National Electric Motor Services

Selecting the correct (IP) rating

IP ratings, or Ingress Protection ratings, are a standardised system used to classify and rate the degree of protection provided by electrical enclosures, including electric motors, against the intrusion of solid objects (like dust) and liquids (such as water).

The importance of IP ratings for electric motors lies in their application environment. Motors operating in harsh or demanding conditions, such as outdoors or wet environments, may require higher IP ratings to ensure their longevity and proper operation.

For example, motors used in industrial/mining settings, outdoor equipment, or marine applications often require higher IP ratings to withstand exposure to dust, moisture, and other contaminants.

The IP rating consists of two digits, each indicating a different type of protection. The first digit in an IP rating refers to the protection against solid objects and ranges from 0 to 6. The higher the number, the better the protection.
For example:
IP0X: No protection against solid objects.
IP1X: Protection against objects larger than 50 mm.
IP2X: Protection against objects larger than 12.5 mm.
IP3X: Protection against objects larger than 2.5 mm.
IP4X: Protection against objects larger than 1 mm.
IP5X: Dust-protected. Limited ingress of dust is permitted.
IP6X: Dust-tight. No ingress of dust.

The second digit in an IP rating indicates the protection against liquids and ranges from 0 to 9. Again, a higher number indicates better protection.
For example:
IPX0: No protection against liquids.
IPX1: Protection against vertically falling drops of water.
IPX2: Protection against vertically falling drops of water when the enclosure is tilted up to 15°
IPX3: Protection against sprays of water up to 60 degrees from vertical.
IPX4: Protection against splashes of water from any direction.
IPX5: Protection against water jets from any direction.
IPX6: Protection against powerful water jets or heavy seas.
IPX7: Protection against temporary immersion in water.
IPX8: Protection against continuous immersion in water.
IPX9K: Protection against high-pressure, high-temperature water jets.

By considering the IP rating appropriate for a specific application, you can ensure that the electric motor is adequately protected against the ingress of solid objects and liquids, thereby minimising the risk of damage, malfunction and safety hazards. It’s crucial to consult the motor design specifications and relevant industry standards to determine the appropriate IP rating for a particular application.



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