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This overview paper addresses a number of topics and issues pertaining to geosynthetic clay liners, or as they are usually referenced, GCLs. GCLs are factory manufactured products consisting of a layer of bentonite contained between two geotextiles by using adhesives, stitch bonding or needle punching, or by adhesively bonding the bentonite to a geomembrane. A number of commercially available products are available on a worldwide basis. The various products are reviewed along with some of the basic elements of their manufacturing process. The primary areas of acceptance and utilization are also presented.
Relevant physical, hydraulic, mechanical and endurance properties and their associated test methods are presented from the perspective of manufacturing quality control (MQC) tests versus design oriented (or performance) tests. Research and development testing is also addressed as contrasted to MQC and design testing. Lastly, current activity and recommendations are suggested for these relatively new and unique barrier materials.
It is hoped that the paper sets the proper tone for subsequent papers in this symposium which will add to the growing body ofV information and knowledge. Indeed, GCL's (acting individually or as composite materials) are changing the very essence of liquid barriers and their associated containment systems.
Geosynthetic clay liners, GCLs, bentonite, geotextiles, geomembranes, adhesives, needle punching, stitch bonding, heat burnishing, GCL products, GCL manufacturing quality control testing, MQC, design tests, performance tests, R & D tests
Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Geosynthetic Research Institute, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA