Ingress Protection Vs. NEMA Enclosure Ratings

Ingress Protection Vs. NEMA Enclosure Ratings

Ingress protection (IP) 

IP or Ingress Protection is defined as an accepted standard in the IS (International Standard) EN 60529 to determine the resistance of electronic devices to the amount of the elements, as well as dust or moisture ingress. 

In fact, IP rankings are important indicators to show us how much the body and outer cover of the equipment prevent the penetration of dust and water, in electrical enclosures

It also evaluates how easy it is for individuals to access the potentially dangerous parts within the enclosure. The goal of this standard is to give users more detailed information about vague marketing terms like waterproof. 

IP ratings are widely used throughout the industry. They are commonly used for applications including lighting products like drivers, projectors, wall washers, lamps, and industries such as marine, offshore oil and gas platforms, security, lighting, leisure, food processing, and more. 

For pressure sensors and related instrumentation, the 2 - digit version of the IP indicates how well dust and water can be prevented from entering the electronic enclosure.You can see our selection of  digital pressure sensor by clicking here.

The meaning of numbers in an IP Rating 

The degree of protection or IP of a device is usually indicated as a two-digit number, each of which has a specific meaning and indicates the resistance of the device to a factor. 

First digit: The resistance of the device to dust.

Second digit: the resistance of the device to water and moisture. 

The following table fully describes the first digit:

First digit Degree of Protection against solid objects Explanation


No protection The device has no protection against dust
1 Protected against the entry of solid objects with a diameter greater than 50 mm

Protection against unauthorized access to large body parts


Protected against the entry of solid objects with a diameter greater than 12.5 mm Protection against finger or medium diameter objects
3 Protected against the entry of solid objects with a diameter greater than 2.5 mm Protection against small diameter tools and objects
4 Protected against the entry of solid objects with a diameter greater than 1 mm

Protection against wire entry


Protected against the entry of dust Dust is not completely prevented from entering, but they do not enter the body easily


Protected against the entry of fine dust

No dust enters the body

The following table fully describes the second digit:

Second digit Degree of Protection against water Explanation
0 No protection The device has no protection against water


Protection against falling of water drops If water drops are spilled on the body, it does not have a detrimental effect on the device


Protection against falling of water drops at an angle of 15 degrees
3 protection against water spray with a maximum angle of 60 degrees
4 Protection against water splashes from all directions and angle
5 Protection against splashing water with low pressure from any direction
6 Protection against water splashing with high pressure from any direction
7 Protection against temporary immersion of the device in water The device can be immersed in water at a depth of less than one meter for a limited time (30 minutes) without destructive effect.


Protection against permanent use in water
9 Protection against use in water with high pressure and temperature, wash-downs, or steam-cleaning procedures

*IP69K offers the highest protection against ingress of foreign objects, as well as high pressure, high temperature, and steam cleaning

Used in specific road vehicle applications 


NEMA stands for National Electrical Manufacturers Association and is used as a standard rating system to define the environments in which an electrical device can be used and frequently determines a fixed ability of the enclosure resistant to certain environmental conditions. 

This industry-standard is used completely voluntarily. It uses different numbers to show protection levels for electrical enclosures.


For General Purposes and Indoor uses It provides a degree of protection against contact with hazardous parts or places where there are no unusual service conditions. 


For General Purpose and Indoor uses It provides the same level of protection as type 1 but with added protection to limited dripping or splashing of water and dirt.


Indoor or outdoor use to protect against rain, sleet, snow, and dirt, and will be undamaged by the formation of ice on its enclosure.

NEMA 3, 3X 

Indoor and outdoor use to protect against rain, sleet, and dust. NEMA 3X has added protection against corrosion.


