The Purpose of IP Ratings for Plastic Enclosures: Definition and Types Available in Enclosure Manufacturing Companies - HLSRN

The Purpose of IP Ratings for Plastic Enclosures: Definition and Types Available in Enclosure Manufacturing Companies

Companies manufacturing electronic enclosures are always being asked by European engineers and companies about their IP ratings for plastic enclosures. In the same way, US based companies are also asked about the IP standards for the European manufacturing or industrial companies’ enclosures. The American companies usually need an in depth knowledge how NEMA ratings can be compared to IP ratings when it comes to dealing with their European counterparts. To help businesses solve this problem or dilemma, let’s have a run down of definition about the different ratings:


The National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association ratings (NEMA ratings) is fully recognized in United States of America and some part of Canada. The NEMA rating is considered to be the primary or main rating that is being used by different companies in classifying their enclosures. These ratings are also applied in different types of items. This also includes but not limited to enclosures, receptacles, plugs, and power cables. NEMA ratings was published in order to give the companies a standard outline of different standards in classifying the protection electronics enclosures are giving to certain electrical equipment. Usually the kind of protection NEMA gives deals with the objects, water, moisture, corrosion as well as heat and impact resistance. It is also considered to be comprehensive because it tackles all possible protections NEMA rated enclosure can give.


The IP electronic enclosure code ratings is also known as “Internal Protection Rating” or “Ingress Protection Rating.” Compare to NEMA ratings, the IP rating serves as the world wide standard for producing electronic enclosures. Unlike NEMA ratings, the IP rating is especially made for electronic enclosure while the former can be also applied for different items. IP ratings talks specifically about the protection enclosure can give against solid and water ingress. They are dealing holistically with the ratings that can withstand certain impact of an ingress. With this in mind, both IP and NEMA ratings deals with standards of protection an electronic enclosure can have against dirt and water protection. However, unlike NEMA ratings IP code ratings do not tackle the different types of protection against heat, impact, and possibly corrosion. For this sole reason, one can say that NEMA ratings has IP equivalence but not vice versa. Because of the comprehensive standards NEMA gives, usually it does not have IP alternative. One possible reason is it is also used for different items and not for electronic enclosure alone.

In conclusion, companies should keep in mind that NEMA ratings are considered to be more inclusive compared to its IP counter parts. Most of the time, NEMA rated electronic enclosure can meet some of the IP standards given its inclusive nature. Even if the design engineers do not intend them to be so. For customization needs for electronic enclosure, clients should approach the enclosure manufacturing companies with their needs for enclosures.