IP Ratings For Enclosures

IEC/EN/AS 60529-2004 – Degrees of protection by enclosures (IP Code)

What are IP ratings?

Electrical enclosures protect components from the environment while protecting people from electrical shock. The level of protection is defined by IP Ratings. IP Ratings for electrical enclosures are described in IEC/EN/AS 60529. IP ratings identify the level of protection provided by electrical enclosures. Specifically, the protection of people from hazardous parts inside enclosures and the protection of contents from ingress of solids and water. Understanding IP Ratings helps to select electrical enclosures.

What is the difference between IP ratings and NEMA ratings?

NEMA is a trademark of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. It is primarily a US standard. It is not possible to compare an IP rating exactly to a NEMA designation. An IP rating considers protection against ingress of solids and water. In contrast, NEMA designation considers these but also considers corrosion and construction. IP Enclosures comply with both IEC IP ratings and NEMA standards.

IP Code – International Protection

First Characteristic Numeral – Degrees of protection against access to hazardous parts and against solid foreign objects

Second Characteristic Numeral – Degrees of protection against ingress of water



1 – Protected against solid objects 50mm in diameter or greater. A large surface of the body, such as a hand (no protection against deliberate access).

2 – Protected against solid objects 12mm in diameter or greater. Fingers or similar objects not exceeding 80mm in length.

3 – Protected against solid objects 2.5mm in diameter or greater. Tools, wires, etc., of diameter or thickness greater than 2.5mm.

4 – Protected against solid objects 1mm in diameter or greater. Wires or other similar solid material of thickness greater than 1mm in diameter.

5 – Dust Protected. Dust does not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with satisfactory operation of equipment.

6 – Dust Tight. No ingress of dust.


1 – Protected against dripping water. Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect.

2 – Protected against dripping water when tilted up to 15°. Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15°.

3 – Protected against spraying water up to 60º from the vertical. Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.

4 – Protected against water splashing in all directions. Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.

5 – Protected against water jets from all directions. Water projected by a nozzle against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.

6 – Protected against heavy seas and water jets from all directions. Water from heavy seas or projected in powerful water jets shall not enter the enclosure in harmful quantities.

For a copy of AS60529-2004, Degrees of Protection provided by enclosures (IP Code), refer to SAI Global.