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Last updated: November 14, 2016

What Does Grounding Mean?

Grounding is a process that is used to protect underground and grounded equipment and pipelines from becoming corroded due to stray electrical currents flowing in the equipment or pipeline with the help of conductors and electrodes. The grounding conductors and electrodes are installed at various junctions along long distance pipelines to provide protection from lightning and corrosion of the metal surface.


Corrosionpedia Explains Grounding

The conductors and electrodes used for grounding purposes are made up of copper, tinned copper and aluminum. The grounding, bonding and shielding circuits make use of copper ground plates, copper wiring and copper-clad ground rods. When corrosion occurs in any underground equipment, it happens due to an electro-chemical process caused by the flow of stray electrical currents. These stray currents are produced by ‘corrosion cells’ and are caused by reasons such as:

  • A metal surface by any means comes in the contact with a dissimilar metal on the ground or underground.
  • A metal surface comes in contact with soil of dissimilar chemistry, or at any point the soil consists of other chemical or reacting agents that can react with the metal surface of the equipment.
  • Various soils have dissimilar oxygen content. When the metal surface comes in contact with the soil, oxidation can occur in the presence of moisture in the atmosphere and initiate corrosion.

Grounding conductors and electrodes are usually made of copper because it resists corrosion.


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