Understanding IP Ratings

If you are familiar with scales or balances, you might have encountered ingress protection (IP) ratings at some point. This short guide hopes to clarify what we mean by IP ratings when looking at weighing instruments.

What do IP ratings on scales mean?

IP ratings refer to standards set by the IEC to indicate the level of dust and water protection a device has.

Standards for defining these types of protection are set and regulated by the International Electrotechnical Commission. The IEC is the world's leading organisation that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies.

When the internal mechanisms of these devices are protected against dust and water, they get an IP rating. The IP rating is a number that corresponds with a specific level of protection.

The degrees of protection are expressed as "IP" followed by a two-digit number. The numbers can vary depending on the amount of protection provided, but Adam's scales that feature IP ratings are manufactured specifically to meet IP66 or IP67 standards.

The rating's first digit (in Adam's case, it's a "6") provides a designation as to how well the product is protected against particulate matter, such as dust. A lower number signifies a lesser amount of protection. The chart below specifies the object size against which the device is protected.

Protection Against Solids

IndexDust/Particle Protection


Not protected


Protected against solid objects greater than 50mm


Protected against solid objects greater than 12mm


Protected against solid objects greater than 2.5mm


Protected against solid objects greater than 1.0mm


Dust protected (small quantities OK)




The second digit ("6" or “7” for Adam) shows the extent to which the equipment is protected against water. Again, a lower number means less protection. The chart below specifies the amount of liquid against which the device is protected. When a product gets an IP66 rating, the device is not only dustproof, it is also waterproof to a certain extent. An IP67 rating means the device is dustproof and would be unharmed by brief immersion in shallow water.

Protection Against Liquids

IndexWater Protection


No special protection


Water dripping/falling vertically


Water sprayed at an angle (up to 15 degrees from the vertical)


Spray water (any direction up to 60 degrees from the vertical)


Spray water from all directions (limited ingress OK)


Low-pressure water jets from all directions (limited ingress OK)


High-pressure jets from all directions (limited ingress OK)


Immersion in water up to one meter for less than 30 minutes (limited ingress OK)


Protected against full immersion under water beyond one meter for any time duration according to manufacturer specifications. Product could be hermetically sealed or permit ingress with no harmful effect.

Adam Equipment manufactures several products that offer dust and water protection. These products include Gladiator washdown scales, PT stainless steel platforms and the Aqua Washdown Scales. Please note the WBZ washdown retail scales and theWBW washdown scales have been discontinued.

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