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Conductive FRP Piping Systems Field Installation and Testing Procedures Detailed Instructions – Conductivity Measurements Per ABS Rules for Steel Vessels 4/6.14.3(h) and for MODU 4/2.17.3(h) Updated Sep-23-2003


This document is intended to provide detailed procedures for field installation and testing of conductive FRP pipe grounding mechanisms under the jurisdiction of ABS and the USCG. This includes FIBERBOND® Series 20FR-EC, 20FR16-C, 20FR20-C, and 20JF-C. The enclosed literature discusses installation, precautions, documentation, testing preparation, and measuring procedures involved in the conductivity/resistivity measurement of FRP piping equipped with an FRP grounding clamp.


IMO Resolution A.753(18), 04 Nov 93, “Guidelines for the Application of Plastic Pipes on Ships” Paragraph

ABS 2001 MODU Rules 4/, “Plastic Pipe - Design - Electrical Conductivity” and 4/, "Plastic Pipe - Installation - Electrical Conductivity"

ISO14692 Petroleum & Natural Gas Industries - GRP Piping, Part 4 (Installation & Operation) Section 5.5.4 and Part 2 (Qualification) and (C2a material) G.2 (Annex G)

ASTM F 1173-2001, “Standard Specifications for Thermosetting Resin Fiberglass Pipe and Fittings to be Used for Marine Applications” Paragraph 6.8, 7.17, and Annex A3

Acceptance Criteria

The acceptance criteria specified below have been derived from the references listed above. Conductivity measurements must be in strict accordance with these criteria. Any discrepancies or changes in updated documentation that are found must immediately be brought to the attention of the customer for review.

Maximum resistance per unit length of pipe, bends and fittings 1 X 10 5 /meter

Maximum resistance to ground from any point in the system 1 X 10 6 /meter

Installation - Grounding Details

The maximum recommended distance between grounding clamps is 60 feet (18.3 meters). However, the actual distance may differ from this, depending upon the particulars of the installation. Shorter distances may be needed where sections of piping are isolated from the rest of the system. Longer distances are acceptable as long as the system to ground resistance is 1 x 10^6 ohms or less.

Grounding leads shall be type #6 AWG TWN or THWN wire.

All uninsulated grounding wire shall be coated for corrosion resistance using CRC “Red Urethane” or approved equal.

A mechanical connection must be used between the grounding lead and the grounding wire, such as a servit, or buttin. Crimp-on, copper ring terminals and stainless steel hardware shall be used for attachment to the structural support.

It is recommended that a grounding pad, approximately 3" x 3" (75x75mm) be used to attach the grounding wire to the pipe. It is possible to use an FRP "wear pad" at one of the supports as a grounding pad. However, care must be taken to ensure that both the grounding wire and the wear pad are attached properly to the pipe. The general bonding procedure for the grounding wire is slightly different than the bonding procedure for the wear pad. For the grounding wire, the pipe surface is only lightly sanded. The conductive exterior is still intact after surfac e preparation. For the wear pad, slightly heavier sanding takes place to provide a rougher surface for bonding.

Installation - Procedure

Clean the pipe exterior to remove any resin, dust, debris, etc. Remove 3 to 4 inches (approximately 75 to 100mm) of insulation from the grounding wire. Uncoil and spread the wire strands to provide as much contact area to the pipe exterior. Bend the exposed wire strands into a “J” shape to provide additional strength in the event that the wire is pulled or tugged. (Figure 1)

Installation - Grounding Details The maximum recommended distance between grounding clamps is 60 feet (18.3 meters).

Figure 1

Lightly grind the inner surface of the grounding pad to provide a roughened surface for bonding.

Lightly buff the exterior surface of the pipe to remove any excess resin and provide a clean contact to the conductive exterior. Sandpaper or a sandpaper grinding disk will be suitable. DO NOT USE AN ELECTRIC/AIR GRINDER FOR THIS APPLICATION. This may remove excess material from the surface thus eliminating the conductive exterior.

Apply catalyzed adhesive to the inner surf ace of the grounding pad, approximately 1/16” thick (1.5mm).

Position the grounding lead on the prepared surface of the pipe. Apply the grounding pad to the exterior of the pipe and “squeeze” the pad with a bonding strap. (Figure 2)

Remove any excess adhesive present due to “squeeze-out”.

Allow the adhesive to “set” (usually at least 30 minutes).

Apply the conductive exterior (conductive gel coat) to any exposed areas and allow to cure.

Position the grounding lead on the prepared surface of the pipe. Apply the grounding pad to
Position the grounding lead on the prepared surface of the pipe. Apply the grounding pad to

Figure 2

For FRP to FRP flange connections (including those between metallic valves), it is normally not necessary to "jump" the connection as long as there is a path to ground for the entire system. In some cases, the bolts can actually provide a path through the flanges. However, if it is necessary, a grounding pad will be applied to both flanges. (Figure 3) The grounding wires must be mechanically attached by the use of a servit, buttin, or other approved

Mechanical Junction (optional)

Position the grounding lead on the prepared surface of the pipe. Apply the grounding pad to



CONNECTIONS. The flanges may need to be separated for future service requiring separation of the grounding junction.

