How IP Ratings Affect Industrial Weighing Scales

On a basic level, IP ratings (the ‘IP’ stands for Ingress Protection) are a measurement of an electrical enclosure’s sealing capabilities.

Seca 877 Scale 1

These ratings convey the effectiveness of the sealing in preventing foreign objects and liquids from entering the enclosure and causing damage to internal components.

For industrial weighing scales, it’s important to be aware of IP ratings in order to understand how resistant they are to a variety of conditions as this will influence their effectiveness in your given applications.

In addition to the letters IP, a series of numbers dictate additional information regarding the enclosure’s sealing. The first digit refers to the level of protection against solid objects and the second digit to protection against liquids.

The following is a comprehensive list of these numbers and their respective meanings:

First number:

0 = No special protection.

1 = Protection 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.

2 = Protection against fingers or other objects not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter.

3 = Protection from entry by tools, wires, etc with a diameter or thickness greater than 1.0mm.

4 = Protection from entry by solid objects with a diameter or thickness greater than 1.0mm.

5 = Protection from the amount of dust that would interfere with the operation of the equipment.

6 = Dust tight.


Second number:

0 = No special protection.

1 = Protection from dripping water.

2 = Protection from vertically dripping water.

3 = Protection from sprayed water.

4 = Protection from splashed water.

5 = Protection from water projected from a nozzle.

6 = Protection against heavy seas, or powerful jets of water.

7 = Protection against immersion.

8 = Protection against complete, continuous submersion in water.

9 = Protected against close-range high temperature spray downs. This indicates maximum protection and ideal for applications where equipment must undergo extensive sanitation.

Example 1.

IP20 = protection against fingers or other objects not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter but no special protection against moisture.

Example 2.

IP74 = Protection against immersion and protection from entry by solid objects with a diameter or thickness greater than 1.0mm.

As weighing scales are used in a multitude of different applications, understanding the specific differences between each of the ratings will help you to choose a product which is most appropriate for your business.

For instance, if your engineers operate in wet environments, it is important to ensure any scales used offer adequate protection against moisture.

This can be ascertained simply by reading the second number and determining whether or not the attributed description is sufficient for your needs.

The majority of weighing scales contain electrical components and, when moisture, dust or other harmful materials enter the enclosure, these can compromised.

When this occurs, the performance of your equipment can become highly unreliable through the provision of inaccurate measurements and scales can even fail entirely in more serious cases.

However, it is important not to base your purchasing decisions entirely on obtaining the highest IP rating possible.

For businesses working in environments such as laboratories and medical facilities, there is likely to be a lower chance of dust and moisture hindering your scales due to the emphasis placed on hygiene and sterility.

Because of this, it may be more appropriate to choose scales with a lower IP rating whilst prioritising other more important features of the product.

IP ratings should be an important consideration for any business using weighing scales with electrical enclosures as understanding them will help in making informed purchasing decisions and ensure all equipment is protected from any possible threats in the environment.

Solent Scales are able to provide a wealth of support and advice on IP ratings and many other topics surrounding weighing scales.

Learn more about Solent Scales by clicking here.