Aligning Your ArcFM Cathodic Protection Material Conductivity Codes


ArcFM Cathodic Protection (CP) tracing for gas and water networks relies on coded value domains to determine whether a pipe or device should be considered conductive – and thus traceable – or not. Key among these are these fields.  (For the priority of what happens when one field indicates traceable and another indicates non-traceable see the ArcFM Resources site.)

Field Domain Values
BondedIndicator Yes No Indicator “Y” = traceable, “N” = non-traceable
InsulatedIndicator Yes No Indicator “Y” = non-traceable, “N” = traceable
CPSystemStatus CP System Status [0] “Closed” = traceable , [1] “Open” = non-traceable
Material <Varies> <Varies>

As shown in the table above, the Material field has the ability to vary from class to class – and that’s the topic of this post.

The Problem

Material of course requires more than a Yes/No or Closed/Open domain, so the way ArcFM traces are informed of whether the material should be considered conductive or not requires another method. That method is another domain named “Material Conductivity.”      You can use this domain to hold all material code values and a conductive/non-conductive indicator for all gas network classes that have a material field.

The standard Minerville model has a few values in this table for the most common material types, but your implementation may have extended material domains for different feature classes. Here’s the Minerville version of this domain (a Description value of 1 means conductive and 0 means non-conductive) with columns added to show the associated classes and domain values.

Domain Values  
Code Description Applies to Class(es) Subtype / Domain Value
1 1 DistributionMain Subtype [1] “Bare Steel”
2 0 DistributionMain Subtype [2] “Cast Iron”
3 1 DistributionMain Subtype [3] “Coated Steel”
4 1 DistributionMain Subtype [4] “Copper”
5 0 DistributionMain Subtype [5] “Plastic”
BS 1 Service Gas Pipe Service Material [BS] “Bare Steel”
CI 0 GasValve Gas Valve Material [CI] “Cast Iron”
CI 0 Service Gas Pipe Service Material [CI] “Cast Iron”
CS 1 Service Gas Pipe Service Material [CS] “Coated Steel”
CU 1 Service Gas Pipe Service Material [CU] “Copper”
PL 0 GasValve Gas Valve Material [PL] “Plastic”
PL 0 NonControllableFitting Gas Fitting Material [PL] “Plastic”
PL 0 ControllableFItting Gas Fitting Material [PL] “Plastic”
PL 0 Service Gas Pipe Service Material [PL] “Plastic”

In your implementation chances are good that you will account for more material types than are present in Minerville — possibly different types of plastic, or hybrid compounds or ductile iron or wrought iron, or any number of other materials of equipment used to convey gas and water.

Normally values in one domain are completely independent, so if you used “BS” to indicate Bare Steel in your valve material domain and “BARE” to indicate Bare Steel in your fitting domain it’s no big deal.  However, since all these values will be combined in a single domain for material conductivity you’ll want to take care to avoid overlaps and ensure consistency.

Your Solution Approach

As you’re extending the various material domains it might help to maintain a master value list, something like the following:

Material Field Domains

Material Class Domain Value
Bare Steel
DistributionMain Subtype 1
Service Gas Service Material BS
GasValve Gas Valve Material BS
Fitting Gas Fitting Material BS
Plastic DistributionMain Subtype 5
Service Gas Service Material PL
GasValve Gas Valve Material PL
Fitting Gas Valve Material PL
… and so forth


This will help ensure you’re using consistent values that won’t get confused when you’re building out your Material Conductivity domain. Goodness knows that keeping track of CP system extents is challenging enough without adding confusion about what materials are conductive and what are not.

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