IP67 vs. IP68 Enclosure Ratings


Regardless of whether it is outside or inside a building structure, electrical hardware should always be securely housed. When installing enclosures, ranging from stainless steel cabinets to large double-door kiosks, you need to think about the security and assurance of the electrical hardware (if the enclosure is being fitted in an outside area then it’s essential you follow the safety guidelines). Likewise, the security of individuals working the unit should be thought of (i.e to avoid the possibility of an electrical shock or the chance of an electrical blast).

Electronic devices or equipment should always be protected from the surrounding environment whether it be dust being blown in the air or a spray of water from a hose or tap. Especially if you are installing an outdoor enclosure it’s important the unit is suitable for the environments it might encounter.

IP67 and IP68 enclosure ratings are simply different evaluations on the effectiveness of protection against water and dust ingress. You’ll also find that it is a universal rating so any enclosure you purchase will undergo the same rigorous tests. When considering Ip67 vs IP68, it’s important that you understand how the IP system works and its meaning, so that you can make an educated decision on which enclosure is best suited to your needs.

The IP rating joins the two numbers into a rating that gives a speedy shorthand look into a unit’s defensive characteristics.

What is an IP Rating?

The Ingress Protection or IP rating system is a framework that is utilized all throughout the globe to identify the defensive characteristics of electrical protective equipment. Every IP rating utilizes a two-digit number to signify the particular degree of assurance the Enclosure offers. 

The principal digit alludes to the enclosure ingress protectiveness against solid objects, going from dust residue to fingers and small hand devices. A rating of 1 is the most fundamental degree of insurance, while a rating of 6 demonstrates an absolutely dust-tight unit. 

The second number identifies how effective the protection against water ingress is. (Note this does not include any other liquid such as oil or viscous liquids for that matter.) The tests are made specifically underwater conditions) A rating of 0 demonstrates no protection against water, while a rating of 8 shows a waterproof enclosure that can endure delayed submersion. 

What are the similarities between IP67 and IP68 enclosures?

In general, both ratings are similar in multiple ways. Below you can find a variety of different characterises that they have in common Its also important to be aware that the ratings do not differ based on the material the enclosure is made of (i.e steel or polyester enclosures) :

  • Protection against dust and other airborne particles
  • Protection against physical damage from workers and small hand tools
  • Protection against water being splashed or sprayed at the unit 
  • Protection against water from a pressurized jet
  • Both can be submerged underwater for 30 minutes

As similar as they might seem in regards to their effectiveness in both the dust and water department, there are some important differences to take note of:

What are the differences between IP67 and IP68 enclosures?

The difference between the two is fairly straightforward and makes choosing the correct enclosure fairly easy. 

  • An IP67 enclosure, made from both polycarbonate and ABS plastics, can be submerged up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
  • An IP68 enclosure can also be submerged for 30 minutes up to 1 meter but can be deeper if specified by a manufacturer

As stated above an IP68 enclosure can be submerged further than 1 meter however this has to be specified by the manufacturer. The depth all depends on the purpose of the unit or device. For example, most phones are now being manufactured to be IP68 rated with a depth of 1.5 meters however a heavy-duty enclosure that is used for marine purposes can be submerged from up to 3 meters.

So, when considering the two types of appraised enclosures it’s important you consider the purpose of the unit that you will be using and what the manufacturer specifies on the product specifications. If you believe the enclosure is only going to have minor amounts of water ie. rain, wash downs etc then IP6’s will be suitable for their purpose. However, if your enclosure is going to have prolonged exposure to water then considering an IP68 enclosure with a great depth rating could be more suitable.

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