Supplies of lighting and electrical installations

Decryption of Degree of Protection (IP) and Class of Vandal Protection (IK)

Equipment specifications often include such an option as Ingress Protection Rating. It may also be referred to as "dust protection", "dust resistance" or referred to by other synonyms. In the abbreviated form, the shell protection class is familiar to almost everyone - it is the abbreviation IP and two digits after it: IP44, IP66, IP67, etc. The first digit indicates the degree of protection against dust, the second - the protection against water.

Table 1

We publish infographics explaining the difference between different security classes.

different security classes


  • Class 3 water protection, in effect, means rain protection.
  • Class 7 protection means that even if water gets into the device during a short immersion, it will not interfere with its operation.
  • Class 8 protection means that the device will be fully immersed for a long time.
  • If X is written in place of any of the numbers, it means that the protection against this effect has not been tested.

What do the letters mean?

In addition to numbers, the designation of the degree of protection may sometimes include the letters of the English alphabet. The following additional marking is used in two cases:

* The first 4 letters - A, B, C, D - are intended to reflect the level of protection of a person from touching dangerous parts of the equipment:

  • the back of the hand (A);
  • finger (B);
  • tool (C);
  • wire (D).

They are used in two cases:

  • when the degree of protection against penetration of solids has not been determined at all, instead of it stands X, but the level of protection against contact with dangerous parts of the equipment should be displayed;
  • when the degree of protection against penetration of solids is determined at a relatively low level (1, 2, 3), but the degree of protection against contact with dangerous parts exceeds it.
  • For example, the device has a general enclosure protection class of particles - 2. This means, roughly speaking, that the object can not get an object with a thickness of fingers or more. However, the dangerous parts of the equipment are additionally protected so that they cannot be touched by anything larger than a screwdriver sting (Class C). In this case, the complete designation of the degree of protection receives an additional letter C, since the degree of protection against contact with dangerous parts is higher than the overall protection of the housing against penetration.

* The other 4 letters - H, M, S, W - are intended for auxiliary marking of such equipment features as:

  • accessories for high-voltage equipment (H);
  • testing the water protection level (the second digit in the IP marking) with the device in operation (M);
  • testing the water protection level with the device inoperative (S);
  • protection against different weather conditions (W).

Anti-vandal protection class - IK

In addition to classifying the degree of protection of equipment against dust and water, there are also standards for protecting the body against mechanical impact. This protection is indicated by the IK code. In characteristics and descriptions it is often called anti-vandal.

In the classification of anti-vandal protection, the difference between classes is the amount of impact energy (in joules) applied to the impact. It consists of the weight of the hammer and the height from which it is struck, and the standards stipulate additional testing conditions: the material from which the hammer is made, its type, etc.

Anti-vandal protection class

So, if you have doubts about the accuracy of the equipment's resistance to water and dust (marketers can sometimes use inaccurate and exaggerated formulations of characteristics), just look at the characteristics of the degree of protection.

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