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Geosynthetics: Test & Capabilities

TRI is a full service global geosynthetics testing laboratory, GAI-LAP Certified and unaffiliated with any other engineering/design, manufacturing, installation or distribution firm. TRI has been servicing the geosynthetics industry for over twenty five years. TRI is well known for its rapid turnaround time, excellent project management and service. We recognize customer is crucial to construction driven installation schedules and we are driven to help each of our clients maintain their schedules.  Each client is assigned a project manager who personally supports the shipping, receiving, testing and reporting functions of our laboratory and provides a knowledgeable direct point of contact for every client.

Geosynthetics

 

Conformance/Verification

The testing equipment supporting the laboratory’s activities includes:

  • a 600 kN (135,000-pound)capacity extented travel Instron model 5889 testing machine equipped with Bluehill 2 “Smart-Data” acquisition system
  • a 200 kN (44,962-pound) capacity Instron Model 5585 testing machine equipped with Bluehill 2 “Smart-Data” acquisition system
  • a 150 kN (33,721-pound) capacity Instron Model 5583 testing machine equipped with Bluehill 2 “Smart-Data” acquisition system
  • a 5 kN (1,125-pound) capacity extended travel Instron Model 5565 testing machine equipped with Bluehill 2 “Smart- data” acquisition system; fixturing and support apparatus for diversified materials testing
  • a 22,000-pound Instron Servo-Hydraulic Testing Machine with various direct-mounting extensometers
  • 3 five station five-1000-pound load cell, screw-driven testing machines equipped with automatic data acquisition software to test multiple specimens concurrently
  • load cells and instrumentation for the above with the capability to measure 1 lb to 100,000 lbs in tension or compression
  • durometer hardness testers
  • microtome precision cutting apparatus
  • Mullen Model A burst tester with 2,500 psi capability
  • hydrostatic resistance test apparatus
  • 2 constant and 2 falling head permittivity apparatus
  • 7 hydraulic transmissivity test apparatus
  • 35 hydraulic conductivity test apparatus
  • Pore size distribution test apparatus

GEOMEMBRANE

RELEVANT STANDARDS
ASTM D 7466 Asperity Height
ASTM D 1603 Carbon Black Content
ASTM D 4218 Carbon Black Content
ASTM D 5596 Carbon Black Dispersion
ASTM D 696 Coefficient of Linear Thermal Expansion
ASTM D 1505 Density
ASTM D 792 Density/Specific Gravity
ASTM D 1204 Dimensional Stability
ASTM D 751 Hydrostatic Resistance
ASTM D 746 Low Temperature Brittleness
ASTM D 1790 Low Temperature Brittleness
ASTM D 2136 Low Temperature Brittleness
ASTM D 1238 Melt Flow Index
ASTM D 5323 Modulus – 2% Secant
ASTM D 638 Modulus – 2% Secant
ASTM D 638 Modulus – Tangential
ASTM D 882 Modulus – Tangential
ASTM D 3895 Oxidative Induction Time – Standard (OIT)
ASTM D 5885 Oxidative Induction Time – High Pressure (HPOIT)
ASTM D 5721 Oven Aging at 85 °C
ASTM D 2124 Plasticizer Molecular Weight
ASTM D 6636 Ply Adhesion
ASTM D 4833 Puncture Resistance – Index
ASTM D 1004 Tear Resistance
ASTM D 751 Tear Resistance – “Tongue Tear”
ASTM D 5884 Tear Resistance – Large Scale “Tongue Tear”
ASTM D 6693 Tensile Properties – Index (Dog Bone)
ASTM D 882 Tensile Properties – Index (Strip)
ASTM D 412 Tensile Properties – Index
ASTM D 7004 Tensile Properties – Index (Grab) for Reinforced Geomembranes
ASTM D 7003 Tensile Properties – Index (Strip) for Reinforced Geomembranes
ASTM D 4885 Tensile Properties – Wide-Width
ASTM D 5617 Tensile Properties – Multi-Axial
ASTM D 5199 Thickness for Smooth Geomembranes
ASTM D 5994 Thickness (Core) for Textured Geomembranes
ASTM D 1593 Thickness by Weight
ASTM D 1203 Volatile Loss
ASTM D 570 Water Absorption
ASTM D 1239 Water Extraction
ASTM E 96 Water Vapor Transmission

