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BONDING AND GROUNDING

INTRODUCTION
1. Bonding and grounding connections are made for the following purposes:

 To protect aircraft and personnel against hazards from lightning discharge.


 To provide current return paths.
 To prevent development of RF potentials.
 To protect personnel from shock hazard.
 To provide stability and homogeneity of radio transmission and reception.
 To prevent accumulation of static charge.
 To provide fault current return paths.

DEFINITIONS
Bonding
 The electrical connecting of two or more conducting objects not otherwise adequately connected.

GENERAL PRECAUTIONS AND PROCEDURES


When making bonding or grounding connections in aircraft, observe the following general precautions and procedures:

 Bond or ground parts to the primary aircraft structure where practicable.


 Make bonding or grounding connections in such a way as not to weaken any part of the aircraft structure.
 Bond parts individually wherever possible.
 Make bonding or grounding connections against smooth, clean surfaces.
 Install bonding or grounding connections so that vibration, expansion or contraction, or relative movement incident to normal
service use will not break or loosen the connection.
 Locate bonding and grounding connections in protected areas whenever possible. Locate connections, whenever possible,
near hand holes, inspection doors, or other accessible areas to permit easy inspection and replacement.
 Do not compression-fasten bonding or grounding connections through any non-metallic material.
 Inspect the grounding and bonding straps to ensure that they are free of corrosion which will adversely affect performance,
and are not frayed or cut more than 25% of the original strap.
 No more than four ground wires should be connected to a common ground stud. Ground modules in accordance with MIL-T-
81714 may be used for multiple grounds.
 No more than 16 ground wires should be connected in a ground module. Each ground for electric power sources (primary,
secondary, emergency) should be connected to separate ground points. Grounds for utilisation equipment may be connected
to a common ground point only when supplied from the same power source, provided this equipment does not perform
duplicate or overlapping functions.

SELECTION OF HARDWARE

 Hardware used to make bonding or grounding connections is selected on the basis of mechanical strength, current to be
carried, and ease of installation.
 Where connection is made by aluminium or copper jumpers to structure of dissimilar material, a washer of suitable material
should be installed between the dissimilar materials so that any corrosion which may occur will occur in the washer, which is
expendable, rather than in the structure.

Hardware Material and Finish

 Select hardware material and finish, depending on material of structure to which attachment is made, and material of jumper
and terminal specified for the bonding or grounding connection.

Selection of Stud
 Use either an AN screw or bolt of the proper size for the specified jumper terminal. Length of screw or bolt should be such
that when bonding or grounding connection is fully tightened, approximately 3.7mm of screw protrudes beyond top of nut.

Selection of Nuts
 Use AN nuts, either plain or self-locking, where indicated in Figure 7–1 and Figure 7–3. Use an all-metal, self-locking nut if
practicable. Always use an all-metal, self-locking nut where current will be present. Where installation conditions require,
use an AN nut plate, riveted to structure.

Selection of Washers
 Use AN plain washers and split lock washers as indicated in Figure 7–1, Figure 7–2 and Figure 7–3.
 Unless otherwise directed by applicable equipment technical order, use split lock washers with nuts, either plain or self-
locking. With aluminium terminals, use a plain washer of at least the diameter of the terminal tongue, next to the aluminium
terminal. If an AN washer does not meet this requirement, use a washer of the
 SAE heavy series, or a special washer made for this application.

Selection of Cable Clamp


 For bonding or grounding to cylindrical surfaces, use an AN735 clamp. Where an AN735 clamp is not available, or where
installation conditions do not allow its use, a non-cushioned AN742 clamp may be substituted.

Figure 7–1 Stud Bonding or Grounding to Flat Surface

Figure 7–2 Plate Nut Bonding or Grounding to Flat Surface

Figure 7–3 Bolt and Nut Bonding or Grounding to Flat Surface

PREPARATION OF BONDING OR GROUNDING SURFACES

 Clean bonding and grounding surfaces thoroughly before making the connection. Remove paint, anodic or
conversion coating film and surface corrosion from planned attachment area with abrasive mat, A-A-58054.

Cleaning Procedure for Aluminium Surfaces


 Apply a coating of petrolatum compound to bonding or grounding surface of aluminium structure and clean surface
thoroughly, using stainless steel wire brush with pilot as shown in Figure 13–4. Wipe off the petrolatum compound with a
clean dry cloth.

Cleaning Procedure for Magnesium Alloy Surfaces

 Prepare magnesium alloy surfaces for bonding or grounding as follows:


 Remove grease and oil from surface with P-D- 680, Type III. ventilation.
 If present, remove paint or lacquer from surface with lacquer thinner, A-A-857.
 Brush area liberally with chrome pickle solution, SAE AMS-M-3171, Type I for one minute, then rinse within five seconds
by brushing with clean water.
 Dry thoroughly.

METHODS OF BONDING OR GROUNDING

 Bonding or grounding connections are made directly to a flat surface of basic structure, or to a cylindrical surface of basic
structure.

Connection to Flat Surfaces

 Bonding and grounding of through bolts or screws, where installation has easy access. There are three types of bolted
connection, as follows:

 Stud Connection :- In this type of connection, a bolt or screw is locked securely to structure, thus becoming, in effect, a
stud. (See Figure 13–1) Grounding or bonding jumpers can be removed or added to the shank of stud without removing stud
from structure. Not more than four lugs should be connected to any one stud.

 Nut Plate and Bolt Connection.


Nut plates are used where access to the nut for repairs may be difficult. Nut plates are riveted or welded to a clean area of the
structure. (See Figure 13–2)Cleaning of structure is done in accordance with paragraphs 15 through 17 as applicable.

 Nut and Bolt Connection. In this connection the bolt or screw is not attached permanently to structure. (See Figure 13–3)
When jumpers are to be added or removed, the entire connection is remade. The table lists materials and platings that are
compatible with the structure to which they are mounted. These materials are selected so that corrosion, if it occurs, will
occur in the washers, which are expendable, rather than in the structure.

Connection to Tab Riveted to Structure

 For bonding leads carrying high current, (size AWG 4 or larger), do not make the connection directly to the structure, but to a
tab of suitable size adequately bonded to the aircraft structure. (See Figure 13–5.)
 When a bonding or grounding connection is made to a tab riveted to the structure rather than directly to the structure, clean
the bonding or grounding surface and make the connection exactly as though the connection were being made to structure.
 If it is necessary to remove the tab for any reason, replace rivets with one size larger. Make sure mating surfaces of structure
and tab are clean and free of anodic film.

Connection to Cylindrical Surfaces

 Make bonding or grounding connections to aluminium alloy, magnesium alloy, or corrosion resisting steel tubular structure
as shown in Figure 13–6 and Figure 13–7. Figure 13–6 shows the arrangement of hardware for bonding with an aluminium
jumper.
 Because of the ease with which aluminium is deformed, it is necessary to distribute screw and nut pressure by means of plain
washers as shown. Figure 13–7 shows the arrangement of hardware for bonding with a copper jumper.
 No extra washers are used. If installation conditions require, use an AN742 clamp (non-cushioned) instead of an AN735
clamp.
 Do not change any other hardware if this substitution is made.

Bonding Conduit to Structure


Bond aluminium alloy or corrosion-resisting steel conduit to structure as shown in Figure 13–8. If installation conditions require,
an AN742 clamp may be used instead of an AN735 clamp, using same hardware.

Tightness of Connections
Make sure that all connections are tight, as evidenced by the split lock washers being completely compressed.
Figure 7–5 Bonding Tab Riveted to Structure

Figure 7–6 Aluminium Jumper Connection to Tubular Structure

Figure 7–7 Copper Jumper Connection to Tubular Structure

Figure 7–8 Bonding Conduit to Structure


CONCLUSION :-

 Electrical bonding of aircraft to earth has generally been aimed at protecting aircraft and personnel from the
hazards associated with static electrical discharge.
 However, with utilisation of external power sources, electrical bonding to earth must also protect aircraft and
personnel from the potential hazards associated with the electrical ground power supplies.

 The latter concern has led to an extensive examination of the hazards and electrical bonding procedures, and this
has resulted in a different approach to electrical bonding requirements. This approach emphasises the need to
counteract the potential hazards associated with electrical ground power supplies. If protection against these is
adequate then protection against the hazards associated with static electrical build-up and discharge is also
adequate.