Many electronic devices claim things such as “water resistant” or “water proof.” With all these words being thrown around, how do you know if they are what they actually claim to be? That’s where IP ratings come in.
IP stands for Ingress Protection. Put simply, it’s a rating that tells you what a device is capable of resisting when it comes to solid particles such as dust, and liquids. IP ratings are composed of a simple two-number system that rates solid particles and liquids separately so consumers know how well their devices are protected against these elements.
Let’s use IP68 as an example. IP is the standard that’s being followed by many industries in rating equipment. The first number – 6 – denotes how resistant to solid particles a device is. It’s on a scale of 0 to 6, with 6 being completely sealed against dust. That’s not to say it’s impossible for dust to get into the device, but it won’t get into the device in an amount sufficient to cause damage.
The second number indicates the device’s resistance to liquids, specifically water. A device can be protected against other liquids as well, but the IP rating does not refer to chemicals. Many chemicals are corrosive and could potentially damage any seal that a device has, negating the resistance of the device and its IP rating.
Just like the first number for solid particles, the second number for liquid runs on a scale that ranges from 0 to 8. While the first number is tested based on the size of the solid particles, the liquid rating is slightly more complicated. Testing ranges from just dripping water onto the device, to spraying it with pressurized water, to completely submerging it.
Let’s take a brief look at the scale for water. Ratings 1 and 2 use dripping water, and should keep your device safe in the event of a minor spill. Numbers 3 through 6 use water that’s sprayed onto the device at varying pressures for varying lengths of time. Depending on how high the device scored, it could potentially be protected even in a heavy downpour during a storm. For number 7, the device is completely submerged in 1 meter of water for thirty minutes; 8 is submerged at any depth greater than a meter.
Here's a nice graphic to recap:
There are other tests that devices can be put through to denote their ruggedness, but IP is one of the few that are used and followed internationally with a set of standard guidelines across the globe. MIL-STD-810G is another popular set of tests that are commonly used and can help you determine if a device is rugged enough for your industry.
Interested in learning more about IP ratings? Here's another resource that goes into more detail for IP testing methods.
Whether you’re working in a warehouse or out in the field, a consumer grade table just won’t cut it. You don’t want to waste your money on a tablet that isn’t rugged enough for what you need. Be sure to check its IP rating, as well as any other testing it has been put through, to prove its durability. Now you are armed with the knowledge to judge a tablet and know what it’s capable of handling.
Still not sure what you need in a rugged tablet? Contact one of our Rugged Tablet Experts, Sales@MobileDemand.com or 319.363.4121, and we can help you find the right tablet for the job.
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