GEOTEXTILE

RELEVANT STANDARDS
ASTM D 4886 Abrasion Resistance
ASTM D 4751 Apparent Opening Size (AOS)
ASTM D 5101 Gradient Ratio
ASTM D 4716 Hydraulic Transmissivity – Planar
ISO 12958 Hydraulic Transmissivity – Planar
ASTM D 6574 Hydraulic Transmissivity – Radial
ASTM D 5261 Mass per Unit Area
ISO 9864 Mass per Unit Area
ASTM D 3786 Mullen Burst Strength
ASTM D 4491 Permeability / Permittivity
ISO 11058 Permeability
ASTM D 5493 Permittivity Under Load
ASTM D 6767 Pore Size Characteristics Capillary Flow
ASTM D 4833 Puncture Resistance – Index
ASTM D 6241 Puncture Resistance – 50 mm probe (CBR)
ISO 12236 Puncture Resistance – 50 mm probe (CBR)
ASTM D 4884 Seam Strength
ASTM D 4632 Tensile Properties – Grab
ISO 13934-2 Tensile Properties – Grab
ASTM D 5035 Tensile Properties – Strip
ISO 13934-1 Tensile Properties – Strip
ASTM D 4595 Tensile Properties – Wide-Width
ASTM D 5199 Thickness
ISO 9863 Thickness
ASTM D 4533 Trapezoidal Tear Resistance

GEONET/DRAINAGE GEOCOMPOSITE

RELEVANT STANDARDS
ASTM D 4218 Carbon Black Content
ASTM D 1603 Carbon Black Content
ASTM D 6364 Compressive Behavior
ASTM D 1505 Density
ASTM D 4716 Hydraulic Transmissivity – Planar
ISO 12958 Hydraulic Transmissivity – Planar
ASTM D 5261 Mass per Unit Area
ASTM D 7005 Peel Strength
ASTM D 6241 Puncture Resistance – 50 mm probe (CBR)
ASTM D 7179 Tensile Properties – Strip
ASTM D 4595 Tensile Properties – Wide-Width
ASTM D 5199 Thickness

GCL

RELEVANT STANDARDS
ASTM D 5890 Free Swell – Bentonite
ASTM D 5891 Fluid Loss – Bentonite
ASTM D 6243 Internal Shear Strength
ASTM D 7626 Loss of Ignition
ASTM D 5993 Mass per Unit Area
ASTM D5993 / D 2216 Moisture Content – Bentonite
ASTM D 6496 Peel Strength
ASTM D 5887 Permeability / Hydraulic Conductivity /  Flux
ASTM D 6766 Permeability with Potentially Incompatible Liquid
ASTM D 6768 Tensile Properties
ASTM D 4595 Tensile Properties – Wide-Width

GEOGRID

RELEVANT STANDARDS
ASTM D 4218 Carbon Black Content
ASTM D 1603 Carbon Black Content
ASTM D 7409 Carboxyl End Group (CEG)
ASTM D 1505 Density
ASTM D 7737 Junction Strength
GRI GG2 Junction Strength
GRI GG8 Molecular Weight of PET (Average Number)
ASTM D 1388 /
ASTM D 7748
Stiffness / Flexibility
ASTM D 6637 Tensile Properties – Single Rib
ASTM D 6637 Tensile Properties – Multi Rib (Wide-Width)
ISO 10319 Tensile Properties – Multi Rib (Wide-Width)

Same-Day Seam Testing

During geomembrane installation, most CQA plans include third party destructive seam testing to assure the quality of the welds. HDPE or LLDPE Samples that are received at the Lab by noon will be reported same day via email. Other types of material seams can be tested but may not be reported same day due to special conditioning requirements. TRI also provides seam forensic capabilities to assist the project if and when any problems are encountered with dirty seams or welds marked by too much or insufficient heat, bad alignment, etc. We can use microtomes and photographs of observations to assist clients in responding appropriately to any quality assurance issue.

