As suppliers of enclosures’ components, we know how important is that the devices are properly tested for their IP degree of protection, to demonstrate their resistance against certain accidental events, such as splashes of water or dust. As we have already seen, the International Protection or IP protection class in electrical engineering is a code that summarizes the level of protection of an electrical equipment in contact with other objects, with the human body or with water.
Our new test chamber
In continuous updating and improvement of our laboratory, we have recently acquired a new IP test chamber, from the German company ITS GmbH, for the verification of the enclosures’ protection degree, in accordance with the EN 60529 standard.
The new test chamber will speed up the validations of new products and the experiments under development, making the Fandis laboratory able to perform specific water resistance tests according to IPx3, IPx4, IPx5 and IPx6 degrees.
To learn more about the characteristics of the different IP degrees, we refer you to this article on our blog.
How do we validate the IP protection of our enclosure components?
In our specific case, the so-called oscillating tube is used for the protection classes IPX3, IPX4.
The oscillating tube consists of a semicircular tube with a defined number of nozzles, which number varies according to the size of the bend. The test piece is located under the center of the tube, positioned on a perforated platform capable of letting the water flow. The tube swings from the vertical position on both sides, the rotation angle is +/- 60 ° for IPX3 and +/- 180 ° for IPX4.
The test lasts 10 minutes. During this period, the sample is “sprayed” with 1.2 – 5.1 l / min, depending on the size of the curve, while respecting the 0.1 l / min per nozzle.
The maximum distance between the specimen and the curvature of the nozzle is 200 mm.
For the IPX4 test, the flow rate is 0.6 l / min per nozzle, in this case the nozzles have a diameter of 0.8 mm.
For the IPx5 test, a watering device with a 6.3 mm diameter nozzle is used, spraying the water with a flow rate of 12.5 l / min from all possible directions. Test duration 1 min for each square meter of the envelope surface, with a minimum of 3 minutes.
For the IPx6 test, a watering device like the previous one is used, but with a 12.5 mm diameter nozzle and spraying the water with a flow rate of 100 l / min from all possible directions.
The duration of the test remains the same: 1 min for each square meter of the envelope surface, with a minimum of 3 minutes.
The geometry of these nozzles is specified in the standard and in both cases the distance between the specimen and the water jet is between 2.5 and 3 meters.
Section of a nozzle according to the EN60259 standard.
The test results are immediately usable on our company network for the the test report.
Thanks to this tool, we have been able to experiment and develop new skills, to further improve the quality of our products, together with the possibility of carrying out performance and lifespan tests on samples and benchmarking tests.