Figure 3 (optional)

For FRP to metallic flange connections where the metallic flange connects to additional metallic piping or large grounded items (such as pumps, eq uipment, etc.), it will not be necessary to "jump" the flanged connection.

All grounding leads (excluding “jumpers”) will require a mechanical attachment to earth. A 3/8-inch O.D. (9.5mm), non-insulated, copper ring terminal will be attached to the end of all leads required for attachment to earth. A mechanical connection such as a 316 stainless steel threaded stud shall be attached to an grounding point. The copper ring terminal will be attached to the grounding point, via this mechanical connection, by the use of a 3/8-inch (9.5mm) 316 stainless steel hex-head nut (bottom) and a 316 stainless steel nylon insert lock-nut (top). (Figure 4) All grounding pads come standard with a grounding lead approximately 3 feet (0.9 meters) in length.

3/8” 316 SS Nylon Insert Lock-nut 3/8” 316 SS Hex-Head Nut Figure 4
3/8” 316 SS Nylon
Insert Lock-nut
3/8” 316 SS Hex-Head Nut
Figure 4

Installation - Grounding Clamp Locations

Recommended locations for the grounding pads will be provided by EDO Specialty Plastics on the piping isometrics. A conservative rule is to provide a grounding pad for every 30-feet (9.1m) of piping. However, the maximum distance between grounding clamps can sometimes reach 60- feet (18.2m) and still provide an adequate path to ground. The FIBERBOND® Field Supervisor, in coordination with the project inspector, will have some discretion during the field installation process as to the suitability of these locations.

Field Testing - Precautions

Measurements of conductivity require the use of a power supply. Voltages as low as 60V dc can pose a shock hazard and must be used with caution.

Be sure to follow all of the safety recommendations of the device used as the power supply. Be sure you have been properly trained to use this device.

All products must be fully cured prior to testing. Experience has shown that results can vary significantly during the first few days of curing. Therefore, it may be required to allow the sample to cure for up to a week prior to testing.

Note that the ASTM D257 test procedure calls for a 500V power supply for measuring resistance. However, a lower voltage power supply may be used, since this will provide conservative results. If the results are not acceptable at the lower power supply, then a higher voltage power supply (up to 500V) may be used. ISO14692 specifies a 100V power supply, but allows up to 1000V for field testing.

Field Testing - Preparation

All test surfaces should be free of any contamination, which may affect the results. In particular, be sure the surface of the product is free of salt, moisture, and dust.

A suitable electrode needs to be applied to the product exterior for testing. Examples of materials used for electrode systems can be found in section 6 of ASTM D257-90 “Standard Test Methods for D-C Resistance or Conductance of Insulating Materials.” Colloidal graphite, such as Electron Microscopy Sciences #12693-30, is an acceptable material for the electrode. Nickel print is an acceptable alternative. These materials are in liquid form and are brushed on to the surface of the sample.

If colloidal graphite or other brushed on electrode is used, be sure to allow adequate time for the liquid to dry prior to testing.

Note that ASTM D257-90 is for measuring surface resistivity and volume resistivity. Thus, the geometry of the electrode system will differ from the geometry in this procedure.

Field Testing - Test Locations

The resistance needs to be measured across a specified linear distance. Any linear distance can be used, however, the results need to be converted to ohms per meter (/m). The location of the electrode on the piping ex terior is at the discretion of the tester, however, the electrode should be positioned to test a significant distance between the grounding pad and the electrode. If a section of the piping system is tested such that the electrode is at the maximum distance from the grounding pad, then no further tests need to be done on that section of the system, as long as the results are acceptable. If the distance between the electrode and grounding pad is not at maximum, then additional tests can be run from electrode to electrode. As long as the sum of the resistance is less than 1 x 10^6 ohms, then the results are acceptable.

Field Testing - Measurement and Documentation

Measure the distance between the electrodes or between the electrode and the end of the grounding wire. Note the distance on the test form.

Using the power supply, measure the resistance in ohms between the electrode and/or electrode/grounding pad. Note the measured resistance on the test form.


For electrode to grounding pad measurements, record the resistance value from the power supply as the maximum resistance to earth. For electrode to electrode measurements, calculate the resistance per length in ohms per meter. Note the calculated resistance on the test form.

Be sure to include the following information with the test results:

Identification of the material being tested (if a spool number or line number is available, this is usually all that is required). Note the location of the grounding pad on the piping isometric.

The date of test.

The type of electrode used, if different from that specified in this document.

The type of power supply used, the applied voltage, and the latest calibration date.

The name or initials of the individual performing the test as well as any witness that may be present (if applicable).

Any notes that the tester or witness sees relevant. It may be necessary to include information regarding the placement of electrodes on a line in order to identify whether a field butt weld, grounding lead, etc. has been inspected.