Technical Articles

EN 60529 Testing

IEC 60529 testing determines the ability of an enclosure to protect its contents from contaminants. A contaminant can be either a solid or a liquid. This testing is known as ingress protection tests or IP Code tests.  The Ingress Protection Rating or IP Code consists of the letters “IP” and then either two digits or one digit and one letter. There can also be an additional optional letter. The first digit is the protection from solid particles. The second digit is the protection from liquids. The requirements of IEC 60529 testing are identical to those detailed in EN 60529 testing.

Each test in EN 60529 & IEC 60529 ingress protection testing specifies parameters. For example, the size of the solid particle can vary based on the rating. For IP Code water testing, the duration, flow rate, temperature, depth and angle of the water is spelled out. The water testing can be a drip, spray, splash or immersion.

The definition of successfully meeting the EN 60529 & IEC 60529 test requirements is vague. The determination is usually left to the manufacturer. Some enclosures can have zero ingress. Conversely, it is common for some ingress to occur and enclosure to have met the requirements. This occurs when the device continues to properly operate despite some ingress. The definition largely depends on what the product is and what it is being used for.

Included below are the various test levels and definitions for solid objects. These represent the first number in the IP Code.

Object size protected against
Effective against
No protection against contact and ingress of objects
>50 mm
Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part
>12.5 mm
Fingers or similar objects
>2.5 mm
Tools, thick wires, etc.
>1 mm
Most wires, screws, etc.
Dust protected
Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment; complete protection against contact
Dust tight
No ingress of dust; complete protection against contact


The second digit indicates the level or protection that the enclosure provides against access to hazardous parts and the ingress of water.

Protected against
Testing for
Not protected
Dripping water
Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect.

Test duration: 10 minutes

Water equivalent to 1mm rainfall per minute

Dripping water when tilted up to 15°
Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15° from its normal position.

Test duration: 10 minutes

Water equivalent to 3mm rainfall per minute

Spraying water
Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.

Test duration: 5 minutes

Water volume: 0.7 litres per minute

Pressure: 80–100 kN/m²

Splashing water
Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.

Test duration: 5 minutes

Water volume: 10 litres per minute

Pressure: 80–100 kN/m²

Water jets
Water projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.

Test duration: at least 3 minutes

Water volume: 12.5 litres per minute

Pressure: 30 kN/m² at distance of 3m

Powerful water jets
Water projected in powerful jets (12.5mm nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.

Test duration: at least 3 minutes

Water volume: 100 litres per minute

Pressure: 100 kN/m² at distance of 3m

Immersion up to 1 m
Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 m of submersion).

Test duration: 30 minutes

Immersion at depth of 1m

Immersion beyond 1 m
The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects.

Test duration: continuous immersion in water

Depth specified by manufacturer


The IP Code can be appended by additional letters. These letters classify the level of protection against hazardous parts by persons. They can also provide additional information related to the protection of the device:

A – Back of hand
B – Finger
C – ToolD – Wire
H – High voltage device
M – Device moving during water test
S – Device standing still during water test
W – Weather conditions

Mechanical Impact Resistance numbers are sometimes used. They identify the energy needed to qualify a specified resistance level. These levels are measured in joules (J). It is important to note that mechanical impact resistance was dropped from the third edition of IEC 60529 onwards.



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