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August 30, 2018 06:08 AM

What is an IP Rating? Does it matter to me?

Whether or not IP Ratings matter to you depends entirely on what conditions your equipment -- or in this case RFID transponders -- will be exposed to. If you need RFID tags for a challenging environment, Express can help!

The IP Code (or International Protection Rating, sometimes also interpreted as Ingress Protection Rating) consists of the letters IP followed by two digits and an optional letter. As defined in international standard IEC 60529, it classifies the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures.

The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof. The digits (characteristic numerals) indicate conformity with the conditions summarized in the tables below.


First Digit: Solids

Level Object Size Protected Against Effective Against
0 - No protection against contact and ingress of objects
1 >50mm Any large surface of the body, such as the back of the hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part
2 >12.5mm Fingers or similar objects
3 >2.5mm Tools, thick wires, etc.
4 >1mm Most wires, screws, etc.
5 Dust Protected Ingress of dust is not totally protected, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to prevent satisfactory operation
6 Dust tight No ingress of dust. Complete protection against contact


Second Digit: Liquids

Level Protected Against Effective Against
0 Not protected -
1 Dripping water Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect
2 Dripping Water, when tilted up to 15° Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle up to 15° up from its normal position
3 Spraying water Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect
4 Splashing Water Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect
5 Water jets Water projected by a nozzle (6.3mm) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects
6 Powerful water jets Water projected in powerful jets nozzle (12.5mm) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects
7 Immersion up to 1m Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water up to 1 m of submersion
8 Immersion beyond 1m The object is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions that shall be specified by the manufacturer.
9k Steam jet cleaning Steam jet cleaning shall have no harmful effects


Express offers a collection of RFID transponders with IP ratings of IP67 or higher, to meet your toughest challenges:

Our All Purpose Indoor RFID Tag is rated IP68

Our API Jr RFID Tag is rated IP67

As always, remember that the Express 3-in-1 RFID feature can ease the transition to RFID for your organization - it does not need to be put in place all at once.


We offer all three - a traditional barcode, human readable information and RFID, all encoded the same - on any of our RFID tags. This feature has numerous benefits:

  • Tags are RFID-enabled, for users who have RFID Readers
  • The traditional barcode matches, for locations not yet RFID-equipped, easing your implementation timeline and potentially reducing your full implementation cost
  • And, there is Human Readable for when a reader is not available, or fails.

Give us a call today at 858-549-9828. We are ready to help you grow your business!

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