SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1990

The Effects of Seaming on the Durability of Adjacent Polyethylene Geomembranes


Several stress cracking failures in the liners of fluid waste impoundments have been observed in and adjacent to all types of seams in polyethylene geomembranes. The majority of these cracks occur at the outer edge of extruded fillet and lap seams and the inside edge of hot wedge seams. Stress cracking is the predominant mechanism that presently compromises the long-term durability of polyethylene geomembrane and that, in cold weather, may initiate spectacular, rapid crack propagation failures. Each type of polyethylene resin has its own fundamental stress cracking characteristics, which can be modified by the time/temperature history during manufacture of the geomembrane and, subsequently, during seaming. This paper reports the results of a preliminary series of constant tensile load tests using single edge notched specimens to determine the effects on stress crack growth rates of different types of seams in different polyethylene geomembranes. The influence of microstructure on stress cracking is also assessed.

Author Information

Peggs, ID
Carlson, DS
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Developed by Committee: D35
Pages: 132–142
DOI: 10.1520/STP19028S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5139-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1456-2