws, larger insects and other potentially invasive small objects such as tools/small etc).
5. Partial protection against dust that may harm equipment.
6. Totally dust tight. Full protection against dust and other particulates, including a vacuum seal, tested against continuous airflow.
Second Digit (moisture protection)
0. (or X – see section below): No protection.
1. Protection against vertically falling droplets, such as condensation. ensuring that no damage or interrupted functioning of components will be incurred when an item is upright.
2. Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical
3. Protected against spray up to 60° from vertical.
4. Protected against water splashes from all directions. Tested for a minimum of 10 minutes with an oscillating spray (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
5. Protection against low-pressure jets (6.3 mm) of directed water from any angle (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
6. Protection against direct high pressure jets.
7. Protection against full immersion for up to 30 minutes at depths between 15 cm and 1 metre (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
8. Protection against extended immersion under higher pressure (i.e. greater depths). Precise parameters of this test will be set and advertised by the manufacturer and may include additional factors such as temperature fluctuations and flow rates, depending on equipment type.
9. (K): Protection against high-pressure, high-temperature jet sprays, wash-downs or steam-cleaning procedures – this rating is most often seen in specific road vehicle applications (standard ISO 20653:2013 Road Vehicles – Degrees of protection).
Not an entirely valid IP rating, but still occasionally seen on websites offering enclosures (but more commonly lighting). The “x” simply denotes that the value for that number is missing. You can replace it with a zero, assuming that it has not ingress protection rating. This may not be the case, but better safe than sorry. The first number denotes foreign body ingress protection, the second moisture. So “x”5 for example, means that there is no defined protection from solid objects, but protection against low pressure water jets, while 5″x” would denote partial protection from dust, but no protection from moisture.
Poynting products’ ratings
Poynting’s antennas are mostly rated as IP65, IP67 or IP68. Depending on a specific product’s IP rating, we make use of a variety of ingress protection measures in different combinations, such as:
- Built-in gaskets help to avoid misalignment and ensure a good seal to both surfaces.
- Watertight cable entry-points and bulkhead connectors.
- Internal gel filling or potting compound if maintenance is not required.
- Gaskets and O-rings for glands and screw heads.
- Correct compression using strategically positioned fasteners and using large radii on all seals.
- Locate entry points away or hidden from direct exposure i.e. cable entry from below for IP rating IPX1 protection against vertical downwards water exposure (rain drops).
We also provide installation tips to protect our clients’ antennas and equipment, such as including a drip-loop on cables of outdoor antennas.
How do Poynting test our antenna enclosures?
We focus on water ingress due to the lack of moving parts/openings and extrapolate these results to dust protection, and where filters are used, they are ones which already have an IP rating on par or above our requirements.
The IP ratings of our antennas in combination with the other mechanical ratings, should give customers the reassurance that the products are safe-guarded and protected against the elements.