A quick explanation of our sealing specifications
Floor care machine operators can gain tremendous value from the presence of an on-board battery charger. Mounting a charger on-board ensures that it will be available whenever and wherever the machine needs to be charged. Machines can be opportunity charged at any time—providing greater runtime. Well-matched batteries, chargers, and charge algorithms can operate more reliably and efficiently—providing longer battery life.
Floor care machines can be a difficult use case for on-board battery chargers. Throughout the machine’s life, a wide variety of stresses will be imposed on the machine’s components. To prevent costly charger swaps, the charger needs to be designed to survive a wide range of mechanical shocks and vibrations, as well as fluctuating temperatures and humidity, and exposure to water/cleaner splash.
Sealing an on-board electronic component requires substantial effort in mechanical, electrical, and thermal design—and very precise manufacturing. Testing must be conducted to ensure that the product operates reliably in a range of physical and thermal conditions throughout the floor care machine’s life.
The IP (Ingress Protection) rating is an International Electrochemical Commission (IEC) standard for measuring a device’s levels of protection against dust and liquid. It standardizes how sealing is defined worldwide.
Resistance to Solids
The first digit in the two-digit IP code indicates the level of protection against solid objects. IP0X is the lowest level and provides no special protection. IP6X is the highest protection against solid objects and is considered “Dust Tight.” IP5X protects against dust but does allow limited ingress. Ratings from IP1X to IP4X prevent objects of various sizes from entering the device – from 50mm in diameter down to 1 mm in diameter.
Resistance to Liquids
The second digit in the two-digit IP code indicates to what degree the device is protected from water and liquids. IPX0 provides no special protection, and IPX9 protects the device against the effects of close-range high pressure and high temperature spray downs.
The 10 levels of Ingress Protection for liquids are:
- IPX0 – no special protection
- IPX1 – protection against dripping water
- IPX2 – protection against dripping water when tilted up to 15 degrees from normal
- IPX3 – protection against spraying water
- IPX4 – protection against splashing water
- IPX5 – protection against low-pressure water jet spray for at least 3 minutes
- IPX6 – protection against heavy water jet spray for at least 3 minutes
- IPX7 – protection against the effects of immersion in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes
- IPX8 – protection against the effects of continued immersion in water at depths greater than 1 meter
- IPX9 – protection against close-range high pressure and high temperature spray downs
Why seal to IP66?
Fully sealing electronics for submersion is expensive, complex, and unnecessary. In the floor care industry, where water and chemicals are part of everyday activities, prudent electronics engineers should strive to meet an IP66 standard. This prevents dust from entering the device and protects it from the effects of a heavy jet spray. This standard is similar to NEMA4 or NEMA4X.
Battery chargers are not operating when the floor care machine is at work, but an on-board battery charger can be exposed to significant amounts of water and chemicals splashing around the machine during operation or when the machine itself is being cleaned. For a battery charger to reliably operate, meeting the IP66 standard is highly recommended.
Floor care machine designers should not attempt to mount battery chargers with lower IP ratings on–board their machines. This has been tried often, usually including some form of plastic cover surrounding the battery charger to prevent falling liquids or lightly sprayed liquids from damaging the charger. With the availability of IP66-rated battery chargers specifically engineered for on-board operation, this practice is no longer needed.
To learn more about trends in floor care and Delta-Q’s charging solutions for floor care machines, visit delta-q.com today.