Bonding and ground straps are terms that people often make the mistake of using interchangeably. However, they are not the same thing. While their jobs are similar in nature there are very important differences. Also, their functionality is almost opposite to each other.
In this particular example, bonding means attaching two pieces of metal from a machine to connect them permanently. Joining these pieces creates an electrical path between the two pieces. Therefore, the two metal pieces (and in turn their machinery) will have the same electrical potential. Another example of bonding would also eliminate electrical buildup between two machines.
The main reason for bonding within electrical equipment is to ensure the safety of workers. If a person connects two pieces of machinery there is a potential for electrical shock. However, if there is bonding between the two pieces there should be a protection to anyone interacting with the machines. The bonding of electronics also works with the grounding of those electronics.
To continue on with the above example, you will have to ground the metal components or equipment after bonding. You accomplish this by attaching a ground strap to components while also attaching the ground strap after the bonding process. With this method, once the ground strap is attached to ground and all the other metal components are bonded together they would all be at the same ground potential.
Even when there is bonding between two machines there should also be a ground to a neutral point like the earth or another piece of material that has already been through the grounding process. Ground straps are a tool used for this. As stated in our blog on the uses of ground straps, ground straps are important because they protect people and electrical devices from electrostatic discharge (ESD).
If a short circuit occurs a ground strap will redirect the electrical charge to a ground as opposed to allowing it to travel through a person who is interacting with the machine. As well as protecting people, a ground strap can also protect any other machine from the shorted-out circuit. A ground strap will provide a safe route for the electricity to travel rather than going into another machine and causing a chain reaction of shortages.
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