I'm working on an application in which sparks (specifically from static discharge) present a severe safety hazard. One component in question is a piece of PVC water pipe. It has been proposed to "ground" the pipe to minimize the risk of static shocks between humans and the pipe, and between other components and the pipe. I am skeptical as to whether this component needs to be grounded at all; it's not conductive, so my intuition is that it isn't able to cause a shock. Normally I would just go along with this, however the proposed methods of grounding involve expensive adhesives and coatings which also have a long lead time for ordering.
Can a PVC pipe cause a static discharge? If so, what industry practices are out there to mitigate this phenomena?
The pipe is being used in a test fixture for testing energetic materials, i.e. combustible solids. The energetic material is loaded into a length of the pipe, along with some sensors and other components. The material is ignited, after which the pipe is destroyed. The static spark concern is only during the loading process, when the energetic material could be ignited prematurely. The pipe is not used in its normal manner, like to transfer particles or fluids.