A geomembrane system is a series of synthetic liners used to contain fluids or gasses. It is especially important in agricultural, chemical, or industrial sectors in which hazardous wastes must be contained and kept away from potable water sources.
What is a Geomembrane System?
Though a geomembrane system may be used to contain reserve water from nuclear facilities, radioactive or hazardous wastes, or manure management systems for CAFOs; they may also be used to line pools, ponds, and golf course water holes and sand bunkers. In order to contain these liquids and gasses, geomembrane material must be thick, chemical resistant, puncture resistant, UV protected. They should also feature low permeability (ability to retain gasses), low hydraulic conductivity, and low gas and water vapor transmission rate.
How Are Geomembrane Systems Manufactured?
In order to manufacture a geomembrane system that meets all of the above requirements, raw materials such as polymer resin, are processed with additives such as antioxidants, plasticizers, fillers, carbon black, and lubricants into sheets via manufacturing methods known as extrusion, calendering, or spread coating.
Extrusion involves drying the plastic material and then heating the resin to a molten state. The melted material is then forced through a die or cast of the appropriate size and shape before it is cooled and solidified. Calendering, on the other hand, uses hard pressure rollers to flatten the sheets into thin liners much as wood is flattened into thin paper sheets as part of the papermaking process.
Spread coating involves dissolving the material into a liquid and then spreading it into sheets much as a baker would spread icing onto a cake. A spread coating machine creates a very thin layer of the hot melted material, then bakes and dries it in an oven, evaporating any solvent and leaving the geomembrane material in its place. Whichever manufacturing process is used, the geomembrane material is then fabricated, paneled, and installed.
BTL Liners has designed and constructed insulated floating covers, which are comprised of multiple layers of our polyethylene-based foam surrounded by reinforced polyethylene (RPE). The double membrane covers are also flexible to -85°F and typically about 1” thick. The flexible foam that we use at BTL Liners allows the finished covers to be folded and rolled, for efficient transport with more covers per truckload. This effectively reduces the in-field work, as the joining of multiple pieces can be done before transport.
What Are the Properties of Geomembranes?
Once the geomembrane has been manufactured, it undergoes intensive testing by the International American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) using testing methods set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This is to ensure that geomembranes meet the weight, thickness, density, melt flow index, and vapor transmission requirements for safe and effective fluid containment. Mechanical testing proves the tensile strength, tear resistance, impact resistance, puncture resistance, and strength of the material can endure extreme conditions.
BTL’s geomembrane liners provide superior strength, water loss prevention, contamination protection and seepage prevention. The BTL 40 also has a burst strength of 1250 psi, making it the strongest geomembrane liner on the market today. This is coupled with the fact that the BTL 40 is less than half of weight of HDPE, PVC or EPDM, and does not require the use of an underlayment.
What Are Geomembranes Used For?
Geomembrane systems serve a variety of industries with the same end goal in mind: containment. Geomembranes are used in verticals such as agriculture, residential, energy, mining, transportation, construction, and other industrial water and waste management industries. They line ponds, canals, landfills, dams, tunnels, pipeways, sewers, roads, highways, and many other applications that require the steadfast retention of fluids and gasses. They prevent erosion, prevent leakage, protect against the sun, and prevent water contamination; and they are guaranteed to contain whatever liquids or wastes your application may require.
BTL’s reinforced polyethylene liners are the strongest, most lightweight and UV/chemical resistant geomembrane liners on the market today. Contact BTL Liners for more information about BTL 40 and our other geomembrane containment systems for your next project.