Plasticizer retention in PVC geomembranes

T. D. Stark, H. Choi, P. W. Diebel

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Plasticizers are used to make PVC flexible so it can be used as a geomembrane for containment purposes. Plasticizers can migrate from PVC geomembranes over time because of contact with air, liquid, and an absorbent solid material. Plasticizer migration can reduce the flexibility of PVC geomembranes. This paper discusses the three mechanisms of plasticizer migration and the factors influencing these mechanisms, such as plasticizer molecular weight and linearity of plasticizers. The paper recommends that a minimum average plasticizer molecular weight of 400 be used to ensure long-term plasticizer retention in the field. The weighted-average method for calculating the average molecular weight is recommended when two or more plasticizers are incorporated into the PVC geomembrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3471-3485
Number of pages15
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue number130-142
StatePublished - 2005
EventGeo-Frontiers 2005 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Jan 24 2005Jan 26 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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