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A Guide to Polymeric Geomembranes
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Series Preface xvii Preface xix About the Author xxi Acknowledgments xxiii 1 Introduction to Polymeric Geomembranes 1 1.1 Introduction 1 1.2 Viscoelastic Behaviour 2 1.3 Polymer Structure 4 1.4 Molecular Weight 5 1.5 Molecular Weight Distribution 7 1.6 Crystallinity 8 1.7 Properties of Polyethylenes 14 1.8 Stress-Strain Behaviour of Polymers 16 1.9 Melting Points 20 References 20 2 Geomembrane Manufacturing Methods 21 2.1 Blown Film (Round Die) 22 2.2 Flat Sheet Extrusion (Flat Die) 23 2.3 Coextrusion 25 2.4 Calendering 28 2.5 Spread Coating 29 2.6 Extrusion Coated Geomembranes 30 2.7 Pin-Hole Detection 30 2.8 Texturing 30 2.9 Additives for Geomembranes 40 References 51 3 HDPE Geomembranes 53 3.1 Introduction 53 3.2 Structure-Property Relationships 59 3.3 Comparison of HDPE Geomembranes with Other Geomembranes 60 3.4 Durability and Survivability of HDPE 60 3.5 Selection of Quality HDPE Geomembranes 63 3.6 Common Failure Modes of HDPE Geomembranes 75 3.7 Multilayer HDPE Geomembranes 77 3.8 Fluorinated HDPE (F-HDPE) 82 References 88 4 Linear Low-Density Polyethylene Geomembranes 91 4.1 Introduction 91 4.2 Attributes of LLDPE Geomembranes 92 4.3 Limitations of LLDPE Geomembranes 92 4.4 Mechanical Properties 92 4.5 LLDPE Geomembrane Resins 94 4.6 Speciality Flexible Polyethylene Geomembranes 95 4.7 Very Low-Density Polyethylene (VLDPE) Geomembranes 100 References 100 5 Flexible Polypropylene (fPP) Geomembranes 101 5.1 Introduction 101 5.2 Attributes of fPP Geomembranes 102 5.3 Shortcomings of fPP Geomembranes 102 5.4 Performance Propeties of fPP Geomembranes 104 5.5 Applications 112 5.6 fPP Field Failures 112 References 115 6 CSPE Geomembranes 117 6.1 Introduction 117 6.2 Grades of Hypalon J n117 6.3 Attributes of CSPE Geomembranes 118 6.4 Limitations of CSPE Geomembranes 119 6.5 General Properties of CSPE Geomembranes 120 6.6 Comparisons of CSPE with Other Geomembranes 125 6.7 Applications of CSPE Geomembranes 125 6.8 Chemical Resistance of CSPE Geomembranes 125 References 126 7 PVC Geomembranes 127 7.1 Introduction 127 7.2 Attributes of PVC Geomembranes 130 7.3 Shortcomings of PVC 132 7.4 Properties of PVC Geomembranes 133 7.5 Failure Modes 134 7.6 Formulation of PVC Geomembranes 136 References 138 8 EIA Geomembranes 139 8.1 Introduction 139 8.2 Attributes of EIA-R Geomembranes 141 8.3 Limitations of EIA-R Geomembranes 142 8.4 Performance Properties of EIA-R Geomembranes 142 8.5 Comparison of EIA-R (XR-5 _) Versus CSPE-R (Hypalon?) Geomembranes 147 8.6 Application Areas for EIA-R Geomembranes 147 References 148 9 EPDM Geomembranes 149 9.1 Introduction 149 9.2 Attributes of EPDM Geomembranes 149 9.3 Structure and Chemistry 151 9.4 Mechanical Properties 152 9.5 Advantages of EPDM over HDPE Geomembranes (Property Comparison) 153 9.6 Comparison between EPDM and PVC Geomembranes 158 9.7 Seaming EPDM Geomembranes 160 9.8 Applications 161 9.9 Service Life 161 References 162 10 Bituminous Geomembranes (BGMs) 163 10.1 Introduction 163 10.2 Prefabricated Bitumen Membranes 163 10.3 Composition and Construction 164 10.4 Longevity of Bituminous Geomembranes 165 10.5 Spray-in-Place Bitumen Membranes166 10.6 Design Life of Bituminous Geomembranes 167 References 167 11 Specialty Geomembranes and Liners 169 11.1 EVA Liners/Geomembranes 169 11.2 Butyl Rubber Liners 170 11.3 Nitrile Rubber Geomembranes 172 11.4 Chlorinated Polyethylene (CPE) 175 11.5 Polyurethane (PU) Geomembranes 176 11.6 Acrylic-Coated Geomembranes/Geotextile Composites 178 11.7 PVDF Liners 180 11.8 Chemical Vapour Barrier Membranes 182 References 187 12 Key Performance Properties of Geomembranes 189 12.1 Specific Gravity (Density) 189 12.2 Mass per Unit Area 191 12.3 Thickness 192 