IP ratings explained

In your industry, is it hard to avoid your tools getting dirty or wet? Do you find yourself buying new scales every six months? Fortunately, there’s a standardised rating for that.

This helpful guide aims to explain what IP ratings are, and how they’re used, so that buying your new washdown scale will be as easy as using it. Don't forget to download our free IP ratings chart PDF at the end of the article.

What is an IP rating or an IP code?

IP ratings may be confusing, especially when referred to as ‘Ingress Protection’ or ‘International Protection marking’. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Put simply, IP ratings are used to measure an item’s resistance to liquids and particles. It was first introduced by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to be used as an international, trusted standard. This ensures that buyers can be confident when buying goods, as all IP rated products must undergo a series of tests.

An IP rating typically appears as the letters ‘IP’' followed by two numbers, such as IP44, IP65 and IP67. The first digit refers to the level of protection an item has against particles. The second digit specifies its protection level against the ingress of liquids. An IP number may also be followed by a letter. This is a separate code that is used in unique circumstances. At Marsden, for example, we have a large range of IP65, IP67 and IP68-rated weighing scales available.

But what does an IP rating mean?

Now that you understand what IP ratings are, it’s time to explain what IP ratings mean. You might remember that we wrote this article, where we lightly touched upon this subject without the use of an IP rating table. However, that doesn’t give a clear picture of the level of protection an IP rated product offers. So, we created this useful IP rating chart to explain this in more depth. It's also available to download at the end of this article.

IP Ratings Chart

Gore Vents created an ingenious video that explains IP rating with some great visuals. You can also download our handy IP rating chart pdf at the end of this article for your own personal use.

So, this would mean that a product with an IP44 rating is protected against solid objects larger than 1mm and water splashing from all directions.

What is a waterproof IP rating?

Common terms, like waterproof, water resistant and weatherproof, are often brought up in relation to an IP rating. However, it is difficult to discern what rating they would hold, as they are considered too vague to fit on any level of the table. Water-resistant, for example, relates to a product that is able to resist the penetration of water to some degree. But that could relate to anything from level 1 to level 8 on the second digit scale. Waterproof should mean that an item is completely impervious to water, so a level 8 rating. However, some may choose to label a product waterproof with a level 7 rating, as it is impervious in 1m of water for up to 30 minutes.

Instead it is recommended that you consider your business and choose a rating that adequately covers your needs. At Marsden, we have defined all of our IP rated scales using terms that make them easier to understand. A scale with a rating of IP65 is considered a wipe down scale. Any scale that has earned an IP rating of IP67 is splashproof and all IP68 scales are waterproof. You can find them all here.

If you require any further information about which of our IP rated scales will best suit you, please call us on 01709 364296 or contact us here.

Further reading

Are you still confused about which washdown scale to purchase? Check out our Buyers’ Guide: Waterproof Scales.

Do you work in the food and drinks industry? Find out about the 6 benefits of washdown scales for food and drink weighing.

Still need convincing? Read about the benefits of the B-100 Waterproof Scale from our current customers.

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