CCS Tracer Wire by Pro-Line Safety is Corrosion Resistant

 In Damage Prevention of Utilities

CCS tracer wire is corrosion resistant. If a tracer wire’s conductor is prone to corrosion, it will unavoidably breakdown and interfere with the signal strength until the line may become unlocatable.

PRO-TRACE HF CCS PE30 TRACER WIREDoes my CCS tracer wire corrode?

In an earlier post, Tracer Wire Copper-Clad Steel vs. Copper, I explain many of the benefits Pro-Trace CCS tracer wire, and one of the most important is its ability to resist corrosion.

When metals are mechanically fastened together, tiny gaps are created between the metal, permitting rain and mineral salts to enter, forming electrolytes. In the presence of oxygen, electrolytes become the perfect catalyst for corrosion.

Copper clad steel tracer wire is not mechanically fastened, it is metallurgically bonded together.

What is metallurgical bonding?

Metallurgical bonding is the connecting of two different metals with the help of clad metal, which is similar to one of the metals in the union. This is the process by which the copper coating in CCS tracer wire is attached to the steel core. This style of bonding is free from oxide films, cavities and any form of openings between the two different metals. With metallurgical bonding, high pressure and heat are used to fuse the copper and steel together, forging the metals together.

Will my CCS locating wire corrode when cut?

The steel core within the tracer wire will corrode if exposed to oxygen. If a wire is cut and has an exposed end, an electrolytic cell is created when exposed to an electrolyte. This corrosion will continue until the total surface area is covered with a thin layer of oxide. We call this the scab. Once this crust forms, however, the corrosion process stops.

tracer wire corrosionWhat happens if the wire is scored or nicked?

If the CCS tracer wire is nicked, the copper flows and prevents the area of exposed steel. The cladding process uses solid strips of oxygen-free copper that are forged into the surface of the steel core. This bond makes it impossible to strike the wire with a shovel or hatchet to expose the steel core. The bond is so well integrated into the surface that the copper flows to the impacted area and protects and covers the steel core, preventing corrosion.

Corrosion Test on Tracer Wire

Pro-Line Safety conducted a corrosion test to understand their products’ corrosion properties. This was a five-year study that examined the wire for corrosive issues in various conditions, including destructive and non-destructive tests. Samples were buried in varying soil conditions with monitors to check for soil pH, moisture, temperature, and conductivity. The results concluded that:

  • PRO-TRACE® HF-CCS & HDD-CCS are corrosion resistant tracer wires.
  • When exposing the steel core to the elements, the tracer wire performance is not compromised.
  • When the wire is cut, a thin layer or scab of corrosion forms to a depth of 0.056 inches which seals out moisture and stops the corrosion process.

If you want more information on this test, download the study.

Tracer Wire for Sale

Linc Energy Systems recently became the Pro-Trace Copper Clad Steel (CCS) tracer wire national master distributor. If you would like more information on Pro-Trace, call me today at (303) 697-6701 or visit Tracer Wire to Mark Utilities.


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