IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) Publication 60529 Classification of Degrees of Protection Provided by Enclosures provides a system for specifying the enclosure of electrical equipment on the basis of the degree of protection provided by the enclosure. The IEC designation consists of the letters IP (Ingress Protection) followed by two numerals and an optional letter. The first digit indicates degree of protection provided by the enclosure with respect to persons and solid foreign objects entering the enclosure; the second digit indicates degree of protection provided by the enclosure with respect to harmful water ingress.

The German standard DIN 40050-9 extends the IEC 60529 system with an IP69K rating for high pressure, high temperature washdown applications. Such enclosures must not only be dust tight (IP6X), but also able to withstand high pressure and steam cleaning. IP69K was developed for heavy vehicles that need frequent cleaning (such as cement mixers), but also finds use in other applications including the food industry.

For more information, visit www.iec.ch.

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