Standard Helps Make Locating Buried Utilities Safer

A new ASTM International standard will help specify manufacturing requirements for bimetallic tracer wire, which allows detection of underground utilities. The organization’s electrical conductors committee (B01) developed the new standard, soon to be published as B1010.

According to ASTM International member Landyn Masoner, a process engineer with Copperweld Bimetallics LLC, tracer wire (also called locator wire) is primarily utilized in locating buried pipes or other nonmetallic lines underground. When a pipe is buried, tracer wire is placed beside it allowing a handheld device to easily find its location. Tracer wire is used with gas pipes, sewers and fiber optics, among other underground piping.

Masoner says the new standard will increase safety for workers needing to locate buried utilities by providing guidance for the physical, mechanical, and electrical properties of the bimetallic conductor used in tracer wire. Tracer wire manufacturers and regulatory bodies will be the primary users of the standard.   

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