RELEVANT STANDARDS
ASTM D 6392 Peel and Shear Strength -non reinforced geomembrane
ASTM D 751 Shear Strength – Reinforced geomembrane
ASTM D 413 Peel Strength – Reinforced geomembrane
ASTM D 6214 Peel and Shear Strength – Chemical Welds
ASTM D 7272 Peel and Shear Strength – Taped Seams (EPDM geomembranes)
ASTM D 7056 Shear Strength – Pre-fabricated bituminous geomembrane

High Strength Material Testing

High strength geosynthetic reinforcement products are often specified and it is important to confirm the characteristic high strength of these products. TRI is the highest quality laboratory in this regard as we employ a variety of state-of-the-art tension testing clamps and measurement systems. Included in this inventory of responsive tension testing technologies is the use of “Smart”-clamps, able to adjust gripping pressure based on the measured tension strength. These clamps adjust during testing to maximize the gripping pressure without damaging the material tested. Working together with non contact extensometry for strain measurement, TRI is able to test the strongest geosynthetic materials in the world. TRI also tests high strength component yarns and tapes, and high strength geosynthetic stitched and mechanical seams.

RELEVANT STANDARDS
ASTM D 48842 Strength of Sewn or Bonded Seams of Geotextiles
ASTM D 4885 Performance Strength of Geomembranes -Wide Strip Tensile Method
ASTM D 4595 Tensile Properties of Geotextiles -Wide-Width Strip Method
ASTM D 6637 Tensile Properties of Geogrids -Single or Multi-Rib Tensile Method
ISO 10319 Geotextiles — Wide-width tensile test

Creep/Stress Rupture Testing

TRI performs creep/stress rupture testing for characterization of reinforcement geosynthetics:

  • strain limit creep testing
  • stress rupture limit testing
  • development of reduction factors for creep/stress rupture (RFCR)
  • accelerated creep and stress rupture testing using conventional time temperature superposition (TTS)
  • accelerated creep and stress rupture testing using TRI developed Stepped Isothermal Method (SIM) testing

TRI also performs compression testing to measure normal-to-the-plane deformations of geosynthetic:

  • Drains and/or liner systems
  • Short and long term compressive strength of geosynthetic drains
  • Short and long term compressive strength of geosynthetic liner systems
  • Strain (deformation) measurements within liner systems
  • Compression creep via conventional accelerated time temperature superposition (TTS)
  • Compression creep via TRI developed Stepped Isothermal Method (SIM) testing
RELEVANT STANDARDS
ASTM D 2990 Tensile, Compressive, and Flexural Creep and Creep-Rupture of Plastics
ASTM D 5262 Creep and Stress Rupture
ASTM D 6364 Short term Compression Behavior of Geosynthetics
ASTM D 6992 Accelerated Tensile Creep and Creep-Rupture of Geosynthetic Materials Based on Time-Temperature Superposition Using the Stepped Isothermal Method (SIM)
ASTM D 7361 Accelerated Compressive Creep of Geosynthetic Materials Based on Time-Temperature Superposition Using the Stepped Isothermal Method (SIM)
ASTM D 7406 Time-Dependent (Creep) Deformation Under Constant Pressure for Geosynthetic Drainage Products
GRI GS10 Accelerated Creep & Stress Rupture via Stepped Isothermal Method (SIM)
ISO 13431 Creep and Stress Rupture
ISO 25619-1 Determination of compression behaviour — Part 1: Compressive creep properties
ISO 25619-2 Determination of compression behaviour — Part 2: Determination of short-term compression behaviour
ISO/TR 20432 Guidelines for the determination of the long-term strength of geosynthetics for soil reinforcement

Durability Testing

The durability of geosynthetics and geosynthetic systems is often measured to ensure long-term performance. TRI is a world-wide leader in durability testing and offers considerable capabilities to meet regulatory-driven or product development needs. TRI responds to both environmental and load/construction durability concerns via large-scale and bench-scale testing of geosynthetics and their component materials. Some of the durability testing services and relevant standards are listed below.

