Plastic-Reinforced Asphalt Seepage Barrier

by Ronald K. Frobel, (A.M.ASCE), Research Assoc.; Water Resources Research Center, Tucson, Ariz.,
C. Brent Cluff, (A.M.ASCE), Hydro.; Water Resources Research Center, Tucson, Ariz.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 3, Pg. 369-380

Document Type: Journal Paper


This report is concerned with laboratory equipment development, laboratory testing, and field investigations of a water seepage barrier consisting of plastic-reinforced asphalt. Three testing methods were utilized and evaluated in the asphalt-plastic-asphalt-chip-coated (APAC) membrane investigation. The first test method evaluated the hydrostatic puncture resistance of an asphalt-polyethylene combination. This test confirmed the hypothesis that the asphalt effectively increases the puncture resistance of the APAC membrane over that of plain polyethylene. The second test investigated the slope stability of a protective APAC chip seal. It was found that a typical 3/8-in. (9.5-mm) cover aggregate remained stable on constructed slopes of 3:1 and 4:1 and also remained stable on a 2:1 slope up to a surface temperature of 122°F (50°C). The third test method evaluated adhesive materials and determined the best suited adhesive for sealing polyethylene overlaps. Subsequent field investigations resulted in equipment development that increased construction efficiency in the installation of the APAC membrane.

Subject Headings: Field tests | Laboratory tests | Material tests | Membranes | Plastics | Seepage | Construction equipment | Asphalts

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