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Stress tears in Geomembrane

The dipole method of leak detection (ASTM D7000) is suitable for use on a single layer of material up to 1 meter thick, but is more precise on thinner layers (ideally around 30cm). The leak is located through voltage measurements of the surrounding soil and is marked by two to four stakes driven into the soil on either side of the leak.

The dipole method of leak detection is standardized (ASTM D70007) and is suitable for use on a single layer of material.

In this case the perforation was a result of a section of geomembrane being over-stretched and splitting. As is well known, geomembrane is not suitable for structural purposes and should only be used to ensure impermeability. This particular section had been put under enormous stress and probably had some fault or weakness at the point of failure. On excavating the membrane, the tear was found to be over a meter long.

About the author
Carl Charpentier Alphard

Carl Charpentier is leak detection lead at Groupe Alphard. A well-known figure in the leak detection industry, he is the author of numerous technical articles and a member of the ASTM’s D35 geosynthetic committee. He was worked in leak detection since 2001, developing a number of technical and practical innovations to leak detection methods.

- Carl Charpentier
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Here is a serie of photos of a very rare perforation
in a polyethylene geomembrane (PEHD).