A Deeper Explanation: The IP Certification scale

There are a lot of different terms tossed around in the mobile tech world on the daily. A lot of us hear these terms without really knowing the information behind them. Well, in the style of Pocket Now, “Let’s do something about it”, here is A Deeper Explanation of the IP certification scale.

It’s almost common knowledge that if a device is IP certified, then it has a certain degree of protection from water and/or solids (in the case of mobile devices, it’s usually water and dust). The letters “IP” stand for either “International Protection” or “Ingress Protection”; the latter being more appropriate in my opinion. The number that follows the letters is actually two separate numbers. The first number refers to the device’s protection against solids, and the second refers to its protection against water. If a device is IP 65 certified, then it has a solid protection rating of 6, and a water protection rating of 5. The higher the number, the more protected the device is of course, and a 0 means that it is not protected at all.

THE SOLID SCALE

Electronics are as susceptible to damage from solids as with liquids. Sand, dirt, dust and even body parts can cause unwanted damage to the device or injury for the user. The scale for solids ranges from 0 to 6; 0 being completely vulnerable to solids and 6 meaning completely protected. A 1 means that the device is protected from objects no smaller than 50 millimeters in diameter, and as we go up the scale, the solids that the device is protected against get smaller and smaller. At the upper end of the scale, we start dealing with dust. The scale follows as such:

0- Not protected

1- Protected from objects no smaller than 50 mm in diameter

2- protected from objects no smaller than 12.5 mm in diameter

3- Protected from objects no smaller than 2.5 mm in diameter

4- Protected from objects no smaller than 1 mm in diameter

5- Mostly protected from dust.

6- Completely protected from dust.

When we get to 6, you can be sure that no solid matter can invade your device and interfere with its inner workings. Most mobile device users can be sure of that, as phones with IP rating typically have the 6 rating for solid protection. A few examples are:

Galaxy S5: IP 67

HTC 10: IP 53

Galaxy S7: IP 68

THE LIQUID SCALE

Water and electronics are, of course, not a pleasant mix at all. Most of the devices in your home would croak if submerged in, or even splashed with water. Your smartphone is no exception… well unless it’s IP certified. The scale for liquids range from 0 to 8. A 1 means that the device is protected from a few water drops that fall vertically, and goes up from there.

0- Not protected ( as if you didn’t already know)

1- Protected from slight dripping water from directly above

2- Protected from dripping water at 15 degrees tilted

3- Protected from spraying water at up to 60 degrees

4- Protected from splashing water

5- Protected from water jets with an up to 6.3 mm nozzle opening

6- Protected from water jets with an up to 12.5 mm nozzle opening

7- Protected from complete immersion up to 1m ( about 3 ft)

8- Protected from complete immersion of greater than 1m.

For mobile devices, we see that the 7 and 8 mean that the device can be submerged at up to 1m ( or 1.5m for 8) for only half an hour before you need to take it out.

When checking a device, seeing that it’s IP certified is nothing more than seeing a set of letters and numbers without knowledge of the IP certification system, so knowing this information should prove useful when choosing the phone that’s right for you. Hopefully this taught you a little bit about the IP certification scale and what it means to be IP certified. Keep a look out for more articles like this and feel free to check out more content on Techleagues.com, as there’s a lot of useful tech information here!

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