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GCL-GM geocomposite: Which end is up?

Q&A: GMA Techline | April 1, 2022 | By:

Q: In a geosynthetic clay liner-geomembrane (GCL-GM) geocomposite, does it make any difference which side of the geocomposite is up: GM or clay?

A: This is a very detailed question that is application specific. The following design details all need to be considered: Is the GCL-GM geocomposite used for a liner or a cover, is the project in a seismically active zone, what is the steepness of the slope, where is the water coming from, what is the filling (construction) sequence, etc.? One could teach a course on this topic. I would strongly suggest you consult with the manufacturer and follow its recommendation for your application, realizing that most have a diverse product line.

With the above written, the geomembrane components of most GCL-GM geocomposites are generally designed and installed with the geomembrane side in direct contact with the leachate or waste.

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