NEMA 3S, 3SX provide the same protection as a NEMA 3, as well as protection Dust-tight, rain tight, and ice/sleet – protection when ice forms on the enclosure and will continue to operate when covered in ice. outdoors

NEMA 4, 4X 

Indoor or outdoor use, it offers the same level of protection as a NEMA 3. It also provides protection against falling dirt, sleet, rain, snow, windblown dust, splashing water, and/or hose-directed water. So water does not damage your electrical components. Also, the external formation of ice on the enclosure can not damage.


For indoor or outdoor use, protection against dust is provided by gaskets

NEMA 6, 6P 

For general purpose indoor and outdoor use NEMA 6, 6P provides the same protection as a NEMA 4 and also provides protection from temporary water submersion up to a designated depth. A 6P enclosure means the enclosure can be immersed in the water for a long time. Also, the formation of ice on the enclosure can not damage.


NEMA 7 is explosion-proof and offers indoor use in hazardous locations classified as Class I, Groups A, B, C, or D defined in the National Electrical Code. It is resistant to the pressures caused by an internal explosion of specified gasses and contains such an explosion sufficiently that an explosive gas-air mixture in the atmosphere surrounding the enclosure will not be ignited.


For indoor and outdoor hazardous locations, NEMA 8 has the same protection as NEMA 7 except that the unit is oil-immersed and is built for indoor and outdoor hazardous locations. 


NEMA 9 enclosures are dust ignition proof and intended for indoor use in hazardous locations. 

NEMA 10 

NEMA 10 enclosures comply with MSHA, the Mine Safety, and Health Administration standards. 

NEMA 11 

For indoor use, it is resistant to corrosion and also is drip-proof – oil-immersed 

NEMA 12, 12K 

For Industrial and indoor use, and provides protection against dripping and splashing water, rust, and dripping noncorrosive liquids and does not contain knockouts. In addition, it protects personnel against incidental contact with the enclosed devices. 

NEMA 13 

NEMA 13 enclosures are designed for industrial indoor use and offer the same protection as the NEMA 12, and also provide protection against dripping and/or sprayed waters, oils, and noncorrosive coolants.

NEMA-Rating vs. IP Rating 

Both NEMA ratings and IP ratings define degrees of protection against ingress of substances such as water and dust.

An IP rating provides only protection against the ingress of solid foreign objects and the ingress of water, while NEMA ratings not only provide these but also provide other specifics such as corrosion, oils, coolants, ice, and construction details

Also, they use different test methods and parameters to determine their enclosure types. NEMA uses NEMA 250 and IP uses IEC standard 60529. 

It can be said that a NEMA type is equivalent to an IP rating, but can not be said that an IP rating is equivalent to a NEMA type.

Conversion chart for IP and NEMA enclosure types

NEMA Enclosure Type Relative IP Code
1 IP20
2 IP22
3, 3X, 3S, 3SX IP55
3R, 3RX IP24
4, 4X IP66, IP65
5 IP53
6 IP67
6P IP68
12, 12K, 13 IP54

Electrical Connection or Enclosure 

Electrical Enclosure is a purpose-built housing or cabinet that prevents electric shock to the operator and protects the equipment against hazardous, non-hazardous, and environmental factors. 

The enclosure is usually made of metal such as steel, stainless steel, aluminum, or rigid plastic with various parts installed inside it. 

It is a box for easier and safer management of electrical or electronic equipment such as; switches, control components, protection, display accessories, switches, fuse switches, transformers, contactors, relays, bimetals, timers, terminals, etc. 

It must be said that the type of electrical enclosure has a direct effect on IP and NEMA. Building electrical and telecommunication rooms, chemical plants, electric vehicle charging equipment, manufacturing plants, mining, oil, and gas facilities, and utilities are some of the applications of the electrical enclosures

You can also read the following article to get more familiar with pressure sensors:

An Eye-Opening Guide To Pressure sensor Types

Process Connection or Fitting for Pressure Transmitter 

Pressure [Explanation, Pressure Units, Types of Pressure (Static, Dynamic, Stagnation)]

Pressure Range Explanation in Pressure Sensors

14th May 2022 Saeed Abd

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