Long Term Durability of Geomembranes

by Robert M. Koerner, (M.ASCE), Dir.; Geosynthetic Research Institute, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA,
Yick Halse-Hsuan, Prof.; Geosynthetic Research Institute, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA,
Arthur E. Lord, Jr., Prof.; Geosynthetic Research Institute, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 4, Pg. 56-58


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: The most frequently asked question about geosynthetic materials is how long they will last. Precise answers, especially for geomembranes, elude researchers as well as manufacturers, design engineers, contractors and even chemists. We know that the lifetimes of buried geomembranes can be quite different (longer) from that of exposed ones, and we have learned enough about the causes of degradation to make some suggestions about measures that will prolong the useful lives of commonly used geomembranes. Membranes are not easy to install well, but will last far longer than most researchers had originally thought. This article discusses various types of membranes, the degradation mechanisms and their prediction. At present, case histories and on-site recovery of test strips seem to be the best prediction methods.

Subject Headings: Geosynthetics | Geomembranes | Durability | Membranes | Life cycles | Fatigue | Degradation

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