RELEVANT STANDARDS
ASTM D 4886 Abrasion Resistance
ISO 13427 Abrasion Resistance
EPA Method 9090A Chemical Resistance – EPA
ASTM D 5496 Chemical Resistance – Field Immersion
ASTM D 6141 Chemical Resistance – GCL Clay
ASTM D 6213 Chemical Resistance – Geogrids
ASTM D 5747 Chemical Resistance – Geomembranes
ASTM D 6388 Chemical Resistance – Geonets
TRI Procedure Chemical Resistance – Geopipe
ASTM D 6389 Chemical Resistance – Geotextiles
ASTM D 5322 Chemical Resistance – Lab Immersion
ASTM D 3895 Oxidative Induction Time (OIT)
ASTM D 5885 High Pressure Oxidative Induction Time (HPOIT)
ASTM D 7409 Hydrolysis – Carboxyl End Group (CEG)
GRI GG8 Hydrolysis – Molecular Weight (MW)
EN 12447 Hydrolysis Resistance
ASTM D 5818 Installation Damage
ISO/TR 10722, ISO 13437 Installation Damage
ASTM D 5262, ASTM D 6992, GRI GS10 Long-Term Creep/Stress Rupture
ISO 13431, ISO/TR 20432 Long-Term Creep/Stress Rupture
ASTM D 5721 Oxidation Resistance
ISO/TR 13438 Oxidation Resistance
ASTM D 1204/Extraction Plasticizer Loss and/or Percent Plasticizer
EN 14030 Resistance to Liquids
ISO/TR 12960 Resistance to Liquids
ASTM G160 Soil Burial / Biological Resistance
EN 12225 Soil Burial / Biological Resistance
ASTM D 5397 Stress Crack Resistance –Transition
ASTM D 5397, App. Single Point Stress Crack Resistance
ASTM D 7238 UV Resistance – Fluorescent
ISO 4892-3 UV Resistance – Fluorescent
ASTM D 4355 UV Resistance – Xenon Arc
ISO 4892-2 UV Resistance – Xenon Arc
ASTM D 5970 UV Resistance – Outdoor Exposure

Forensics

TRI has broad capability to evaluate the microstructural properties of geosynthetic materials. This capacity, in concert with our performance testing capability, is often employed to investigate the cause for geosynthetic seam problems or geosynthetic material failures. Senior technical staff bring their experience to bear on specific technical challenges encountered as geosynthetic materials are installed. Forensic investigation is also called upon when new and/or unknown materials are evaluated, or where premature field failures have occurred. TRI employs a variety of equipment to support forensic evaluations including a full service DuPont thermal analysis testing system (TGA, DSC, DMA, TMA) as well as analytical equipment (FTIR, GC/GCMS).

In-plant Sampling/Inspection

While traditional quality assurance programs have involved on-site sampling of product rolls after they arrive, they often resulted in expensive delays and costly corrections when subsequent testing identifies non-conforming product rolls. TRI has revolutionized this approach by establishing in-plant manufacturing quality assurance (MQA) inspection and sampling services.

Almost all TRI’s in-plant services are established in the host-city of the manufacturer of interest, thus eliminating the need for clients to pay for travel and lodging costs traditionally associated with MQA inspection and sampling events. TRI may secure samples from the manufacturing plant, ship to our laboratories and test in accordance with the CQA plan. The previously unaffordable is now financially feasible and of significant benefit.

LOCATION INSPECTION/MATERIAL SAMPLING FOR
Georgetown, SC Agru America
Andrews, SC Agru America
Fernley, NV Agru America
Commerce, GA Skaps
Pendergrass, GA Skaps
Houston, TX GSE Lining Company
Kingstree, SC GSE Lining Company
Spearfish, SD GSE Lining Company
Lovell, WY CETCO

Other plants by special arrangement

Soil-Geosynthetic Interaction

Interface Friction Testing

RELEVANT STANDARDS
ASTM D 5321 Direct Shear/Interface Friction
ISO 12957 Direct Shear/Interface Friction
ASTM D 6243 GCL Internal Shear and GCL Interface Friction

TRI’s state of the art interface friction laboratory features 20 large scale direct shear boxes. Our loading capacity ranges from 50 to 40000 lb/ft2 (2-1900 kPa). Our in-house manufactured low load shear boxes provide our clients with improved testing and repeatability of interface shear strengths under cap and construction loading conditions (50-1000 lb/ft2, 2-50 kPa). Continued research in GCL hydration and consolidation, gripping and clamping systems ensures that TRI is the industry leader in interface friction testing.

