The Elcometer MTG IP Test

January 5, 2022

What are IP ratings?

IP ratings are used to inform us of the resistance of a device to conditions it may be exposed to such as dust and liquid. IP stands for Ingress Protection Mark and its purpose is to signify a level of protection to the user of a device by its ability to resist certain factors. Therefore, it is important when claiming that a product adheres to a rating that this has been accurately tested to ensure the level of protection is true to prevent any harm from occurring to the user.

IP Water Rating

The effectiveness of a product’s protection against damage from fine particles and liquids are symbolised by two digits that aim to provide the customer with more insight into generic terms such as ‘waterproof’ or ‘water resistant’. The first part of the code specifies a rating against the ingress of solid objects, e.g. sand, dust, dirt.

For example, IP5x and IP6x both specify a rating that denotes a product’s protection from dust – to meet the IP6x section of the standard, no dust must penetrate the gauge. To meet IP5x, some dust can penetrate the gauge, but the gauge must function correctly.

The second digit in the IP code rating pertains to protection from the ingress of liquids. IPx4 specifies the resistance of the product to splashing of water from any angle, IPx5 states the device is protected against a low-pressure water stream from any angle.

If a digit is left as ‘x’ it signifies there is no protection rating in regard to the other criteria.

IP Rating Code

The Test

The Elcometer MTG gauge is currently advertised to IPX4, but in a recent test, we put the gauge under the conditions to assess if it was able to comply to test IEC 60529 IPX5. This would imply that the gauge would be able to not only resist splashes of water, but direct low-pressure water jets from multiple angles directly without gauge functionality being impaired.

The gauge was turned on with a transducer fitted and faced a nominal water flow of 12.5L per minute, using a hosepipe fitted with two nozzles designed to test to IPx5 and IPx6, and a pressure gauge. Each side was then sprayed consistently for 3 minutes each. A total of 6 sides meant an approximate test length of 18 minutes to meet the standard.

Following the completion of each individual side, the gauges were examined for any obvious signs of water ingress. Following a brief visual inspection, they were powered up and a reading was taken. This showed the gauge was still functioning after the test. Lastly, the gauge was left to dry and then disassembled – to determine the efficacy of the gauge’s seal. Water did penetrate the gauge, but this hadn’t affected the functionality.

The Outcome

Therefore, the results of the test showed that the Elcometer MTG gauge was able to withstand conditions up to IPx5 following the testing requirements*, which demonstrates that the gauge is ‘protected against low-pressure water stream from any angle’.