Many applications of linear actuators require the actuator to be exposed to dust, debris, and/or water, but not all linear actuators are suitable for those applications. So, how do you know if the enclosure of your selected linear actuator will protect itself from these elements, luckily there is an international standard that is used called the Ingress Protection (IP) rating .
Ingress Protection (IP) Rating System
The IP rating system was developed by the International Electromechanical Commission and is used to describe the level of protection an enclosure provides to an electrical device . Generally, you will see the IP rating written as IP followed by two numbers, like seen in the IP rating chart above this paragraph. The first digit refers to how well the enclosure protects the internal electronics from solids, while the second digit refers to how well the enclosure protects against liquids. The solids rating starts at 1, which means the enclosure protects against solids larger than 50mm, and goes up to 6, which means the enclosure will not allow any dust particles into the device . The liquid rating will indicate how water-resistant the device is. The lower end of this rating, the enclosure will only protect from water droplets from various angles; 1 meaning only protecting from vertical droplets and 4 meaning protection from splashes of water from all directions. Once you have reached a liquid rating between 5 and 6, the enclosure can protect from high pressure water jets. At 7, the enclosure can be completely submerged for 30 minutes at a depth between 15cm to 1m. With a rating of 8, these enclosures will be near waterproof and protect against the effects of submersion at higher pressures for long periods of time .
Enclosure Ratings of Our Linear Actuators
In the below chart is the IP ratings of all of the enclosures used by our linear actuators. As you can see our actuators are grouped into three IP ratings; IP43, IP54, and IP66. The IP43 means these enclosures protect against solids that are greater than 1mm in size and against liquids sprayed at a 60 degree angle. Linear actuators in this group are best suited for indoor and cleaner applications and include our SCL Series Lifting Columns and Mini Track Linear Actuators. An IP54 implies that these enclosures protect against most dust particles and from water splashes from all angles. These actuators are better suited for outdoor applications than the IP43 actuators, but still only have limited water protection. Linear actuators in this group include the Classic Rod Linear Actuators, Feedback Rod Linear Actuators, and the High Speed Linear Actuators. Our IP66 actuators have enclosures that are dust tight and protect against high pressure water jets and seawater. These actuators are ideal for outdoor and industrial applications, although they cannot be submerged in water. Our actuators that have an IP66 rating include all of the Premium Linear Actuators, Industrial Linear Actuators, and the Bullet Series Linear Actuators.
- Bohn, R. (2013, August) IP Ratings Explained. Retrieved from: https://www.nemaenclosures.com/blog/ingress-protection-ratings/
IP Rating Guide from: https://www.nemaenclosures.com/blog/ingress-protection-ratings/