This paper discusses the effect of initial moisture content on free swell of the clay component of Geosynthetic Clay Liners (GCLs). Geosynthetic Research Institute (GRI) test method GCL-1 was used to perform all free swell tests included in this paper. Three commercially available GCLs were used in the study. For each GCL, free swell tests were performed at various initial moisture contents. For two GCLs, the free swell was seen to decrease linearly with an increase in the initial moisture content of the test specimens. For the third GCL, the free swell was found to decrease non-linearly with an increase in the initial moisture content. A procedure for correcting the free swell for the initial moisture content of GCLs is suggested. Using this procedure, the free swell of the clay component of a GCL test specimen at a desired initial moisture content can be calculated from the experimentally determined free swell at a different initial moisture content.
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