How Thick is Geomembrane?

October 25, 2021 | Geomembrane, Insights

There are numerous misconceptions regarding what makes an optimally constructed geomembrane in the geomembrane sector. One of the most important is the needed thickness, which frequently leads to a debate among geomembrane specialists and engineers: “Is a thicker membrane genuinely better?”

The Present Situation

A typical geomembrane is 60 mils thick and has the consistency of a thicker waste bag. The industry standard for this material is 60 mil HDPE. Many engineers are taught that a thicker geomembrane is a better geomembrane, although this is not always the case.
The XR Geomembrane Engineers

The chemical and UV resistance of XR geomembranes impresses the XR Geomembrane Engineers, however they frequently request that the geomembranes be 60 mils thick rather than 30 mils, which is too thin for a geomembrane. Because they’re strengthened with an internal reinforcing foundation fabric that gives high strength and puncture resistance, the average XR Geomembrane material used for lining projects is 30 mils thick. Unreinforced geomembranes, such as HDPE, on the other hand, become increasingly puncture resistant as their thickness increases. The distinction is in XR Geomembranes’ unique manufacturing method, which allows them to be thin while yet being incredibly robust.

Puncture resistance and tensile strength

The foundation fabric, or “scrim,” determines the tensile strength of an XR Geomembrane. The XR Geomembrane can only extend 20–25 percent, but a conventional HDPE geomembrane may stretch up to 200–300 percent. The HDPE geomembrane gives fast, however an XR Geomembrane, which is reinforced, can withstand a significantly higher tensile strain and has a yield and breaking point of roughly 25% elongation.

Environmental Stress and Life Expectancy

A thicker geomembrane would seem to have a longer life expectancy. In actuality, a geomembrane’s thickness has minimal bearing on its lifespan. The strength and manufacturing procedure of a geomembrane determine its real lifespan. When it comes to environmental stress, many people believe that a thicker geomembrane is the way to go. The XR-5 Geomembrane, on the other hand, is more puncture resistant and less prone to wear and tear.

Puncture-Proof Pack

When analysing and comparing geomembrane materials, the facts and figures surrounding this thickness disagreement are critical. When displaying the ultimate strength of the XR Geomembrane, however, having actual proof that supports this “less is more” philosophy is far more successful. This is why XR Geomembranes created a puncture pack with three distinct geomembranes: 60 mil HDPE, 45 mil Polypropylene, and 30 mil XR-5.

HDPE geomembrane is a type of anti-seepage film made of high-density polyethylene. HDPE geomembrane thicknesses utilised in anti-seepage and waterproofing applications range from 0.5mm to 3.0mm. 0.75mm, 1.0mm, 1.25mm, 1.5mm, 2.0mm, 2.5mm, 3.0mm, 3.5mm, and more thicknesses are possible. For joint processing, use hot-melt welding equipment.

In most cases, the thickness of the anti-seepage geomembrane is determined during the engineering design process. Many aspects are taken into account in the design, including the local environment, external forces, water depth, and so on. The substance and shape of the soil have an impact on the geomembrane design thickness. The bigger the diameter and angularity of the soil particles in sandy soil, for example, the greater the needed thickness.

The thickness of the geomembrane used for various application domains varies as well. Many fields are employed, such as municipal environmental protection field dumps, particularly liquid waste, which has fluidity and extravasation, is easy to spread, and is difficult to monitor and treat. Now, geomembrane may be utilised to remedy this problem; most landfills employ 1.5mm or 2mm thick geomembrane. Of course, the thickness of geomembrane used as a substrate for anti-seepage, side slope anti-seepage, and closing coverage varies when utilised in different directions in the landfill.

Aquaculture is one of the fields where geomembranes are employed. Geomembranes may be utilised currently to reduce irrigation water extravasation and enhance efficiency and longevity in diversion ditches, where water seepage is common. There are also shrimp ponds and aquaculture fish ponds. Geomembranes of 0.75mm and 1mm thickness are employed.

Geomembrane is particularly popular in the petrochemical sector because of its impermeability, acid resistance, alkali resistance, and chemical resistance. It may be used to prevent chemical corrosive liquids and petroleum waste liquids from seeping into chemical sewage facilities and oil refining sewage tanks. These projects often employ geomembrane with a thickness of 1.5mm, 2mm, or 2.5mm for diffusion and extravasation.

There are also many additional elements to consider when choosing a thickness, such as landfill topography, soil quality, anti-seepage materials, anti-seepage regulations, and so on. In anti-seepage engineering, how do you pick the thickness of geomembrane? There is no question that the thicker the geomembrane is, the higher the cost will be. The thinner the thickness, the lower the cost, but it cannot match the project’s requirements.

As a result, selecting the appropriate thickness of geomembrane can not only fulfil engineering requirements, but also accomplish the goal of cost reduction. The thickness should be chosen and modified in accordance with the geomembrane’s engineering specifications. The geomembrane is typically not less than 0.5mm thick. It is advised that the materials be tested by the relevant testing centre during the project’s real operation to determine if the quality of the geomembrane supplied by the manufacturer is dependable and to give a foundation for selecting safe, reliable, and cost-effective materials.

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