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An important property of geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) is hydraulic conductivity. The authors describe and evaluate a new device, a GCL flowbox, that offers several advantages over large tanks or flexible-wall permeameters. The GCL flowbox can be used to test large-scale intact specimens, overlapped specimens with a full-width seam, and specimens subjected to environmental stresses such as freeze-thaw. A transparent, acrylic GCL flowbox was developed for testing at low normal stresses, and a metal version was developed for applying higher normal stresses. Results from the GCL flowbox compared favorably to results obtained with tanks and flexible-wall permeameters. It is concluded that the GCL flowbox provides a convenient and reliable testing methodology for verifying the hydraulic conductivity of both intact specimens and overlapped GCL panels.
hydraulic conductivity, permeability, bentonite, geosynthetic clay liner, GCL, overlap, freeze, thaw
Professor, University of Texas, Austin, TX
President, Trautwein Soil Testing Equipment Company, Houston, TX
Graduate Research Assistant, University of Texas, Austin, TX