IP65 vs IP68 – Differences and Applications

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The IP (Ingress Protection) enclosure system uses a 2-digit suffix to describe the degree of ingress protection for enclosures. IP68 offers protection against submersion in water that is up to 1.5 meters deep vs IP65 that protects against low-pressure jets (6.3 mm) of directed water from any angle. In this article, you will learn about the IP protection system, compare the ratings for IP65 and IP68, and discover IP applications. 

IP Protection System

IP65 definition and parts explained
Courtesy: Tameson

The IP rating is an international standard. It determines the degree of protection or sealing efficacy in enclosures against the infiltration of objects, water, dust, and contact. Also, it is compliant with European Standard EN 60529.

Products are noted by the initials IP (Ingress Protection), followed by two digits and an optional letter in the IP code. The two digits denote the level of intrusion protection versus solids and liquids. The optional letter notes the product’s resistance to pressure.

IP Ratings – Intrusion Protection

LevelIntrusion Protection
XNo protection.
1Protection from a large part of the body such as a hand (but no protection from deliberate access); from solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter.
For example, accidental touch by hands.
2Protection against fingers or other objects not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter. For example, fingers.
3Protection from entry by tools, wires, etc, with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more. For example, tools, and wires.
4Protection against solid objects larger than 1mm. For example, wires, nails, screws, larger insects, and other potentially invasive small objects such as tools/small, etc.
5Partial protection against dust that may harm equipment.
6Totally dust-tight. Full protection against dust and other particulates, including a vacuum seal, tested against continuous airflow.
IP Level for Intrusion Protection

IP Ratings – Moisture Protection

LevelMoisture Protection
XNo protection.
1Protection against vertically falling droplets, such as condensation. ensuring that no damage or interrupted functioning of components will be incurred when an item is upright.
2Protection against water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical
3Protected against spray up to 60° from vertical.
4Protected against water splashes from all directions. Tested for a minimum of 10 minutes with an oscillating spray (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
5Protection against low-pressure jets (6.3 mm) of directed water from any angle (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
6Protection against direct high-pressure jets.
7Protection against full immersion for up to 30 minutes at depths between 15 cm and 1 meter (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
8Protection against extended immersion under higher pressure (i.e. greater depths). Precise parameters of this test will be set and advertised by the manufacturer and may include additional factors such as temperature fluctuations and flow rates, depending on equipment type.
9(K): Protection against high-pressure, high-temperature jet sprays, wash-downs, or steam-cleaning procedures – this rating is most often seen in specific road vehicle applications (standard ISO 20653:2013 Road Vehicles – Degrees of protection).
IP Level for Moisture Protection

IP65 vs. IP68 Difference

Intrusion protection for IP65 vs. IP68 is the same (6). The differences lie in the moisture grade number (5 vs. 8).

IP65Protection against low-pressure jets (6.3 mm) of directed water from any angle.Dust-tight. Complete protection against dust and other particulates.
IP68Protection against extended immersion under higher pressure. Withstands submersion in water that is up to 1.5 meters deep.Dust-tight. Complete protection against dust and other particulates.
IP65 vs. IP68 Protection

Common IP Applications

The universal IP rating system gives buyers the confidence to use products in specific environments. For example, the term ‘waterproof’ doesn’t clearly define where and to what extent an item can resist moisture ingress. Therefore, an IP rating provides a far more specific account.

Protective IP cases may apply to lighting, controllers, electric instruments, power supply, industrial camera housings, desktop electronics, and measuring/control equipment, to name a few. Instrument applications such as volt-meters, digital thermometers, and flow readers are also typical. Additionally, electrical motors often bear the IP designation.

IP-rated enclosures compete in the industrial market with the NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) designation.

Common IP 65 Applications

The IP65 used to provide a standard rating for mobile phones, but today’s phones typically boast an even higher level of protection against water. For instance, the iPhone 13 clocks in with an IP68 rating. This means it can handle a submerged water condition of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes. 

A lighting device with 20 watts and IP65 graded
Courtesy: Light Adviser

Lighting applications often require the completely dust-proof protection afforded by IP65. IP65 offers robust protection for lights, desktop monitors, and touch panels.

Common IP68 Applications

IP68 enclosures offer extremely high protection against moisture, even when submerged entirely.

An Xperia Z3 mobile phone was used underwater to take a photo
Courtesy: Trusted Reviews

Due to their ability to block water ingress, IP 68 enclosures see common use in submerged water applications or when water may be potentially be encountered. Many phones, including recent IPhone models boast a IP68 rating.  Other common applications include cameras, watches, and lights.

IP65 vs. IP68 – Which To Choose?

When determining whether to spcify IP65 vs IP68, engineers must understand “intent of use.” For instance, phones are generally not used near water. However, since it is a highly valuable product and may be used by or in water, it makes sense to specify IP68.

However, IP68’s resistance to water instrusion and the pressure from underwater forces means that it often comes with a higher price tag than IP66.