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POLY-GROUND® Advantages

  • Improves the conductive characteristics of the soil immediately adjacent to the ground rod and can reduce the overall earth electrode resistance of the ground rod.
  • Increases the area in which electrical energy can use the Earth's crust, so the electrical system operates more efficiently with less maintenance.
  • Supplies you with a proven water insensitive backfill system.
  • Provides a structurally superior backfill solution where water or freezing temperatures are present.
  • Reduces labor requirements to set or straighten poles compared to conventional backfills.
  • Enhances pole life by preventing the preservatives from leaching into the soil below ground line.
  • Offers the best rate of return on your foundation investment by ensuring the reliability and longevity of you utility poles.

POLY-GROUND® and Lightning

Lightning strikes between 59 and 237 structures per 100 miles of electric power lines each year, depending upon the geographical location of the power lines.

The average lightning discharge through grounded structures can exceed 50,000 amps and 100,000 to 500,000 volts in about 30 microseconds. This discharge must be dissipated through a series of grounds.

Because of the immense energy that is discharged, a number of individual ground connections must be available in order to dissipate the energy to the earth’s crust. Normally, the strike is discharged through 10 to 20 individual structure grounds.

Our investigations show that properly installed POLY-GROUND® backfill should maintain both structural strength and electrical properties under lightning conditions.

We theorize POLY-GROUND® has several advantages. One advantage being that lightning strikes create permanent electrical pathways through the POLY-GROUND® backfill. With the greater the intensity of the strike, the electrical pathways that are created are multiplied. The more electrical pathways created, the more electrically conductive the POLY-GROUND® backfill becomes.

Another theory is that structural integrity is maintained, although some scorching appears on the foam-metal interface. Our investigation indicates that the POLY-GROUND® should not burn because of the limited oxygen present in the soil and in the foam material, when at least ten (10) structures are grounded. Most applications will have more grounds connected (10+) together.

Also, the lower resistance of the backfill should allow the energy to radiate the strike to the interface of the POLY-GROUND® soil and will reduce dramatically the high voltage shock. Our conclusions are based on testing and theoretic analysis.

The test samples were four feet long, six inches in diameter, filled with POLY-GROUND® with a 5/8 inch ground rod in the center of the POLY-GROUND®.

It is our conclusion from these tests that POLY-GROUND® makes a far superior backfill/ground for dealing with lightning strikes and avoiding the damages they can cause to an electrical system.


POLY-GROUND® and Corrosion

Corrosion is an electro-chemical phenomenon where the metal tends to return to metal oxide by oxidation where a conductive circuit exists.  POLY-GROUND® backfill material used to install metal structures is a closed cell polyurethane foam that isolates the metal structure from the soil. 

Our test procedure was done with a 3" foam cube that had a steel bar embedded in the foam block. The foam block with steel bar was immersed in a salt-water electrolyte with a 10 volt DC connected to the steel bar and the electrolyte.



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Corporate Office:  P.O. Box 200172 ¡ Arlington, TX  76006

Houston Office:  8720 Tavenor Ln. ¡ Houston, TX  77075 ¡ voice: 800-367-9273 ¡ fax: 713-991-1737

Site Last Modified: February 14, 2012