IPx7 Testing and Salt Spray Exposure

United States

Portable electronic devices must be able to withstand exposure to salt spray and water immersion encountered when used by beach goers and avid boaters.


Background

Portable electronic devices must be able to withstand exposure to salt spray and water immersion encountered when used by beach goers and avid boaters. W. L. Gore & Associates has tested devices with GORE® Acoustic Vents to ensure that the venting materials protect against exposure to salt water. After the testing, they also verified that the devices were still able to protect against water immersion.

Test Procedure

Gore selected six different acoustic vents to evaluate in the test (Table 1). Each vent was installed in a separate housing (Figure 1). For the test, the laboratory conditions were controlled with an ambient temperature of 25°C ±3°C and humidity of 55% ±20% RH.

The housings were then placed into a salt spray chamber and exposed to the spray for 168 hours in compliance with ASTM B117-11 (Figure 2):

Salt Solution: 5 wt. % NaCl solution
pH of Solution: 6.5 – 7.2
Internal Temperature of Chamber: 35°C ± 2°C
Quality of Fog: (1.0 – 2.0) ml/80cm2/hour

The housings were then placed one meter below the water surface in an immersion tank (Figure 3). The vent openings were positioned on the top of the housing, and the housing remained immersed for 30 minutes, according to IEC 60529 edition 2.1:2001-IPx7 (Figure 4): 

Test Protocol: Completely immerse the specimen in water with apertures facing upward
Test Condition: Housing positioned one meter below the surface of the water
Test Duration: 30 minutes

Test Results

Each vent was inspected, and no oxidation or corrosion was found. In addition, no evidence of water droplets was identified inside each housing after the immersion test, indicating that the vent’s ability to prevent water ingress following salt spray was not compromised (Table 2).

Conclusions

Performing the salt-spray test and the IPx7 test proved that GORE® Acoustic Vents survive exposure to aggressive salt spray and still maintain durable protection against water immersion at one meter for 30 minutes. Integrating GORE® Acoustic Vents into the design of portable electronic devices provides reliable protection against environmental contaminants without compromising sound quality. For more information about the performance of GORE® Acoustic Vents, visit gore.com/portableelectronics.

Table 1: GORE® Acoustic Vent Physical Properties

Table 1: GORE® Acoustic Vent Physical Properties

Figure 1: GORE® Acoustic Vent installed inside housing

Figure 1: GORE® Acoustic Vent installedinside housing

Figure 2: Housing inside salt spray chamber

Figure 2: Housing inside salt spray chamber

Figure 3: Housing in IPx7 chamber

Figure 3: Housing in IPx7 chamber

Figure 4: GORE® Acoustic Vents positioned at top of housing

Figure 4: GORE® Acoustic Vents positionedat top of housing

Table 2: Results from Salt Spray and IPx7 Testing

Table 2: Results from Salt Spray and IPx7 Testing

FOR INDUSTRIAL USE ONLY

Not for use in food, drug, cosmetic or medical device manufacturing, processing, or packaging operations.