The recent bad weather in the USA (low temperatures, fast-dropping temperatures, and strong winds) provides ideal conditions for rapid crack propagation (RCP), “shattering” in exposed high-density polyethylene (HDPE) geomembranes.
It is advised that such exposed HDPE geomembranes be carefully monitored for short slow crack growth (SCG), stress cracks along the edges of extrusion welds especially where they have been overheated and where extrusion weld beads have been used to repair fusion welds.
Also, check patch welds on the liner side. RCP can occur instantaneously over several acres of exposed liner and crack velocities have been timed at about 300m/s.
Ian Peggs, president of I-Corp. International Inc., is a member of Geosynthetics magazine’s Editorial Advisory Committee.