What are IK Ratings?

CIE explains what IK Protection Ratings and how they are used in the industry as a standard.

What is an IK Protection Rating?

IK ratings are defined as IK and a number from 00 to 10, this indicates the degree of protection provided by the electrical enclosures against external mechanical impacts.

IK Ratings (or impact protection ratings) are now the international standard for an enclosure around electrical equipment, IK Ratings were originally outlined in 1995 by the European standard BS EN 50102 and was later amended in 1997 with IEC 60068-2-75. This was then followed up in 2002 with the European standard EN62262 which is the equivalent of the international standard IEC 62262 (2002). 

Before the standard use of IK ratings, a third numeral had been occasionally added to the ingress protection rating (IP rating) for example IP66(9), this nonstandard use was one of the main factors that lead to developing a standard. This standard came into effect within 1995 and any conflicting standards had to be withdrawn in 1997.

An IK Rating depicts the way the enclosures should be mounted for the tests to be carried out, even atmospheric conditions, how many impacts should be made (which is based on size of enclosure) and even distribution of the impacts, the size, style, dimensions and even material of the various types of hammer (object) designed to produce the energy levels required. This is then measured in joule’s.


2N endurance/ IK Rating testing on 2N IP Intercoms Why are IK Rated products important?

IK Rated products are important especially if they are in public areas, high traffic areas, commercial environments and areas that are prone to vandalism. If a product becomes damaged, this can result in the product failing to work or even failing completely. Damage leads to additional costing to repair or replace, it also leads to the potential need to close areas to access. A broken product may also lead to a hazard especially in public areas, such as left over debris or lack of required illumination/information. 

Therefore analysing the risk of an impact is important for deciding if you need a fixture with a high/low IK Rating.

Some intercoms are designed for style and features, others are designed to last and to resist vandalism and weather conditions. Other products such as the Akuvox X916 are extremely eye-catching, high tech products but still have an application outdoors; they have an increased protection, therefore having an IK rating becomes extremely important.


Where are IK Rated products used?

High IK Rated products are used  in areas where products are likely to be exposed to damage or high impact  such as industrial areas, high traffic areas, public access areas, prisons, schools etc.


Impact tests characteristics:

IK code IK00 IK01-IK05 IK06 IK07 IK08 IK09 IK10
Impact Energy (Joules) * <1 1 2 5 10 20
Rmm (Radius of striking element) * 10 10 25 25 50 50
Material * Polyamide 1 Polyamide 1 Steel 2 Steel 2 Steel 2 Steel 2
Mass KG * 0.2 0.5 0.5 1.7 5 5
Free Fall Height M * * * 0.40 0.30 0.20 0.40
Pendulum hammer * Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Spring hammer * Yes Yes Yes No No No
Free fall hammer * No No Yes Yes Yes Yes

 

Whilst In most cases IK10 would be more than satisfactory, some products require a greater protection and even though the EN60068-2 does not allocate codes above IK10, there have been more extrapolated and designed in accordance with the testing procedure, meaning products like the 2n Force can claim an IK rating of 30. The test used is known as the Charpy test.

Watch the video below on 2N Helios IP Force & Helios IP Verso IK rating / endurance testing


Charpy testing machine and specimen arrangement:

The Charpy Test

IK Ratings can be subjective, and this is where the EN 62262 fails as the manufacturer has significant discretion in choosing where the impacts are located. And parts such as hinges and locks are excluded from testing therefore it is important o understand the manufacturers testing procedure as the enclosures IK rating can be affect by where the impacts were applied. Its worth noting that if it has an IK rating it must also meet the equivalent IP rating. For example if the enclosure maintains its IP66 rating after passing the test for IK06 protection it can be labelled as both IP66 and IK06. However if after the enclosure passes testing for IK08 protection but only maintains 1p 54 protection, then it must be labelled as IK068 and IP54 protection or IK06 and IP66 but this cannot be labelled as IK08 and IP66 if one test impacts the others results.


What are the different IK Ratings?

IK00 - There is no Protection.

IK01 - Protected against 0.14 joules of impact (this is the equivalent to the impact of a 0.25kg mass dropped from 56mm above)

IK02 - Protected against 0.2 joules of impact (this is the equivalent to the impact of a 0.25kg mass dropped from 80mm above)

IK03 - Protected against 0.35 joules of impact (this is the equivalent to the impact of a 0.2kg mass dropped from 140mm above)

IK04 - Protected against 0.5 joules of impact (the equivalent to the impact of a 0.25kg mass dropped from 200mm above the impacted surface)

IK05 - Protected against 0.7 joules of impact (the equivalent to the impact of a 0.25kg mass dropped from 280mm above the impacted surface)

IK06 - Protected against 1 joules of impact (the equivalent to the impact of a 0.25kg mass dropped from 400mm above the impacted surface)

IK07 - Protected against 2 joules of impact (the equivalent to the impact of a 0.5kg mass dropped from 400mm above the impacted surface)

IK08 - Protected against 5 joules of impact (the equivalent to the impact of a 1.7kg mass dropped from 300mm above the impacted surface)

IK09 - Protected against 10 joules of impact (the equivalent to the impact of a 5kg mass dropped from 200mm above the impacted surface)

IK10 - Protected against 20 joules of impact (the equivalent to the impact of a 5kg mass dropped from 400mm above the impacted surface)


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