Geomembrane Installation

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Geomembrane Installation

May 18, 2020

How do wrinkles occur when installing composite geomembrane? It is related to the many decisions made during design, product selection and installation, as well as the site boundary conditions. So, how can we improve overall global practice?

Geomembrane shrinkage-deal with thermal expansion
During the installation process, the geomembrane is inevitably exposed. Because the lining is located in an open-air environment, UV exposure or indoor temperatures generally increase, it may accumulate heat. The environment at the work site. No matter where it is installed, thermal elongation may occur, such as Germany, Burkina Faso, Japan, South Africa, etc. However, thermal elongation is reversible and can be controlled.


Important points to consider:
Both waviness and dimensional stability must be considered at the same time. The more "freezing" tension in the product, the greater the difference in dimensional stability, which will fluctuate when the temperature changes. If the dimensional stability is controlled, the liner will remain flat, otherwise the generated ripples will disappear again.

-- From design to operation, thermal expansion and contraction behavior and stress relaxation must be considered
-- Bare slope is the most critical monitoring
-- If the geomembrane is wrinkled or bridged due to thermal expansion, additional extrusion welding must be performed with extreme caution
-- The lighter surface color on the geomembrane will reduce geomembrane wrinkling caused by thermal expansion
-- Waves formed in smooth geomembrane have a higher retention tendency than waves in smooth lining
-- Thickness has no substantial effect on wrinkling

Geomembrane Installation
Installation best practices are essential to keep the geomembrane as ideal as possible. It is recommended to be installed by professional engineering staff, which is very important.

composite geomembrane

When welding geomembrane panels together, the panels should have the same temperature to avoid wrinkling. Therefore, the panel just unfolded should not be immediately welded to the panel "installed the day before" or "heated for some time". When welding panels with the same temperature, it is possible to avoid ramp waves and waves in the welding area.

Geomembrane rolls should be stored on a horizontal surface, and it must be kept in mind how the on-site environment exerts a temperature influence on the roll before it is even unrolled.

Flat Plate Welding
Geomembrane anchoring and ballasting
Sometimes a large lining area is built due to insufficient anchor design. If these areas are not covered, the geomembrane will wrinkle and bridge due to wind rise or temperature changes and their movement in the liner.

Can't help but ask, is ballasting the problem we leave to the geomembrane installer to make a decision? Can we actually specify a specific method to keep the geomembrane flat? For example, anchor design. The answer is yes, there are various measures to keep the liner flat, and the specified liner does not necessarily affect the installation progress.


In order to prevent the geomembrane from wrinkling, bridging and voiding, we must actively recognize the need to become a team member. Designers, installers, CQA professionals and all other stakeholders in the project can and do affect the success of the facility.