Environmental simulation
Test procedure

Protected systems are classified in so-called IP codes as regards their suitability for different environmental conditions.

The abbreviation IP stands for International Protection. In some cases the abbreviation also stands for Ingress Protection in English-speaking countries.

There are various German and international standards for the IP-codes.

All standards mentioned here are equally valid but differ regarding revision status and details. It is therefore necessary to indicate the referenced standard for an unequivocal determination of IP-codes.


Test chamber size: 1600mm x 1600mm x 1400mm (WxHxD)
Bigger test samples on request

  • DIN EN 60529; VDE 0470-1 Degrees of Protection provided by Enclosures (IP-Code)
  • DIN SPEC 79009 planned standard for E-Bikes and Pedelecs
  • ISO 20653 Road vehicles -- Degrees of protection (IP-Code) (replacing DIN 40050)
  • DIN EN 60068-2-17 Environmental testing - Part 2: Tests - Test Q: Sealing
  • DIN EN 60068-2-18 Environmental simulation: water
  • MIL-STD-810G Method 506.5 Rain
  • RTCA DO-160G Section 10 Waterproofness
  • NEMA 250
  • VW 80000
  • VW 80101

Definition of the IP codes

The IP code always consists of the letters IP with two added digits. These digits define the protection against solid particles, protection against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers) and the protection against water. IP54 for example declares a protection against dust, protection against intrusion and protection against splash water from any direction. If a protection class is not applicable, it will be replaced by an X (e.g. IPX6). For an even better description of the protection class those digits can be accompanied by exactly defined letters. For example, ISO 20653 defines the letter K for the labeling of automotive equipment.

1. Digit
ISO 20653 DIN EN 60529 Protection against solid particles Protection against contact
0 0 No protection No protection
1 1 Protection against solid particles ≥ 50mm Protection against touching with the back of the hand
2 2 Protection against solid particles ≥ 12,5mm Protection against touching with a finger
3 3 Protection against solid particles ≥ 2,5mm Protection against access with a tool
4 4 Protection against solid particles ≥ 1mm Protection against access with a wire
5K 5 Protection against dust in harmful quantities Complete protection against touching
6K 6 Dust tight Complete protection against touching

2. digit
ISO 20653 DIN EN 60529 Liquid ingress protection
0 0 No protection
1 1 Protection against dripping water
2 2 Protection against dripping water when tilted at 15°
3 3 Protection against spraying water when tilted at 60°
4 4 Protectection against splashing water from any direction
4K   Protection against splashing water from any direction with increased pressure
5 5 Protection against water jets
6 6 Protection against powerful jets
6K   Protection against powerful water jets with ncreased pressure
7 7 Protection against temporary immersion up to 1m
8 8 Protection against immersion of 1m or more depth
  9 Protection against powerful high temperature water jets specific for agricultural usage
9K   Protection against powerful high temperature water jets specific for automotive usage


In the USA enclosures are classified according to the NEMA 250 standard. The following table explains which IP code of IEC 60529 corresponds to which NEMA class. Both standards are not 100% equivalent, NEMA classification contains additional tests and features like functionality under icing, enclosures for hazardous areas, cable feedthroughs and other which are not addressed by IP codes.
NEMA 250 / IEC 60529
NEMA 250 DIN EN 60529
1 IP20
2 IP22
3, 3X, 3S, 3SX IP55
3R, 3RX IP24
4, 4X IP66
5 IP53
6 IP67
6P IP68
12, 12K, 13 IP54
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