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September/October 2009
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Grounding Applications

The main purpose of any grounding product is to provide a low-resistance path for fault currents to follow to the ground, which will ultimately protect the integrity of the power system and maintain a safe operating environment. ASTM International Committee B01 on Electrical Conductors is currently developing a proposed new standard for annealed concentric-lay-stranded copper-clad steel conductors.

While standards exist for annealed copper-clad steel wire and for hard drawn concentric-lay-stranded copper-clad steel conductors, combining these two standards to obtain the necessary criteria for an annealed standard CCS product has proven to be challenging. However, Subcommittee B01.06 on Composite Conductors is currently working on such a proposed standard, WK24210, Specification for Annealed Concentric-Lay-Stranded Copper-Clad Steel Conductors for Grounding Purposes.

“Annealed CCS in both single-end and stranded products has been used in grounding applications for decades and is specified by many major utility companies as a qualified product, but many are still unaware of its characteristics as an alternative to solid copper,” says Dustin Fox, technical director, Fushi Copperweld Inc., and chair of B01.06. “Having an actual ASTM standard to reference will increase the visibility and viability of CCS and ease evaluation of this alternative to solid copper while ensuring that all manufacturers are provided the necessary product criteria to meet the requirements for grounding applications.” Fox notes that, when it is approved, the proposed standard will be useful to utility and rail companies, power transmission and distribution design engineering firms and contractors, and CCS conductor producers. The use of CCS conductors is applicable for all utility, industrial, electric rail and other grounding applications, with some common uses including substation grounding grids, utility pole ground, fence ground, transformer and switch gear grounding, structure grounding, lighting protection and counterpoise.

The subcommittee encourages involvement from anyone interested in the development of WK24210, particularly substation design engineers.

CONTACT

Technical Information: Dustin Fox, Fushi Copperweld Inc., Fayetteville, Tenn.

Phone: 931-433-0425

ASTM Staff: Jennifer Rodgers

Phone: 610-832-9694