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Ingress Protection (IP) Testing in Coimbatore

Ingress Protection (IP) Testing in Coimbatore

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CDG is the leader in accredited IP testing with more than200 products tested each year for various levels of ingress protection, fromrain droplets to continuous immersion up to a depth of 6 metres.It issurprising how often we are asked to test a product to the highest IP rating itcan go.  This could be taken as an admission by the importer ormanufacturer that the product has not been designed to meet a specific IPrating.  We often find that even basic pre compliance with a water hose orjet hasnot been performed, prior to submission for formal testing.The IP codeis most often arranged into two characters, the first character being theprotection against ingress of solid foreign objects and the second characterbeing the protection against ingress of water with a combination of differentfirst and second characters possible.Whether you intend your product to beinstalled in a dry environment or fully exposed to the elements, to fullyensure that the enclosure of your product performs to the IP rating that isrequired for safe and reliable operation, testing to AS 60529 isa must.Design tips based on our experience withIP testing,When selecting seals, make sure they are designed to meet the number oftimes the door, gland or aperture will be opened or closedover the anticipated life of the product.An even and adequate compression forceis critical for a seal to perform correctly.  Careful consideration shouldbe made in to how and where the compression force is applied and the amount ofcompression on the seal. E.g. adding extra locks to an electrical cabinet doorcan help distribute the compressive force on the door seal.Grooves for seals toseat in (oring seats) can provide a method to help ensure the seal ispositioned correctly during installation.  Oring seats can also helpimproved sealing by distributing the compression force and provide increaseresistance to differential pressure conditions.An oring should be compressed upto a maximum of 30 percent in most applications.Hard 90 bends in sealsare usually a primary point of failure.  Ensure seals are given a fairlywide radius when rounding corners.Cable entries, glands or otherwise need tosuit the cable shape and size. Often, a Device Under Test (DUT) has more than 1cable entry point with cables being positioned at angles other than 90 degrees.That creates difficulties at sealing of the entry.Small enclosures made fromplastics often have the mating interface too weak (flimsy) with the ridgepressing on the seal being thin and sharp but not straight so it misses theseal at some parts along creating gaps in the seam.Spot welded sheet metalenclosures need to be silicone if that fits the design aspirations in thecontext of IP Codes of protection. Silicone is easy to apply.Seals around thedoors are regularly split. If the flange is not continuous there can be gapsthat permit water jets passing to the gap in the seal and entering theenclosure. Therefore, positioning of the seal joints is to be givenconsideration.Door locks are often a point of failure. The outer thread on thelock barrel is not dust and water tight, for example. The locking system shouldbe prototyped and tested in house until the desired outcome is achieved. Again,application of silicone sealant may save the situation.Drain holes should beconsidered as part of a solution.Birthing vents and filter inserts should bedesigned to prevent water jets overcoming the barrier if directed underparticular angles.Be careful to ensure the products mounting instructions donot compromise the protection levels of the product by providing poorlydesigned fixing methods.For designers of equipment that requires an IP ratedenclosure, it may also be surprising to find that there is no database orlisting of accredited IP products or results, with product IP ratings largely aself declaration process.  It is therefore important to ask forevidence of compliance in the form of an accredited test report from anindependent lab, if purchasing an enclosure that may be used to houseelectrical or other components.

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