An investigation in two phases was conducted to characterize and evaluate the cause(s) of field deterioration of both black and white nonwoven polypropylene geotextiles in a municipal landfill. A preliminary determination was made in the first phase that the observed decay varied between the materials and was the result of damaging thermal effects and mechanical stress. Observational and analytical data supported but did not definitively establish the causal agents. The second test phase was designed to reproduce the failure mode; it involved thermal exposure of restrained (stressed) and unrestrained samples of black 270 g/m2 (8 oz/yd2) geotextile. An unexposed sample was used to obtain control values. After 72 days of exposure, degradation of the specimens was assessed by measurement of physical and mechanical properties and by scanning electron microscope and microstructural analytical techniques.
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