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The basics of static in PE pipe

In order to determine a solution for your static problem in PE pipe, one must understand how static is created in the pipe, what it will do and what is necessary to suppress it.

While these explanations are based on static in PE pipe, natural gas in metal pipe can also occur in basically the same manner. Therefore, if you are experiencing static in metal pipe transporting natural gas, these explanations also apply.

The explanations below are only the most basic explanation.

What is static electricity?

Static electricity is so called since it is electricity that is residing on an electrical insulator. Becauise it is residing on an electrical insulator it cannot conduct or move. It is therefore - static. However it is important to remember that it is still electricity!

Why static in PE pipe must be addressed

The natural world is designed to be at electrical neutrality. If you do not dissipate the electrical imbalance of a static charge, Mother Nature will eventually ground the charge. When it does so, it can result in an igntiion, an electrical shock or create an electrostatic pinhole in the pipe.

The 3 threats of static electricty in PE pipe - Ignitions/Shocks/Pinhole leaks

  • Static ignitions threat. The static in PE pipe ignites leaking gas. Static is therefore an ignition risk.
  • Electrical shock threat. The static in PE pipe has shocked workers. Static is therefore a shock risk
  • Electrostatic leaks. The static in PE pipe has been shown to create pinhole leaks in PE pipe. Static is therefore an integrity risk.

The 4 basics of static in PE pipe

  • Static is initially generated on the inside of the pipe by the passage of gas.
  • The static initially generated on the inside of the pipe in turn creates a charge on the outside of the pipe.
  • Once the static is generated on the PE pipe surface is remains stationary since it is residing on a electrical insulator.
  • If the static charge on a pipe is exposed to an electrical ground, an arc to ground will occur.

Video class on static in PE pipe

This video is a summary of the class taught by Dirk Smith on static in PE pipe. It is a more comprehensive explanation of the basics of static in PE pipe above. For more in-depth understanding please go to our Research on static in gas pipe page or contact us.

You can click HERE to view or download Windows Media Video or click HERE and view it on YouTube.