IP Ratings Guide

IP stands for Ingress Protection and is a two-digit code used to describe the protection capabilities of an enclosure, metal or plastic, to prevent unwanted intrusion. The term ‘intrusion’ refers to the protection level provided to prevent access to mechanical or electrical parts, and the degree of protection from contaminants including dust, dirt and potentially damaging foreign bodies, compounds and moisture. In the UK, IP codes comply with BS EN 60529:1992. In Europe IEC 60509:1989 applies and internationally EN 60529 is the relevant certification.

IP Rating Tables

The first number in an IP code indicates the level of protection from the ingress of solid objects.

Rating Object Ingress Protection
0 Contact and ingress
1 Solid objects bigger than 50mm (hands / large tools)
2 Solid objects no bigger than 2.5mm (hands / large tools)
3 Solid objects bigger than 2.5mm (wires / small tools)
4 Solid objects bigger than 1.0mm (wires)
5 Dust entry that could interfere with components inside the enclosure
6 Complete dust protection

The second provides the protection level from liquids.

Rating Liquid Ingress Protection
0 No protection
1 Vertical water drops
2 Vertical water drops falling at a 15deg angle
3 Water spray at up to a 60deg angle on either side
4 Water spray from any angle
5 Water jets from any direction
6 Powerful water jets and heavy seas
7 Submersion in water for a set time and pressure
8 Continuous submersion in water

A typical server rack cabinet for a server room or data centre will have an ingress protection rating of IP20 because it is designed for internal use. An outdoor enclosure may designed and manufactured to IP55 in comparison, providing greater protection to the IT and electronic devices inside, in harsher environments. Please contact our projects team if you need further information or a specialist manufactured server rack, cabinet or outdoor enclosure.