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Geosynthetic clay liners consist of a layer of bentonite supported by various types of geosynthetics to form a composite material. Their primary function is to serve as liners for environmental, geotechnical and transportation applications. These materials are conformance tested as well as designed based upon their hydraulic conductivity. There are currently two different permeability tests used to measure the permeability of these materials. They are rigid and flexible wall variations of ASTM D5887 entitled Test Method for Measurement of Index Flux through Saturated Geosynthetic Clay Liner Specimens Using Flexible Wall Permeameter. It is the intent of this paper to illustrate how results are influenced by different equipment. This issue is relevant because it appears that many European and Asian testing laboratories are tending toward rigid walled testing, whereas laboratories in the USA are testing via flexible permeameters.
geosynthetics, testing permeability, geosynthetic clay liner, GCLs
Associate Director, Geosynthetic Institute, Folsom, PA