Electronic devices often need protection from the hazards that they encounter in their environments. Whether it’s dust blowing in the air or a spray of water from a hose, there are many environmental factors against which devices will need a durable outdoor enclosure to keep them protected.
IP67 and IP68 enclosure ratings are two ratings that you’ll find on many electrical and electronic device enclosures. When it comes to IP67 vs. IP68, how can you decide which rating is appropriate for your application? The first thing you’ll need to understand is how the IP system works and how it rates enclosures.
The Ingress Protection or IP rating system is a system that’s used around the world to classify the protective qualities of electrical and electronics enclosures. Each IP rating uses a two-digit number to denote the specific level of protection the enclosure offers.
The first digit refers to the enclosure’s ingress protection against solid objects, ranging from dust to fingers and small hand tools. A rating of 1 is the most basic level of protection, while a rating of 6 indicates a totally dust-tight enclosure.
The second digit refers to the enclosure’s ingress protection against water. (Note that other liquids like oil and coolant aren’t included in this rating system.) A rating of 0 indicates no protection against water, while a rating of 8 indicates a waterproof enclosure that can survive prolonged submersion.
The IP system combines the two numbers into a rating that provides a quick shorthand for an enclosure’s protective qualities. In the comparison of IP65 vs. IP67 enclosures, for example, an IP65 enclosure would provide a lesser degree of water ingress protection than an IP67 enclosure.
IP67 and IP68 enclosure ratings are identical in many ways.
Both enclosure ratings have a lot to offer in terms of protection for your devices. However, there are some important differences to be aware of.
The differences between IP67 vs. IP68 enclosures are:
It’s important to emphasize that buying an IP68 rated enclosure requires checking the manufacturer’s specifications. For example, most IP68 rated smartphones are rated for a depth of 1.5 meters, while a heavy-duty custom IP68 marine enclosure may be rated for a depth of 3 meters or more. Never assume that an IP68 enclosure is rated for the specific depth you need. Always check the manufacturer’s specifications before buying.
For many standard outdoor applications, either an IP67 or IP68 enclosure will work well. However, if your device may be submerged for an extended period of time or at a depth of greater than 1 meter, your device may need an IP68 rather than an IP67 enclosure. Conversely, if your device won’t encounter prolonged submersion, an IP67 enclosure will often be a less expensive option than an IP68 enclosure.
Waterproof junction boxes for marine applications are one application in which IP68 enclosures may be necessary. Electrical equipment in shipyards, on vessels or on oil drilling rigs may have to spend extended amounts of time underwater and will need the superior resistance of an IP68 enclosure. (In such circumstances, you might also want to look for a NEMA 4X rated enclosure to ensure that the enclosure is resistant to corrosion.)
Scientific equipment may also require an IP68 rated waterproof electrical box if it’s designed to be submerged for prolonged periods of time (such as sensor equipment that lies in a floodplain). Again, it’s always important to know the specifications for an IP68 enclosure to ensure that it’s suitable for your application.
Polycase AN-07P IP68 Rated Enclosure
Polycase features a wide variety of IP67 enclosures and IP68 enclosures. Our IP67 rated enclosures include our polycarbonate ZQ Series enclosures, while our IP68 enclosures include our ultra-tough AN Series aluminum enclosures. Make sure to explore our full selection of waterproof enclosures to find the one that’s perfect for your application.
Do you need more help with the precise differences between IP67 vs. IP68 ratings, or with choosing a waterproof electrical box that’s right for your application? Polycase’s enclosure experts are trained to help our customers find exactly what they need. Just call us at 1-800-248-1233 or contact us online today.