12.4 Melting Point 196 12.5 Melt Flow Index 198 12.6 Thermal Expansion 199 12.7 Flexibility 203 12.8 Conformability for Intimate Contact 204 12.9 Ability to Resist/Accept Stress and Deformation 204 12.10 Tensile Properties 206 12.11 Puncture Resistance 213 12.12 Tear Resistance 217 12.13 Ply Adhesion of Reinforced Geomembranes 219 12.14 Resistance to Stress Cracking 220 12.15 Frictional Properties 226 12.16 Low-Temperature Properties 232 12.17 High-Temperature Capabilities 236 12.18 Oxidative Resistance 236 12.19 UV Resistance 240 12.20 Permeability of Geomembranes 241 12.21 Durability 245 12.22 Application Specific Performance Properties 249 12.23 Comparison of Performance Properties of Flexible Geomembranes 251 References 251 13 Testing of Geomembranes 255 13.1 Material Property Testing 255 13.2 Measuring Thickness 256 13.3 Density 258 13.4 Mass per Unit Area 259 13.5 Tensile Testing Methods 259 13.6 Tear Testing 266 13.7 Ply Adhesion 268 13.8 Puncture Resistance 269 13.9 Impact Resistance 275 13.10 Environmental Stress Cracking 276 13.11 Dimensional Stability 283 13.12 Friction Angles 284 13.13 Melt Flow Index (MFI) 284 13.14 Durability Testing 286 13.15 Tests for Additives 294 13.16 Carbonyl Index Measurements 303 13.17 Chemical Resistance Testing 305 References 309 14 Chemical Resistance of Geomembranes 313 14.1 Chemical Resistance Tables 314 14.2 Factors Affecting Chemical Resistance 315 14.3 Effects of Chemicals on Geomembranes 322 14.4 Chemical Resistance Testing 322 14.5 Geomembrane Chemical Resistance by Chemical Class 329 14.6 Geomembrane Chemical Resistance by Polymer Type 335 14.7 Environmental Stress Cracking 339 References 341 15 Failure Modes of Geomembranes 343 15.1 Potential for Geomembrane Damage 343 15.2 Failure of Installed Geomembranes 344 References 368 16 Application Areas for Geomembranes 371 16.1 Landfill Liners 371 16.1.1 Design Aspects 373 16.2 Landfill Caps/Covers 374 16.3 Mining Applications 378 16.4 Floating Covers 386 16.5 Tank Liners 394 References 399 17 Welding of Geomembranes 401 17.1 Wedge Welding 401 17.2 Hot Air Fusion Welding 413 17.3 Extrusion Welding 415 17.4 General Overview of Thermal Welding Methods 424 17.5 Potential Thermal Welding Problems 425 17.6 Defects that can Affect Weld Integrity 429 17.7 Trial Welds and Field Welds 437 17.8 Chemical Welding of Geomembranes 440 17.9 General Welding Instructions for HDPE/LLDPE/fPP Geomembranes 442 17.10 General Welding Instructions for PVC Geomembranes 445 References 447 18 Geomembrane Weld Testing Methods 449 18.1 Introduction to Weld Testing 449 18.2 Visual Inspection of Welds 450 18.3 Nondestructive Seam Tests 453 18.4 Destructive Weld Tests 465 18.5 Forensic Weld Examination 484 18.6 Leak Location Testing 485 References 489 19 Geomembrane Installation Factors 491 19.1 Introduction 491 19.2 Design Considerations 493 19.3 Installation and Damage Considerations 496 References 531 Appendix 1 Glossary 533 References 546 Appendix 2 Geomembrane Test Methods 547 American Society for Testing and Materials 547 Geomembrane (GM) Related Test Methods and Standards from GRI 549 Geomembrane Testing Methods Conversion Table ASTM and ISO 551 Index 553

About the Author

Dr. John Scheirs is a polymer technologist with ExcelPlas Geomembrane Testing Services. He specializes in geomembrane properties, polymer selection, failure analysis and testing and evaluation of geomembrane materials. He has extensive experience in durability testing of many polymeric geomembranes, in addition to routine mechanical analysis, forensic investigation and weld testing of geomembranes and polymeric liners. He has worked widely with HDPE, fPP and PVC membranes. Previously he worked with Exxon-Mobil on the stabilization and long-term durability of HDPE polymers.

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