TRI performs Interface Friction/Direct Shear testing to investigate slope stability:

  • geosynthetic-geosynthetic interfaces
  • soil-geosynthetic interfaces
  • internal GCL shear and GCL interfaces
  • large-scale soil shear strength
  • long-term creep at the interface
  • constant load or constant strain testing

Road Base and Asphalt Reinforcement

RELEVANT STANDARDS
ASTM D 6140 Geotextile Asphalt Retention
TxDOT 3099 Geotextile Asphalt Retention
Confinement Factor Determination TRI Procedure
Asphalt Fatigue Benefit Ratio TRI Procedure
Large Scale Trafficking TRI Procedure

TRI performs road base and asphalt reinforcement testing to characterize the improved performance of geosynthetic systems over traditional non-geosynthetic systems.

  • Bench scale static and dynamic loading of reinforced road base structures
  • Bench scale static and dynamic loading of reinforced asphalt structures
  • Asphalt retention testing
  • Confinement testing of geosynthetic reinforcement in road base courses

Clogging Potential

TRI performs clogging potential for long-term filtration applications

  • gradient ratio
  • long-term hydraulic conductivity
  • long-term residual flow
RELEVANT STANDARDS
ASTM D 1987 Biological Clogging of Geotextile & Geotextile/Soil Filters
ASTM D 5101 Soil/Geotextile Clogging Potential by Gradient Ratio
ASTM D 5141 Silt fence Filtering Efficiency and Flow Rate
ASTM D 5493 Permittivity Under Load
ASTM D 5567 Hydraulic Conductivity Ratio (HCR) of Soil/Geotextile Systems

Installation Damage Testing

RELEVANT STANDARDS
ASTM D 5818 Exposure and Retrieval of Samples to Evaluate Installation Damage of Geosynthetics
ISO/TR 10722 Procedure for Simulating Damage During Installation
ISO 13437 Method for Installing and Extracting Samples in Soil, and Testing Specimens in the Laboratory

TRI performs installation damage testing services to characterize the construction damage imparted to a geosynthetic as a function of installation. TRI has adopted a convenient method for applying installation damage to geosynthetics that allows for exhumation of the test samples while avoiding unintended damage. The method was developed and reported by Watts and Brady (1994) of the Transport Research Laboratory in the United Kingdom. TRI uses this procedure as modified to generally conform to ASTM D 5818 requirements.

The following construction quality control measurements are followed during exposure:

  • Sieve analyses, as well as Proctor density and Attenberg limits analyses, as applicable, are performed on each soil/aggregate
  • Lift thickness measurements are made after soil/aggregate compaction
  • Moisture and density measurements are made on each lift using a nuclear density gage to confirm that densities >90% of modified Proctor (per ASTM D 1557) were being achieved
  • Each geosynthetic is exposed to soils/aggregates chosen by the client from a range of available TRI maintained stockpiles having different gradations and representing fine grain sands to large angular gravels. Detailed particle size distribution curves and pictures are available for review

Connection/Pullout

TRI performs connection and pull-out testing services to support the design of geosynthetic reinforced walls and slopes.

  • MASONRY BLOCK connection and shear testing
  • Constant strain or constant load testing
  • Ceep/stress rupture at the connection
  • RFCR of mechanical and friction connections
RELEVANT STANDARDS
ISO 13430 Anchorage (Pull Out Resistance)
ASTM D 6638 Connection Strength of Geosynthetic Reinforcement & Segmental Concrete Units
ASTM D 6706 Geosynthetic Pullout Resistance in Soil
IGS Corp Member AAPGAI-LAP US Army Corp Engineers