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Wear-quantification of textured geomembranes using digital imaging analysis

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posted on 27.11.2018, 12:34 by Catalin A. Zaharescu
During the past decades there has been an increase in the use of geosynthetics in construction due to their versatility in providing a wide array of functions such as reinforcement, containment, separation, filtration and drainage. Often, geosynthetics are used in conjunction with other geosynthetics to accomplish these functions. However, geosynthetics create possible planes of weakness which can lead to failures. Textured geomembranes are widely used within landfill and mining industries due to their containment and shear strength properties, however, there are subjected to a wide array of loads and environments which are potentially hazardous, as such is of utmost importance to retain their integrity in order to avoid ecological disasters. The challenge is to understand how geomembranes resist damage, wear and which of these factors control the development of wear on textured geomembranes. Digital imaging techniques have been used in order to develop a protocol that describes the quantification of wear on textured structured geomembranes. Direct shear tests were performed to induce wear on the geomembrane textures (asperities) to analyse the wear mechanisms and study the factors that induce wear on the asperities. The research showed that normal stress and shear displacement have a major role in the development of wear on interfaces. However, the geometrical characteristics of the geomembrane asperities control the amount of wear the geomembrane can sustain without significant shear strength loss. These outcomes help to better understand the behaviour of interfaces which have as component geomembranes, leading to more robust designs. This study also proposed new asperity texture shapes by using Rapid Prototyping (RP) techniques, such as Selective Laser Sintering and Fused Filament Fabrication. Using RP techniques to create new textures for the geomembrane, could allow the creation of textures which have increased shear strength thresholds and better withstand wear, allowing for more advanced and economical designs.


Loughborough University.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


© Catalin Alexandru Zaharescu

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.




Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering Theses