IP Ratings of DC Motors

The IP Code of a product is a two digit number that rates how well the enclosure is protected from the ingression of solid objects and liquids. The first digit relates to the level of protection from solids and the second digit relates to liquids.

For protection against solids, there are 7 different categories, split by the size of the object that cannot enter the enclosure. The first level is 0, meaning there is no protection. Level 1 states a protection from objects larger than 50mm. The maximum level of protection is Level 6 which classifies the product as dust tight.

Level Protect from objects… Examples
 

IP0X

 

 

None

 

 

No protection

 

 

IP1X

 

 

larger than 50mm

 

 

Your hand (not fingers), almost no electronic components

 

 

IP2X

 

 

larger than 12.5mm

 

 

Larger fingers/thumbs,

 

 

IP3X

 

 

larger than 2.5mm

 

 

Thick wires, soldering irons, larger capacitors, resistors, chips

 

 

IP4X

 

 

larger than 1mm

 

 

Thinner wires, screws, most electronics chips / discrete components

 

 

IP5X

 

 

Dust protected

 

 

No physical objects, dust may enter but won’t affect performance

 

 

IP6X

 

 

Dust-tight

 

 

Dust won’t enter at all

 

Water is used to test liquid ingression. The categories range from 0 to 8, with the tests increasing in water volume and pressure.

Level Protected from… Details
 

IPX0

 

 

None

 

 

No protection

 

 

IPX1

 

 

Dripping water

 

 

Vertically falling drops, 10 min test equivalent to 1mm rainfall per minute

 

 

IPX2

 

 

Dripping water with unit at 15° angle

 

 

Vertically falling drops, 10 min test equivalent to 3mm rainfall per minute

 

 

IPX3

 

 

Spraying water (any angle up to 60°)

 

 

5 minute test at 0.7 liters / min and 80 – 100 kPa

 

 

IPX4

 

 

Splashing of water

 

 

5 minute test at 10 liters / min and 80 – 100 kPa

 

 

IPX5

 

 

Water jets (distance of 3m)

 

 

3 minute test at 12.5 liters / min and 30 kPa

 

 

IPX6

 

 

Powerful water jets (distance of 3m)

 

 

3 minute test at 100 liters / min and 100 kPa

 

 

IPX7

 

 

Immersion up to 1m

 

 

Measured to bottom of the product, minimum of 15cm depth to the top of the product

 

 

IPX8

 

 

Immersion beyond 1m

 

 

Continuous immersion at a specified depth

 

It is worth noting that even with a rating of IPX8 liquid may still enter, as long as it does not affect the performance.

Protection From Solids

While we do not state the IP rating for our products, from visual inspection we can see that all of our motors have a minimum rating of IP10 – 50mm is bigger than any motor case in our product line!

Also, our smallest motors are only 3.2mm in diameter, with the only possible entry points being the gap between the shaft and casing or at the rear between the casing and end cap. This would be IP4X and possibly even IP5X or IP6X.

However, for vibration motors and gearmotors, it is not solids entering the casing that is the biggest issue. It’s ensuring that the shaft and load (e.g. the eccentric mass) have enough space to freely rotate – which is not a concern of the IP code.

Protection From Liquids

We commonly question on two topics:

1. Waterproof motors

As we have not tested the motors for liquid ingression we cannot state the motors are waterproof. If you are interested in this topic we recommend reading our Application Bulletin on over moulding encapsulated motors.

The easiest method for waterproofing a motor is to mount it inside an existing waterproof unit.

2. Post solder wash for SMT vibration motors

We have not received feedback from customers whose motors have failed following a post solder wash. However, we recommend either soldering the motor after the wash or testing a small quantity before ramping up for large volumes.

Other issues

Given the information above, it is important to be careful when using adhesives to mount the motor. We have spoken in the past about using low-blooming glues, and we also mention it in Application Bulletins 6 (mounting to PCBs) and 7 (mounting to bulkheads).