Every electronic device needs some kind of protection. The level of such protection depends on the application of the equipment in question and the place where it will be used. For example, home electronics do not need to be as protected against dust and water as outdoor surveillance cameras.
Many appliances or electronic components are assigned a symbol, known as the IP rating. It provides a quick and easy way to determine the conditions under which a device can operate.
What is the IP rating?
The IP (Ingress Protection) rating classifies the degree of protection of specific equipment to the adverse effects of solids, water, and moisture. Typical IP ratings are in the form of IPxx, where xx are the digits assigned to the appropriate degree of protection. The first x relates to the protection against dust (solid particle) and can take a value from 0 to 6, where 0 means no protection, and 6 – complete protection. The second digit relates to the protection against water and ranges from 0 to 9, where 0 is no protection and 9 means that the equipment is protected against high pressure (80-100 bar), high-temperature (+ 80°C) spray downs.
Waterproof connectors and housings relevant in every industry
When choosing equipment for your company, you should pay attention to its IP rating. In this way, we can avoid future breakdowns and the associated production downtime and costs associated with replacing equipment damaged by dust or water. It is worth noting that the connectors and housings distinguished by their special resistance to water and moisture (IPx8 and IPx9) are obviously also well protected against the ingress of dust and solid objects. As the following examples show, different industries may have different requirements for the components used, but what they all have in common is the need for sealed enclosures and connectors.
The proper tightness of enclosures and connectors is very important in the production of equipment installed outdoors, in places exposed to moisture, flooding, or prolonged exposure to water. All equipment or installations must therefore be properly protected against their effects, otherwise they could very easily be damaged.
One of the characteristics of the woodworking industry is the dust from wood processing. Equipment used in such enterprises must be dust-tight. If not, the equipment would be exposed to unwanted solids that could, in extreme cases, lead to a short circuit and permanent damage.
In the chemical industry we can also find many solid and liquid substances that can adversely affect the operation of electronic equipment. Here, too, attention should be paid to the IP rating of enclosures or connectors. Moreover, in this industry, equipment may come into contact with many substances which may affect its durability in various ways. It is therefore worth taking care not only to ensure that enclosures and connectors are tightly sealed, but also to provide protection against corrosion, grease and high temperatures.
The dust from stored cartons and packages is a quite common problem in warehouses. In the long term it can also have an adverse effect on electronic equipment. For example, a computer left in such a place will quickly become covered with dust, which may deteriorate heat dissipation from the housing and shorten the life of components. Similar problems can happen to automation systems, which should be protected with a proper enclosure.
We have to take care of the tightness of connectors and enclosures not only in production plants. Almost every office building is protected and monitored to some degree. Outdoor surveillance cameras must also meet the appropriate waterproofing standards. They are mainly susceptible to dust and rain during the summer season and to humidity and lower temperatures during the rest of the year. If the camera and system components are not properly protected, faults can occur very quickly. When thinking about outdoor installations, it is also worth bearing in mind the influence of sunlight, which can significantly shorten the service life of enclosures that are not protected against UV radiation. It will depend on the material used in the construction.
Text prepared by Transfer Multisort Elektronik Sp. z o.o.
The original source of text: https://www.tme.eu/en/news/library-articles/page/44726/waterproof-connectors-and-enclosures-ipx8-ipx9/