How do you test for waterproof on consumer electronic products (smart phone, tablet, etc)? What kind of tests can you perform to show that the product meets waterproof requirements.
Waterproofing in consumer electronics is tested against Ingress Protection ratings (more commonly known as IP ratings). IP ratings are set through an international standard used to rate the degree of protection/sealing effectiveness in the proposed design solution.
The IP ratings below represent the level of sealing and can range from IP 00 (no protection against dust or water) to IP68 which rates for protection against dust and continuous immersion in water.
IP water resistance varies from mild drip resistance, through sprays, jets, and total immersion. For spray Levels 3 and 4, the water is delivered by either an oscillating tube which looks like a garden sprinkler, or manually, by a handheld showerhead. The spray head passes 12.5 liters per minute. The enclosure being tested is exposed for at least three minutes, or in the case of a large unit, at least one minute for each square meter of surface as the spray head is slowly moved around.
For Levels 5 and 6, hose nozzles are used. The Level 5 exposure is at 12.5 liters/minute through a 6.3 mm (1/4 inch) nozzle. Level 6 is a higher pressure and flow test, using a 12.5 mm (1/2 inch) nozzle at a flow rate of 100 liters/minute. For both Levels 5 and 6, the hosing is conducted from a distance of 2.5 to 3 meters. Exposure time is three minutes.
For Levels 7 and 8 the enclosure is submerged in water. Level 7 tests water submersion for 30 minutes. The enclosure is dunked so that its bottom is 1 meter below the water surface, and its top is 0.15 meters below the surface. Level 8 is a special test where the performance level-in terms of duration and external water pressure (which is proportional to depth)-are agreed on by the vendor and the user.
More interesting, beyond testing at design solutions for a single unit it is common to see factory test stations to test against IP ratings as mass production units are built.
Check out these useful references below:
(Air Leak Testing to IP67)
Non-destructive IP67 leak testing - place unit in a high pressure air environment with sensors to detect slight pressure changes from leak paths: https://www.cincinnati-test.com/waterproof-electronics-testing