Industry standardization for HDPE geomembranes dates back to the old NSF 54 standard written in the early 1980’s with the now widely recognized GRI-GM13 standard for HDPE geomembranes first introduced in the early to mid 1990’s (GRI, or Geosynthetic Research Institute was the precursor to the now well recognized GeoSynthetic Institute (GSI)). Given the widespread use of HDPE in critical environmental applications such as municipal solid waste landfill lining, the need for an industry standard is obvious. GRI-GM17 outlining the needs for LLDPE geomembranes commonly used in capping said municipal solid waste landfills followed on the heels of GM13.
In later years GRI-GM18 governing flexible polypropylene (rPP) and reinforced flexible polypropylene (fPP-R) was established and was followed by GRI-GM22, governing scrim reinforced polyethylene used in exposed temporary applications. GM18 is applicable to 36, 45 and 60 mil reinforced products (0.90mm to 1.50mm) thick materials. GM22 is applicable to relatively thin 8, 12 and 20 mil (0.20mm to 0.50mm) thick materials of a particular type of manufacture. Both GM18 and GM22 however dealt with a growing class of flexible products that can be fabricated in controlled conditions in a factory, folded and shipped to site in large panels.
Still, there is no industry recognized standard for reinforced polyethylene (RPE) geomembranes used in a myriad of applications ranging from agriculture to oil and gas to water containment. The Fabricated Geomembrane Institute (FGI), whose tag-line photo appears below delineates only between heavy weight fabric supported products being > 25 mil (0.64mm) and light weight fabric supported products <= 25 mil (0.64mm).
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