Weighing scales are increasingly used in harsh working environments. If you're working in industry, or your weighing scale is portable, the likelihood is that your weighing application will require the scale to be protected against the ingress of dust and water.
Water and dust ingression can cause serious damage to sensitive electronic components within your weighing scale. These components are particularly sensitive to rapid changes in temperature and exposure to excessive temperatures over long periods of time, both of which can be a direct consequence of your scale's exposure to water and dust. For example, non-permitted condensation (condensation of air humidity on the scale) may occur if your scale is taken to a considerably warmer environment, and the build-up of dust may cause internal components in the scale to overheat or corrode over time.
So, whether your scale is susceptible to liquid splashing in the catering industry, or solid particle ingression in a busy warehouse, it's important to ensure that your weighing scale is adequately protected against its working environment. A simple way to do this is by checking its Ingress Protection rating.
Ingress Protection (IP) ratings, such as 'IP-67' for example, classify and rate the degree of protection provided by a weighing scale against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water. The rating aims to provide the weighing scale operative with more detailed information about protection, rather than using vague descriptive terms such as 'water-proof' and 'dust-proof'.
Typical Weighing Scale IP-Ratings and Definitions
The IP-65 Rating
The '6', or first digit, refers to solid particle ingress protection, and means dust protected. The '5', or second digit, refers to water ingress protection, and means protected against water splashing. The scale is designed for temporary contact with liquids.
The IP-67 Rating
The '6', or first digit, refers to solid particle ingress protection, and means dust protected. The '7', or second digit, refers to water ingress protection, and means protected against water jetting. The scale is designed for temporary use in wet areas.
The IP-68 Rating
The '6', or first digit, refers to solid particle ingress protection, and means dust protected. The '8', or second digit, refers to water ingress protection, and means protected against temporary immersion.
The IP-65 rating is the lowest recommended IP-rating for weighing scales used in an industrial environment.
If you're unsure about the level of protection provided by your weighing scale, or you'd like technical help in purchasing a waterproof scale, always consult the help of a professional body.
Samuel Allen is an executive at ATP Instruments. Specialising in weighing scales and waterproof scales for industry, clients include the NHS, Network Rail, and the National Trust. Visit http://www.atp-instruments.co.uk now for a huge range of instruments and measurement solutions designed to suit your individual requirements. FREE technical support is immediately available should you need it.
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