Ingress protection regulatory compliance testing is a form of enclosure testing. Testing involves determining the level of protection against solids and liquids. The ingress protection standard test methods specify levels of dust resistance and water resistance. The level of protection is called the IP Code or ingress protection level. IP standards for International Protection marking.
Electrical enclosure testing is extremely important. NEMA 250 identifies various levels of enclosures. For more information, please see our electrical enclosure ratings. At the end of the day, water ingress testing equipment is essential to user and consumer safety.
Solid Particle IP Testing
A product’s susceptibility to solid particle ingress is determined through the use of calibrated IP testing equipment. Solid foreign objects can include fingers and other solid items. It also can include using sand testing and dust testing.
To test larger solid objects, IP testing facilities will use calibrated items of certain dimensions. These items are also called accessibility probes to see if there are openings in a case that allow penetration.
For the dust test, the test item is placed in a dust chamber. The dust is a calibrated material that is agitated so that it is suspended in the chamber and covers the test item. Once the dust ingress testing is completed, the outside of the enclosure is thoroughly cleaned. The enclosure is then opened to see how much dust is inside.
Water Ingress Protection Testing
There are several methods of determining if a case is a waterproof enclosure. The waterproofness testing can include liquid of various levels, volumes and test durations. Products can be exposed to dripping water testing. They can also undergo driving rain tests or spraying water tests. The driving rain or water jet test can be from a garden hose or a fire hose.
Immersion testing is also a component of ingress protection IP testing. The test item is immersed in water. The depth of the submersion and time of exposure is defined in the international standards. Different products must be immersion proof to meet the IP test standard requirements.
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