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Need Earth Ground Without Drilling a Hole

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by D from BC, Jun 14, 2007.

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  1. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    I need to connect the green earth wire to an aluminum box but... the
    tricky situation is that I can't drill a hole for a bolt, screw or pop

    What do I do?

    D from BC
  2. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Welded stud.

  3. James Beck

    James Beck Guest

    Aluminum flux and some solder.
    Silver impregnated epoxy, and rough up the surface.

    That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

  4. If appearance isn't an issue, there are grounding clips that clip onto
    the edge of an approved metal fixture box. Unfortunately, I don't think
    aluminum has been used for such a box in premises wiring, so the use of
    such a clip (intended for steel boxes) isn't within the scope of their
    acceptable use. That's per NEC rules.

    TIG weld a ground stud or lug into the box in a convenient location. If
    the aluminum is thick, you might be able to drill and tap a blind hole
    (if appearance was the reason for the 'no drill' rule).
  5. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    What kind of box? Project box, or wall outlet/junction box?

    Good Luck!
  6. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Never, ever solder a safety ground connection.

  7. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Maybe I could make a welder??
    I've heard about mini pulse arc welders for jewelery.
    D from BC
  8. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    I could try soldering..But I'll need lots of heat..
    The point I have to ground is also an excellent heat sink.
    Also...I think aluminum flux might be a specialty item.. A pita to

    One time I did mix epoxy with aluminum splinters..Worked good.

    Commercial silver conductive adhesive sounds ok.. I'm clueless if this
    can pass 15amps in the event of a ground fault. I'll check some
    Also, I wonder if CSA would approve an earth ground wire bonded with
    conductive adhesive to an aluminum box.
    Maybe the ground wire will burn off...
    Although, I'm not aiming for CSA..I do try to practice CSA
    approvalable construction.
    D from BC
  9. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Oh yah...clips...It's been ages since I've seen that..Totally forgot..
    (It's the lead! :p )
    But clips will interfere with assembly in my app.

    Tapping is possible but I think I'd have to track down some high
    thread count specialty tap.
    It's 1.5mm thick aluminum..

    I've been thinking buiding making my own TIG welder circuit..
    An example on:
    D from BC
  10. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Weld a tab inside the box.

  11. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Project box..but I want all sides smooth.
    The electronics inside are at shock levels.

    D from BC
  12. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Is that because of the solder resistance?
    Flunks at approval agencies ?
    D from BC
  13. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Safety grounds require a reliable mechanical connection. The stud (if used)
    should also be corrosion proof.

  14. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    It's indirectly because of the resistance - at a certain current level,
    the I^2R will heat up the solder, which _could_ melt and leave
    you with an open ground, which depending on the fault, could make
    the equipment dangerous to touch.

  15. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    If it's a one-off, then Drill & tap, use a screw on the inside, and grind
    off however much screw sticks out on the outside. :)

    Use the kind of lockwasher with the teeth all around, to dig into the

    Good Luck!
  16. Nice!
    Cannot drill a simple hole in soft matter and is building a TIG welder.
    No wonder elders are complaining that this world IS going to hell.


  17. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

  18. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    It's like I got a bad case of stupid-smart :)

    Maybe I can get my ground wire blended into the aluminum like with the
    Hutchison effect.. :)
    D from BC
  19. D from BC

    D from BC Guest's one-off..

    Doh!...Forgot the teethed lockwasher.
    I'll have to put another screw on and regrind.
    D from BC
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