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The paper addresses the way in which analytical techniques may be used to characterize changes in the microstructure of geomembranes due to aggressive chemical environments. For this work, linear medium density polyethylene geomembranes and high density polyethylene geomembranes were exposed to 70% nitric acid for 2, 6, 8, and 10 days at 50°C. Tensile properties were measured after each exposure period. Degrees of crystallinity, onset of decomposition temperature, and infrared analyses were conducted before and after 10 days' exposure to nitric acid. Both materials displayed degradation and appear to have been similarly affected by the aggressive chemical environment.
analytical techniques, polyethylene, nitric acid, degradation, HDPE, LMDPE, DSC, TG, IR
GeoSyntec, Inc., Boynton Beach, FL
Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL