STP1081: A Review of Polymer Test Methods Applicable to Geosynthetics for Waste Containment

    Mores, M
    professor of chemistryprincipal investigatorproject managergraduate studentgraduate student, Southwest Texas State University (SWTSU)USEPATexas Tech UniversitySWTSU, San Marcos, TX

    Cassidy, PE
    professor of chemistryprincipal investigatorproject managergraduate studentgraduate student, Southwest Texas State University (SWTSU)USEPATexas Tech UniversitySWTSU, San Marcos, TX

    Kerwick, DJ
    professor of chemistryprincipal investigatorproject managergraduate studentgraduate student, Southwest Texas State University (SWTSU)USEPATexas Tech UniversitySWTSU, San Marcos, TX

    Koeck, DC
    professor of chemistryprincipal investigatorproject managergraduate studentgraduate student, Southwest Texas State University (SWTSU)USEPATexas Tech UniversitySWTSU, San Marcos, TX

    Pages: 13    Published: Jan 1990


    Abstract

    The study of the environmental degradation of geosynthetic materials used in hazardous waste facilities has generated much interest in recent years. Analytical methods are used to supplement conventional structure changes and mechanisms of failure associated with the polymer. Any changes in the base polymer caused by chemical exposure may result in severe changes in strength, durability and serviceability of the geosynthetic. Chemical and physical analytical methods are used in evaluation of chemical compatibility and long-term durability of geosynthetics for several purposes: 1) to verify that geosynthetics tested in advance of landfill construction are essentially the same as those procured for the actual installation, 2) to identify and monitor changes in molecular structure caused by chemical attack, and 3) to provide accelerated assessment of the effects of long-term aging, an especially difficult and as yet, not thoroughly researched topic. These factors can be reviewed by studying the oxidation and solvation properties as well as the change in crystalline structure of the plastics.

    This paper discusses “fingerprinting” methods used to characterize geosynthetics. These methods fall into four major categories of analytical techniques: thermal analysis, spectroscopy, chromatography and microscopy. The advantages of these analytical techniques are their precision, accuracy, and small sample size requirements. The methods discussed in this paper can detect small changes in molecular structure that often are not observed with traditional bulk properties testing after short aging times.

    Keywords:

    Analytical techniques, geosynthetic characterization, spectroscopy, thermal analysis, microscopy, chromatography


    Paper ID: STP19020S

    Committee/Subcommittee: D35.96

    DOI: 10.1520/STP19020S


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