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ukas accredited ip testing





What is IP testing and how can we help?



Ingress Protection testing, or IP as it is commonly referred to, forms an important part of product safety testing. IP testing is used to classify the degree of protection that a product’s mechanical casings and electrical enclosures provides against dust, foreign objects and water.


Testing is carried out in accordance with IEC 60529, which is the international standard that gives products a protection marking according to the IP rating. Cranage EMC and Safety is UKAS accredited for this standard, which gives manufacturers assurance that we have been assessed as technically competent, with reliable and accurate test methods and results.





IP coding

An IP rating consists of a two-digit code, which are independent of each other.


The first digit indicates the level of protection against foreign objects, as well as the protection of people against access to hazardous parts. This ranges from 0 to 6, with 0 meaning the item is not protected from ingress and 6 meaning the product is dust tight. IP6X will also mean that a person is protected from accessing hazardous parts with a wire.


The second digit shows the protection against the ingress of water, and ratings range from 0 to 9, although most test houses will test up to IPX8 . In this instance, 8 shows that the product is protected against the effects of continuous immersion in water and therefore the ingress of water in harmful quantities is not possible.


An item may not have to be IP tested for both foreign objects and water ingress, and in this instance an ‘X’ is used to show the product does not have a rating for the given contaminant. For example, IPX7 indicates that the item has a moisture resistance rating of 7 but has no rating for ingress against foreign bodies.


As well as confirming safety and functionality, having a particular IP rating for your product helps with marketing as it gives specific information. For example, some smartphones are now rated IP68, meaning they are dust tight and also offer protection against continuous immersion- although the time that protection is tested for is specified by the manufacturer.


Testing

Fans and vents can attract dust and overtime this can accumulate, creating product safety and lifetime issues and therefore testing conditions are very specific to evaluate a product. Dust testing is often required for medical devices, consumer appliances, automotive and military products.


During dust testing for IP5X or IP6X, a specified grade of talcum powder dust is used, in a dedicated chamber that allows closed system circulation of the dust. IEC 60529 specifies that the test house must use 2kg of dust powder per cubic metre of test chamber volume, and it must not be used for more than 20 tests.


To test for IPX1 to IPX6, the water temperature is specified and a pressure balance shall be provided for the enclosure. The testing specifications vary depending on the rating and involve carefully checking and maintaining turntable rotation speed, angles, water flow rate, timings, distance from the item under test and the number of holes on the oscillating tube.



IP testing forms part of our extensive environmental testing capabilities at Cranage EMC and Safety, where are facilities include solar radiation, shock and vibration, salt spray, temperature and humidity. We are currently in the process of expanding our environmental testing facilities, and will be releasing details of our increased capabilities soon.


If you choose to use Cranage EMC and Safety for your testing requirements, you will benefit from our purpose-built facilities that allow us to offer a complete testing suite in one location. This means we do not have to outsource your product and our engineers will all be aware of the testing progress as an item moves between EMC, Safety and Environmental, helping to save time and money. Get in touch with our team of specialists today to discuss your testing requirements.