Reliable Testing, Whatever the Weather
Ingress Protection testing, or IP testing, tests a product’s ability to protect against the infiltration of water, dust and foreign objects. The ratings come in two sets: the first number is the protection rating, from one to six, against solid bodies such as dust and the second number is the protection rating, from one to nine, against liquids.
These codes are used to give an insight to potential consumers behind the generic terms a product may be advertised such as ‘waterproof’ or ‘dust resistant'. The IEC 60529 standards document rigorously outlines testing procedures for compliance with each individual code in the rating – such as the hose nozzle diameter, the water temperature, the time of the test and the pH level.
These strict conditions ensure that a Samsung phone, manufactured and tested in South Korea, and an Elcometer NDT gauge, manufactured and tested in Manchester, can guarantee the same protection in the same conditions.
Testing the Elcometer MTG
The Elcometer MTG is currently advertised as conforming to IPx4, implying it is capable of withstanding water splashes from any angle without harmful effects. To conform to IPx5, it must also withstand direct low-pressure water jets from multiple angles without the gauge functionality being impaired. We carried out the IEC 60529 IPx5 test to see if it could do this.
The hose used for the IP testing was specially designed for IPx5 testing with two 6.3mm diameter nozzles and a pressure gauge – complying with BS EN 60529:1992+A2:2013. Tested with transducers fitted, the gauges faced a nominal water flow of 12.5 litres (2.75 gallons) per minute whilst powered on. Each side was sprayed for three minutes and with the gauges having six sides, to meet the Standard, each test had to last at least 18 minutes.
Following the completion of the spraying, the gauges were examined for any obvious signs of water ingress. Following a visual inspection, they were powered up and a reading was taken - showing the gauges were still functioning. Finally, the gauge was left to dry and then disassembled in order to determine the efficacy of the gauge's seal.
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’ – meaning you can use your Elcometer MTG in wet weather without any issues!