Cary, NC (PressExposure) August 25, 2009 -- Ingress Protection is the designation of a product's ability to withstand the entry of objects, dust or liquid. The IP Code is arranged in a 2 digit format. The first digit, "Protection against foreign objects" is from 0 (Not protected) to 6 (Dust tight). The second digit "Protection against moisture" is from 0 (Not protected) to 8 (Protected from submersion). For example, a product that could withstand the most severe dust storm and be water tight would carry the designation IP68. Some electric motors and electrical enclosures bear the IP55 designation: Dust protected and protected against water jets. The US equivalent to IP56 (for UL Certification) is NEMA 4 and 4X. For the complete IP table and reference material, visit CertifiGroup.com and go to the "IP Code Testing" page.
The CertifiGroup Ingress Protection laboratory includes a variety of equipment for testing products that require proof of these protection characteristics. Some products require testing in the "Dust chamber", others are subject to tests performed by an "Oscillating spray tester", "Drip box" or "Jet nozzle" test apparatus. Joshua Hunt, an NC State graduate in mechanical engineering and head of the IP lab talks about the challenges for manufacturers. "A company might design lights for the top of a building, but they're really not sure if the enclosures are water or dust tight until we test them. If they're going to market these products for harsh environments they need to be sure, or failures later on can be disastrous". This testing has to be done with the right equipment. "Recently we had a customer come to us because their previous testing lab, a nationally known product safety lab, used a shower in their bathroom for testing a lighting product", Hunt said. "They were not confident this testing was done correctly".
Some recent CertifiGroup clients include: Toshiba, Parker Hannifin, Altman Lighting, Standard Motor Products. The products tested range from small USB drives to enclosures to large 3 phase industrial motors. Some other clients with well-known names have projects where there were testing failures, and they are in the process of re-design or modifications. Because of these situations, it is a good business decision to get products to the testing lab early, before a test failure can delay projects or shipments.
CertifiGroup also tests many categories of electrical products for UL & CSA Certification, SEMI S-2, CE Marking for Europe. CertifiGroup also has special programs for manufacturers and designers of "Green Energy" equipment, including solar, wind turbine, geothermal and more.
For more information or to arrange a tour of our new Ingress Protection lab, visit the CertifiGroup website (CertifiGroup.com) or call 800-422-1651.