IP66 Rating: Requirements of Waterproof IP66 Rated Enclosures

Some electronic devices spend their entire lives sitting on a desk, encountering nothing worse than the occasional spilled cup of coffee or curious cat. Other devices, however, have to survive rain, snow, windblown dust and all kinds of other outdoor hazards. Chances are, if you’re designing an electronic device, you know which kind it will be.

If you fall on the outdoor side, you’re probably looking at enclosure specs and trying to figure out which kinds of ratings and specifications your ideal enclosure needs. The IP66 rating is one that you’ll frequently find on many different kinds of enclosures—including many models from Polycase. But what does it mean, and what kind of performance can you count on from an IP66-rated enclosure? Polycase’s experts are here to answer your questions.

Polycase ML-22F-1508

Polycase ML-22F-1508

What Do IP Ratings Signify?

The IP rating system is used across the world to rate enclosures on the level of protection they provide against environmental hazards. Specifically, they’re rated in two categories: dust protection and water protection. (If you need other features such as corrosion protection, note that IP doesn’t rate other categories. You’ll need to look for another rating scale such as a NEMA rating.)

Every IP rating is a two-digit number, and each of the digits has its own significance:

  • The first digit refers to protection against windblown dust and foreign particulate matter. That includes dust, dirt, pollen and all other kinds of airborne particulates.
  • The second digit refers to protection against water ingress, including precipitation, hose-directed water and submersion.

The first step to finding the IP rating that you need is to look at an IP ratings chart and determine which circumstances your device is likely to encounter.  Then, you can decide whether an IP66-rated enclosure will give your device sufficient protection.

What Protection Does an IP66-Rated Enclosure Provide?

An IP66-rated enclosure has a rugged design and construction that’s rated for general outdoor use. An IP66-rated enclosure offers excellent performance for many environments, including:

  • Outdoor security units
  • Control boxes for farm and construction machinery
  • Outdoor scientific instruments
  • Electrical junction boxes
  • A/V gear designed to be used outdoors

What performance specs can you look for from an IP66 enclosure? You can count on an IP66 to provide the following:

  • Level 6 Dust Protection: The highest level of dust protection, with no ingress of dust whatsoever permitted.
  • Level 6 Water Protection: The third-highest level of water protection, with no ingress from precipitation or hose-directed water permitted.

It’s important to note that although an IP66-rated enclosure is waterproof against hose-directed water, rain or snow, it’s not intended to be submerged in water. For an enclosure that’s resistant to temporary or prolonged submersion, you’ll need to move up to an IP67 (temporary) or IP68 (prolonged) enclosure.

Polycase WH-10

Polycase WH-10

What IP66-Rated Options Does Polycase Offer?

In keeping with our commitment to offering a full range of enclosures with all of the features and ratings our clients need, Polycase offers several waterproof IP66 enclosures. You can choose from among the following—and more:

  • The Polycase WH series is a great all-around option for an IP66-rated outdoor enclosure. It’s available in numerous sizes and shapes, with rugged plastic hinges and a waterproof gasket rounding out the package. Its durable polycarbonate construction is designed for years of outstanding performance, and it comes with stainless steel feet for mounting purposes.
  • For indoor-outdoor performance and great looks to go with it, check out the Polycase EX series. These extruded aluminum enclosures are sleek and modern, with extruded aluminum construction and a classy black finish, but they also offer great protection via a continuous gasket system. Plus, they’re designed to allow a standard 0.063” PCB to slide straight in, providing a new level of ease of assembly.
  • If you need performance above and beyond what an IP66 offers, we’ve got you there, too. The Polycase YQ series has an IP68 rating, the highest waterproofing standard available, and is also rated at the ultra-tough NEMA 6P level. It’s designed to stand up to the most brutally tough outdoor applications, including prolonged submersion, thanks to its watertight foam gasket and tamper-resistant screws. If you need the top of the heap in terms of protection, you can count on the YQ series.

Polycase YQ-060604 enclosure

Polycase YQ-060604

If you’ve decided that an enclosure with an IP66 rating is the right choice for you, great—Polycase makes it easy to get started with free quotes, customization options and sample enclosures. And if you need some more assistance with choosing the right enclosure for you, that’s okay, too—our experts will be glad to help! Call Polycase at 1-800-248-1233 or contact us online for assistance.