Degrees of protection for devices and equipment: What do the IP protection classes mean?

iphone 7 plus ip67 ip 67 protection class

In an earlier post I already showed you what it is with the Degree of protection IP67 or the term “splash-proof” and what the term “waterproof” is all about. In these entries I also mentioned some IP numbers including a few brief explanations. In the following I would like to give you a small but comprehensive insight into the key figures DIN EN 60529., DIN 40050-9: 1993-05 and ISO 20653: 2013 give.

The individual IP protection classes and their nomenclature at a glance

The combination of letters IP indicates that it is a Protection class acts in accordance with the above standards and that the following indicators show the degree of protection. The first digit (possibly with additional letters) shows the protection against foreign objects such as dust. The second number (also partly with additional letters) shows the protection against water. Here is a practical table that brings you closer to the IP protection classes at a glance:

Protection classes according to DIN 40050
First digit Protection against foreign bodies Second digit Protection against water
0 No protection 0 No protection
1 Protection against solid foreign bodies> 50 mm 1 Protection against dripping water
2 Protection against solid foreign bodies> 12,5 mm 2 Protection against dripping water including inclination up to 15 °
3 Protection against solid foreign bodies> 2,5 mm 3 Protection against spray water including inclination up to 60 °
4 Protection against solid foreign bodies> 1 mm 4 Protection against splash water
5 Protection against dust 5 Protection against water jets
6 dustproof 6 Protection against water jets with increased pressure
iphone 7 plus ip67 ip 67 protection class 7 Protection against brief immersion
8 Protection against prolonged immersion (possibly with an additional number indicating the maximum depth)
9K Protection against high pressure water jets / steam cleaning

How are IP degrees of protection helpful?

Especially in industry, the protection classes and their labeling are not only helpful, but essential. Headlights in cars, for example, have to be completely waterproof and somewhat dustproof. Other components in this industry should also not let any water inside. Private users benefit in the same way as with completely different products; one GoPro camera for example, which should be used in dusty off-road terrain and under water alike.

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5 comments on "Protection types for devices and equipment: What do the IP protection classes mean?"

  1. Hello, first of all thanks for the execution.
    Now to my question:
    How does it behave with the Apple Watch 2 when showering with shower gel or shampoo?
    Will the IP value be affected by the reduced surface tension?

    Greetings from Freiburg


    1. Hi Andreas! Thank you for your question. You're right, soap changes surface tension, and soap build-up can also affect mechanical parts like the Crown (the wheel on the Apple Watch). As far as I know, some people have also trained in the pool with the Apple Watch “Classic”, but officially this version was not waterproof.

      The IP certification also applies to water ONLY. And the manufacturers don't have to pay for repairs if you've been shown to have used the Apple Watch with soap or shower gel. In practice, most people should safely leave the watch on while showering, but in an emergency, water damage could be to your disadvantage if they can prove to you that the watch has come into contact with soapy water.

      By the way, this does not only apply to the Apple Watch. Basically, all IP-certified devices that can call themselves "waterproof" or "splash-proof" are only protected against pure water.

      I hope I could help you. Even if the answer wasn't a clear yes or no ... ;-)

    2. Hi Andrew,
      Apple advises against contacting the Apple Watch (Series 1 anyway, but also Series 2) with shampoo and soaps: “You can also wear the Apple Watch Series 2 in the shower, but we do not recommend exposing the Apple Watch to soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions and perfumes as this can have a negative effect on water seals and acoustic membranes. If the Apple Watch comes into contact with anything other than fresh water, it should be cleaned with clean water and dried with a lint-free cloth.” Source:

    1. Then I wish you a lot of fun with the watch! I'm still struggling ... somehow it scares me that the battery doesn't last 24 hours ... but with a fuel cell you can do it soon! : D

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