Reduction of destructive tests for PVC seams

R. W. Thomas, Timothy D. Stark

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


The PVC Geomembrane Institute (PGI) is currently investigating the thermal welding and subsequent air channel testing of PVC geomembrane seams. Thermal welding of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) geomembranes has been an efficient and cost-effective method of field seaming since 1991. The excellent thermal welding characteristics of PVC geomembranes are described and the purpose of this study is to utilize these to develop a procedure for air channel testing of dual-track thermal seams, and to recommend that destructive testing of PVC geomembranes is reduced and possibly discontinued. Creation of the thermally welded seams in one day in Austin, Texas, is noted, with the equipment involved. A seam burst test was created to develop the relationship between thermally welded seam burst strength and the seam peel strength. Evaluation of the seams is recounted, and the seam peel strength compared to the burst pressure. The results are discussed, and recommendations made for welding speeds and temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages4
Specialist publicationGeotechnical Fabrics Report
StatePublished - Mar 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Polymers and Plastics


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