Home Podcasts THMG041 – Grounding And Bonding, Part I

THMG041 – Grounding And Bonding, Part I


In part one of a two-part series, Bob and Mike explore the terms and theories behind grounding and bonding.

Complete Show Notes

7:25 Basic Definitions

  • Insulator
    • A material that doesn’t easily transmit energy, such as an electric current or heat
    • In this case, we’re talking about electricity
  • Conductor
    • An object or type of material that facilitates the flow of an electrical current
    • Wires are an example of this
  • Static
    • Caused by energy trapped on the surface of non-conductive molecules
    • Can be created by the movement of solids, liquids, and gasses
  • Static charge
    • An imbalance of electric charges within or on the surface of a material
    • The charge remains until it’s able to move by means of an electric current or electrical discharge
    • This is where our concern for grounding and bonding factors in

14:00 Electricity in General

  • Voltage
    • The difference in electric potential between two points
    • The voltage between two points is equal to the work done per unit of charge against a static electric field to move a test charge between two points
  • Amperage
    • Used to measure an electric current – measuring device is called an ammeter
    • The flow of electric charge across a surface at the rate of one coulomb per second
  • Resistance
    • An electrical quantity that measures how the device or material reduces the electric flow through it
    • This resistance is measured in units of ohms
  • Think of amps, volts, and resistance in terms of a fire hose – the pressure is volts, the gallons per minute is amps, and the friction loss is resistance

16:15 Grounding, Bonding, and Relaxation

  • Defined as providing an electrically conductive pathway between a dispensing container, a receiving container, and the ground
  • Helps eliminate the buildup of static electricity by allowing it to safely dissipate into the ground
  • Grounding
    • Refers to the method by which the facility grounding system is connected and referenced to earth
  • Bonding
    • The act of joining two electricity conducting materials together
    • Can be two wires, a wire and a pipe, or two pieces of equipment or vehicles
    • Bonding is achieved by connecting all the metal parts that aren’t supposed to be carrying current during normal operations and bringing them to the same electrical potential
  • Relaxation
    • The amount of time necessary to dissipate a charge through a liquid to the ground
    • Capacitance is the amount of charge that can be held – the time for the discharge is the relaxation time
    • Can take nanoseconds to hours

21:40 Hazmat Drill Nugget from Hazsim Training Systems

  • Radio report practice – we need to be as clear and concise as we can on the radio
  • Build up two matching sets of Legos – have one team build the set and have them tell the other team how to build it over the radio

23:50 Why Do We Care About Grounding and Bonding?

  • When we’re on-scene, we usually find a leak or something that’s already leaked out
  • Our goal is to mitigate and keep the substance from graduating to the “on fire” phase
  • Once it’s on fire, we have to stop the transfer to deal with the fire
  • During transfer, static electricity from flow operations increases in unequal amounts on both the damaged and un-damaged tanks
  • This buildup generates into a coronal point – the static electricity can then jump a gap in the form of an exterior spark

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