IP protection classes

What are IP protection classes?

The protection class of an electronic device or piece of equipment indicates its degree of protection for certain ambient conditions. In other words, stresses such as dust, moisture, heat, cold or vibration that the device or equipment can withstand. It also indicates the level of protection for people, for example against the potential risk of electric shock or burns from the appliance. Devices and equipment can be machines, PCs or even lamps.

What specific conditions does a protection class cover?

Harsh environmental conditions, under which a device is often expected to operate for many years, are defined. These include:

  • Temperature
  • Corrosion caused by water including water vapor, alkalis, acids, oil and fuels
  • Dust
  • Vibration
  • Mechanical impact load
  • Contamination with viruses and bacteria (important for medical technology)

Each individual protection class represents one or more common fault possibilities. For example, a device may be particularly well protected against dust, splash water and rainwater, but only slightly protected against vibration, as this hardly plays a role in the workplace. This would be the case, for example, with surveillance cameras for outdoor use.

IP codes with international standardization

International standards for the necessary protection of devices and systems have long been established. They are classified in the International Protection Codes (IP codes). The international standards change from time to time and may differ in detail from German standards. For an industrial PC, for example, protection class IP65 in accordance with DIN EN 60529 (VDE 0470) is decisive. The first digit of an IP code stands for protection against contact and dust, the second for protection against water.


Logistik-Lexikon Inventur

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