Amid the reports last year about the failure of consumer tests for the Galaxy S7 Active phone, one notable difference between the official use of the International Protection (a.k.a Ingress Protection) marks and the consumer reviews on an American website is the use of different measurement systems. Ronnie Cohen explains.
While IP marking uses metric units, the US website used imperial units for their audience.
So what is IP marking?
For the IP marking system, the letters IP are followed by two digits. The first digit after the letters can be between 1 and 6 and represents resistance to damage from solids. The second digit after the letters can be between 1 and 8 and represents resistance to damage from liquids.
The first digit can be one of the following values:
- Protection against a solid object greater than 50 mm (e.g. a hand).
- Protection against a solid object greater than 12.5 mm (e.g. a finger).
- Protection against a solid object greater than 2.5 mm (e.g. a screwdriver).
- Protection against a solid object greater than 1 mm (e.g. a wire).
- Protection from dust. Limited entry of dust is permitted and will not interfere with operation of equipment for 2-8 hours.
- Immune to entry of dust. No dust will not affect will affect operation of equipment for 2-8 hours.
The second digit can be one of the following values:
- Protection against vertically falling drops of water. Limited entry permitted.
- Protection against vertically falling drops of water with enclosure tilted up to 15 degrees from the vertical. Limited entry permitted.
- Protection against vertically falling drops of water with enclosure tilted up to 60 degrees from the vertical. Limited entry permitted for 3 minutes.
- Protection against water splashed from all directions. Limited entry permitted.
- Protection against jets of water. Limited entry permitted.
- Water from heavy seas or projected in powerful jets shall not enter the enclosure in harmful quantities.
- Protection against the effects of immersion in water between 15 cm and 1 m for 30 minutes.
- Protection against the effects of immersion in water under pressure for long periods.
You would take the digits that represent the relevant protection levels against solids and liquids for the equipment and add them after the letters IP to give you a rating.
Here is an example for the provision of a rating for a piece of kit. If your piece of kit was completely immune to dust, that gives you a solid rating of 6. If it was protected against damage from jets of water, that gives you a liquid rating of 5. When you put these figures together, that gives you an IP rating of IP65.
More details about IP ratings
The Blue Sea Systems website gives more details about various ratings in the list. In its explanations, it uses litres, millimetres and metres. The International Electromechanical Commission (IEC) established the IP rating system to provide information about the levels of protection against water and dust and indicate how must solid and liquid pressure equipment can withstand.
Consumer Report on Galaxy S7 Active
However, go to the websites to read about the reviews of the Galaxy S7 Active phone and you will find that the product failed water immersion tests twice. Judging by the content of the Android Central website, the reports were clearly aimed at an American audience.
The reports used feet to describe the water test. It told viewers that the product could not withstand half an hour in water about 5 feet deep. The site tells viewers that the test used a water tank pressurised to 2.12 pounds-per-square-inch and equates that to just under 5 feet of water.
These figures are mentioned and compared to the claim made on Page i (which comes before Page 1 of the Galaxy S7 Active manual. Here is a quote from that manual:
“NOTE: Water-resistant and dustproof based on IP68 rating, which tests submersion up to 5.0 feet for up to 30 minutes.”
How ironic that the manufacturer quotes the metric-based IP rating and converts it into feet for its consumers. Is this a case of hiding the metric and dumbing down the figures to suit an American customer base?
The consumer report about the Galaxy S7 Active can be found at http://www.androidcentral.com/galaxy-s7-active-failed-consumer-reports-water-test-twice. The report heading is “The Galaxy S7 Active failed Consumer Reports’ water test, twice”.
Information about IP marking can be found at: