BONDING, SHIELDING, AND GROUNDING RELATIONSHIP BASIC INFORMATION AND TUTORIALS



a. The simple grounding of elements of a communications facility is only one of several measures necessary to achieve a desired level of protection and electrical noise suppression. To provide a low impedance path for

(1) the flow of ac electrical current to/from the equipment and
(2) the achievement of an effective grounding system, various conductors, electrodes, equipment, and other metallic objects must be joined or bonded together.

Each of these bonds should be made so that the mechanical and electrical properties of the path are determined by the connected members and not by the interconnection junction. Further, the joint must maintain its properties over an extended period of time, to prevent progressive degradation of the degree of performance initially established by the interconnection.

Bonding is concerned with those techniques and procedures necessary to achieve a mechanically strong, low-impedance interconnection between metal objects and to prevent the path thus established from subsequent deterioration through corrosion or mechanical looseness.

b. The ability of an electrical shield to drain off induced electrical charges and to carry sufficient out of-phase current to cancel the effects of an interfering field is dependent upon the shielding material and the manner in which it is installed.

Shielding of sensitive electrical circuits is an essential protective measure to obtain reliable operation in a cluttered electromagnetic environment. Solid, mesh, foil, or stranded coverings of lead, aluminum, copper, iron, and other metals are used in communications facilities, equipment, and conductors to obtain shielding.

These shields are not fully effective unless proper bonding and grounding techniques are employed during installation. Shielding effectiveness of an equipment or subassembly enclosure depends upon such considerations as the frequency of the interfering signal, the characteristics of the shielding material, and the number and shapes of irregularities (openings) in the shield.

Interference-causing signals are associated with time-varying, repetitive electromagnetic fields and are directly related to rates of change of currents with time. A current-changing source generates either periodic signals, impulse signals, or a signal that varies randomly with time.

To cause interference, a potentially interfering signal must be transferred from the point of generation to the location of the susceptible device. The transfer of noise may occur over one or several paths. There are several modes of signal transfer (i.e., radiation, conduction, and inductive and capacitive.

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