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High-density polyethylene (HDPE) liners are among the best product solutions for many applications that require an impermeability layer. But even among similar applications, the core project requirements can differ. Some applications call for greater durability, while others demand even lower permeability. Fortunately, some product attributes can be modified by changing the thickness of the HDPE liner.
The thickness of HDPE liners can range from 30 to 120 mil. Features such as permeability, strength, weight, roll length, flexibility, and cost can all be affected by the liner’s thickness. The proper mil thickness should be selected during the planning stage of any project, depending on the stresses that will be experienced upon the liner (1). While 40 mil thickness liner is the most commonly used option, other options are preferred under certain conditions.
In this article, we will provide an overview of 60 mil HDPE liners and explore applications these liners are well-suited to tackle.
Typical properties of a 60 mil high-density polyethylene liner
Most HDPE liners will retain their chemical properties regardless of their thickness. In other words, 40 and 60 mil HDPE liners demonstrate equal UV and corrosion resistance. However, there are some aspects of the liner that will change as the thickness increases such as overall strength and puncture resistance. A liner’s permeability is also proportional to its thickness. Therefore, a 60 mil HDPE liner will be less permeable than a 40 mil liner—about 50% less permeable, in fact.
A designer can count on a thicker liner to endure more physical damage. The liner’s increased thickness and strength offers improved weathering resistance, making it better suited for exposed applications.
There are some drawbacks to a thicker liner though. For instance, a 60 mil HDPE liner will be heavier and more expensive to transport and install than a 40 mil liner. A thicker liner will also have a shorter roll length, which necessitates a greater number of seams during installation. While the typical use case will find a 40 mil liner sufficient, regulatory requirement is the most common reason to upgrade a liner’s thickness to 60 mil.
The best applications of a 60 mil HDPE liner
Some projects will fall under rules governed by regulatory bodies such as the EPA. In these situations, the regulations will dictate the minimum thickness of the HDPE liner. For landfill containment of non-hazardous waste, for example, the EPA requires a minimum average thickness of 60 mil to “ensure that the liner material will withstand the stress of construction and the weight load of the waste…” (Environmental Protection Agency, 1999). These requirements, in conjunction with proper construction and quality control, were set to help reduce the potential for tearing or puncturing.
will also typically call on a 60 mil HDPE liner – or thicker – for applications requiring greater liner
strength or lower permeability. Increasing the liner thickness can happen if
the project designers calculate a thinner liner is not able to withstand the
region’s 100-year weather event. Thicker HDPE liners can also endure greater
physical damage, making it better suited for regions with seismic activity.
- 1. Topliff, CR, “Uses and Installation of HDPE Liner to Reduce Soil Erosion and Prevent Water Loss.” West Texas A&M. Thesis. (2018). Accessed on June 2019. https://wtamu-ir.tdl.org/handle/11310/153.