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Editor's note: This post is the third in a series on NEMA enclosure types and the IP ratings code. You can read the first post here and second post here.

 

We’ve done it! We have officially made it to the final installment of our three part series on NEMA vs. IP ratings. In this third and final post, we are going to be discussing the possibility of converting NEMA enclosure types to IP ratings and vice versa- so get excited!

NEMA and IP rated enclosures protect equipment from the elementsBoth IP and NEMA enclosure types provide protection for electrical components. However, the two different systems vary in the terminology used and the types of protection offered. The conversion chart we have put together below illustrates this fact perfectly.

NEMA vs. IP Rated Enclosures

Before we move on to the conversion chart, let’s quickly review from our previous two posts the differences between the NEMA enclosure types and the IP ratings.

Review of IP Ratings

An IP rating is specified by the IEC 60529 standard and covers three types of protection. It keeps people from accessing hazardous parts inside the enclosure, prevents the ingress of solid objects, and protects against the ingress of water. Although detailed in their specification for these three protections, IP codes do not specify protection against oils, coolants, corrosive agents, or ice.

Review of NEMA Enclosure Types

Moving on to NEMA enclosure types, these are specified by the NEMA 250. NEMA specifications are less detailed than IP ratings, but cover more types of protection. This includes considerations for construction requirements, door and cover securement, corrosion resistance, effects of icing, gasket aging and oil resistance, and cooling effects.

NEMA vs. IP Ratings: Converting Between the Two

As stated in earlier posts, there is no clean way to convert from IP ratings to NEMA or vise versa. Their vocabulary is just different. Each is more specific in different areas, making exact conversion impossible.

However, with a solid understanding of your application, you can successfully make a conversion without adversely affecting enclosure performance. As with anything, it depends on the application, and the reasons behind the rating specification. To help, we bolded the parts of the NEMA enclosure types that are not specified in the IP code. This chart also excludes IP code definitions in reference to human access to electrical parts inside the enclosure.

Definitions in the following chart have been paraphrased. Conversions are estimates, and should only be used as a guide.

NEMA Enclosure Type IP Code

NEMA Definitions

IP Definitions

Solids Protection Liquids Protection
1 IP10 For indoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt. 1 = 50mm in diameter & greater 0 = Not Protected
2 IP11 For indoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt, and dripping/light splashing of liquids. 1 = 50mm in diameter & greater 1 = Vertically falling water drops
3 IP54 For either indoor or outdoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt, rain, sleet, snow, & windblown dust, & external formation of ice. 5 = Protected against dust - Limited ingress permitted. 4 = Water sprayed from all directions - Limited ingress permitted.
3R IP14 For indoor or outdoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt, rain, sleet, & snow, & external formation of ice. 1 = 50mm in diameter & greater 4 = Water sprayed from all directions - Limited ingress permitted.
3S IP54 For indoor or outdoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt, rain, sleet, snow, & windblown dust. External mechanism(s) remain operable when ice laden. 5 = Protected against dust - Limited ingress permitted. 4 = Water sprayed from all directions - Limited ingress permitted.
4 IP 66 For indoor or outdoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt, windblown dust; rain, sleet, snow, splashing water, hose-directed water; & external formation of ice. 6 = Totally protected against dust. 6 = Strong jets of water from all directions - Limited ingress permitted.
4X IP66 For indoor or outdoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt, windblown dust; rain, sleet, snow, splashing water, hose-directed water; corrosion; & external formation of ice. 6 = Totally protected against dust. 6 = Strong jets of water from all directions - Limited ingress permitted.
5 IP52 For indoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt; settling airborne dust, lint, fibers, flyings; & dripping/light splashing of liquids. 5 = Protected against dust - Limited ingress permitted. 2 = Direct sprays of water up to 15° from the vertical.
6 IP67 For indoor or outdoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt; hose-directed water, occasional temporary submersion at a limited depth; & external formation of ice. 6 = Totally protected against dust 7 = Temporary immersion between 15cm & 1m. Duration of test: 30 minutes.
6P IP68 For indoor or outdoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects from falling dirt; against hose-directed water & prolonged submersion at a limited depth; & external formation of ice. 6 = Totally protected against dust 8 = Continuous immersion beyond 1m.
12 & 12K IP52 Enclosures constructed without knockouts for indoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment; Protects from falling dirt, circulating dust, lint, fibers, & flying; & dripping/light splashing of liquids. 5 = Protected against dust - Limited ingress permitted. 2 = Direct sprays of water up to 15° from the vertical.
13 IP54 For indoor use. Protects personnel from incidental contact with enclosed equipment. Protects against falling dirt, circulating dust, lint, fibers, & flyings; & spraying, splashing, seepage of water, oil, & noncorrosive coolants. 5 = Protected against dust - Limited ingress permitted. 4 = Water sprayed from all directions - Limited ingress permitted.

So, there you have it, a conversion chart for IP and NEMA enclosure types. If you have any questions on this chart, NEMA specifications, or IP ratings, contact us today. Our engineers are happy to help answer any of your NEMA vs. IP questions and help you understand how this chart may pertain to your specific application.


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Chart source: siemon.com