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ASTM update: Committee D35 on Geosynthetics

News | October 1, 2006 | By:

ASTM Committee D35 met June 14-16 in Toronto for its 2006 semiannual session. There were many interesting meetings and activities held in Toronto, and there were eight awards given to task group leaders following the completion and acceptance of new standards.

One of the clear highlights in the week’s activities was a two-hour workshop presented by Dr. Richard Bathurst of the GeoEngineering Department at Queens-RMC addressing “Geosynthetic Performance in Low Strain Applications.” Dr. Bathurst discussed how changing design procedures emphasized the need for more and better test procedures focused on geosynthetic behavior under low loads and low strains. The workshop was well attended and the audience participated with a number of questions and good discussion.

During the meeting on the newly developed Pore Size Distribution test method ASTM D6767, Dr. Shobha Bhatia from Syracuse University made a compelling presentation of the work that she and her graduate students have performed with this test method. The major benefit of the test procedure is a much more detailed description of all sizes of a woven or nonwoven structure. This test method is considered by many to be a replacement for the current AOS test method, with widespread use currently hampered by limited test equipment and general unawareness regarding the procedure.

The Awards Reception was funded, in most part, by an anonymous Canadian manufacturer, and the attending committee members clearly enjoyed the event. In addition to the awards presentations, announcements were made highlighting the Geosynthetics 2007 and Geo-Americas 2008 conferences.

Good job!

Sam Allen, chair of D35, recognized the following six task group leaders for their contributions toward the development and adoption of eight standards within D35.

Jean-François Côté for his work on:

  • D7274—Standard Test Method Mineral Stabilizer Content of Prefabricated Bituminous Geomembranes (BGM)
  • D7275—Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Bituminous Geomembranes (BGM)

Mark Wolschon for his work on:

  • D7176—Standard Specification for Non-Reinforced Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Geomembranes Used in Buried Applications
  • D7177—Standard Specification for Air Channel Evaluation of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Dual Track Seamed Geomembranes

David Jones for his work on:

  • D7239—Standard Specification for Hybrid Geosynthetic Paving Mat for Highway Applications

Jimmy Youngblood for his work on:

  • D7240—Standard Practice for Leak Location using Geomembranes with an Insulating Layer in Intimate Contact with a Conductive Layer via Electrical Capacitance Technique (Conductive Geomembrane Spark Test)

Eric Blond for his work on:

  • D7178—Standard Practice for Determining the Number of Constrictions “m” of Non-Woven Geotextiles as a Complementary Filtration Property

Jeff PanKonie for his work on:

  • D7272—Standard Test Method for Determining the Integrity of Seams Used in Joining Geomembranes by Pre-manufactured Taped Methods

ASTM has developed a range of newly available electronic tools to help the committees and task group chairs with the standards development process. The executive committee and several of the subcommittees have used the virtual meeting tool to conduct meetings between official twice-a-year committee weeks. The overall experience has been very positive. By using the virtual meeting tool to “pre-meet” we have been able to improve communication and organization—getting much of the housekeeping out of the way allowing us to make the most of our face-to-face time. This tool is available to all of the committees and subcommittees. For more information or to set-up a virtual meeting contact Christi Sierk (610) 832-9500 ASTM membership is not required to participate at the task-group level, so all interested parties are encouraged to provide input.

For your calendar

The next meeting of Committee D35 will be held in Costa Mesa, Calif. Sessions will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 31, and conclude on Friday, Feb. 2. Subject matter will include:

  • The reinforced polypropylene standard specification has begun development and work will continue in this regard.
  • A geocomposites manufacturing quality control specification task group has merged with a previous standardization effort and will now host a single meeting in D35.
  • The ASTM D6392, nonreinforced geomembrane seam peel-and-sheer testing task group will discuss and finalize language for balloting of the important peel incursion estimate procedure.
  • Geonet compressive creep testing will be prepared for the first ballot in Costa Mesa.

There are also a few workshops under consideration for this event. Please watch for an upcoming announcement on the final topic selections.

15 Oct. 2006—second round, subcommittee ballots.

1 Dec. 2006—subcommittees to submit agendas for January 2007 meeting; AV requests should accompany agenda submissions.

31 Jan.-2 Feb. 2007—Committee D35 meeting, Costa Mesa, Calif.; topics as itemized above.

For more information:

Elizabeth Peggs, an IGS council member and recording secretary of the D35 Committee, is the director of marketing at

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