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Technical Articles & Industry Trends
IP (Ingress Protection) ratings are measured on a two-digit numeric scale for dust and water protection which follows the IEC standard 60529. The reason for this standard is to provide users with a more precise definition in cases where products are marketed as “waterproof” electronic devices.
The first digit (Example: IP6X) represents the level of protection it has from a solid particle. A zero (0) means no protection and Six (6) is the highest level of particle protection. The higher the number the better the protection from any intrusion. For example, IP0X would have no protection from particles and IP6X would have complete protection from any particles so it is completely dust tight.
The second digit (Example: IPX9K) represents the level of protection it has from liquids. A zero (0) means no protection and a nine (9K) is the highest level. Once again, the higher the number the better the protection from any liquid intrusion. Typically, you will see 0-8 liquid protection, with 9K as a specific outlier adding high pressure and high temperature steam to the test procedure. IP69K rated computers are available from Teguar which allow for maximum protection, but we will focus on the more common IP65 and IP67 ratings below.
Let’s explain what an IP65 rating will protect your product from so you can determine if this is suitable for your environment. Once again, level six (6) protection on the first digit protects the product from ANY solid particles from entering the product. A five (5) on the second digit will protect the product from jet water. It is important to note there are many levels of pressure when “Jet Water” is referenced. A level five (5) is the lowest protection from pressurized water from all directions.
A basic understanding of the IP rating system, as explained above, and how it is measured will help you to determine the level of water protection required. An IP67 level protection still protects you from any solid material and allows you to immerse the device under water. That’s right, IP67 rated devices can withstand immersion under water up to 1 meter in depth for up to 30 minutes!
From what you have learned about the difference in IP protection, you may realize that you don’t need that much. Most people naturally prepare for the worst if the cost difference is minimal.
So if you are unsure if Teguar’s stainless steel panel pc line will be exposed to more than crashing waves on a boat, or if the carwash employees will batter the rugged displays with direct water pressure, then you could further protect your investment by upgrading to IP67. Consider what is likely to happen as well as what could happen and plan accordingly to sleep in peace.
When talking about Teguar’s Rugged Tablet PC line, IP ratings are more important as the devices are mobile. Dropping a tablet in water is more likely than encountering a situation where you need to submerse a panel PC for a period of time. Teguar offers both IP65 and IP67 rated tablets with only small limitations when moving to IP67 such as not having a removable battery option. Even though IP65 is more than enough for most Rugged Tablet PC applications, Teguar’s TRT-4380-08 IP67 8” tablet is one of the highest IP ratings you will find on a tablet pc. This is definitely a recommendation in the wettest and dirtiest environments.
Tom Poplawski has more than 14 years of engineering and design experience in the computer hardware field. He currently works as Product Manager at Teguar Computers and holds a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology from Purdue University. When he is not thinking hard about how to build better computers, he enjoys outdoor activities, photography, traveling the world, and finding the best restaurants in town.