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Kaylie: Hi, welcome, and thank you for joining us in today’s AGRU America podcast. In this podcast, we will talk about the company’s latest product, CleanSeam. Joining me in today’s discussion is Cody Miles. Together, we’ll discuss CleanSeam and its role in projects utilizing geomembranes.
Cody: Thank you Kaylie.
Kaylie: Cody, let’s start with a summary of the product. What is CleanSeam?
Cody: Put simply, CleanSeam is a protective strip on our geomembrane products that can be removed directly before welding occurs. The benefit is that it protects the weld edge from dirt and debris during deployment/storage and leaves behind no residue. CleanSeam ensures a clean, weld-ready geomembrane without the continual cleaning of the weld edge our installation partners are accustomed to.
Kaylie: So, CleanSeam is more like a product configuration rather than a separate product.
Cody: Yes, exactly.
Kaylie: Why is a product like this important or even necessary?
Cody: Well, I think it is important to look at installation from the perspective of those in the field, the geosynthetic installers and the construction quality assurance professionals. They are responsible for arguably one of the most important phase of the project where an error can decrease the operating performance of the entire containment system. CleanSeam exists to help these professionals do their job of minimizing risks while enhancing the quality of the installation.
Kaylie: From what I understand, in the past most of the burden of installation was placed on their shoulders. In a way, CleanSeam allows the manufacturer to help.
Cody: Exactly. CleanSeam could be seen as an upstream improvement to the installation process, where the manufacturer can offload some of the cleaning difficulty prior to welding.
Kaylie: Field conditions can be quite brutal to deal with. Could you elaborate?
Cody: The negative impacts of dust and debris on geomembrane seams are well understood. In fact, there are a number of reports dedicated to demonstrating how field conditions can affect weld quality. To summarize, most of them show that when fine particles buildup in the geomembrane seam area, the contamination can weaken the integrity of the weld. Because of this, the welding area must be cleaned thoroughly prior to welding.
Kaylie: I imagine cleaning dust and dirt off along thousands of feet of liner is time consuming.
Cody: Definitely and the problem is especially difficult to overcome in some situations. Some projects deal with very high concentrations of fine particles and windy conditions.
Kaylie: So CleanSeam is there to mitigate that risk by preventing the particle buildup in the first place. But does it actually save the installers time?
Cody: We’ve designed CleanSeam to be very easy to use. The protective strip remains on the liner until its ready for welding, at which point the installer can easily remove the strip. No further cleaning or preparation is required as we’ve ensured that the strip leaves behind no residue.
Kaylie: So, no sticky surfaces or glue-like leftovers?
Cody: Yeah, none of that. Just clean geomembrane that is consistent to the product as soon as it comes off one of our manufacturing lines.
Kaylie: What was the impetus behind this product configuration? Why now?
Cody: In recent years, installation quality control and welding quality has become a hot topic when discussing geomembranes in general. And working closely with installers and those in the field revealed a renewed interest in attempting to maximize the quality and efficiency of the installation process.
Kaylie: Yeah, I know we’ve dedicated quite a bit of time publishing guidelines and videos on field welding.
Cody: Those efforts made us realize that there must be more that we as manufacturers could do to help.
Kaylie: Thank you Cody. Is there anything else you’d like to share about CleanSeam?
Cody: We’re making CleanSeam available with all of AGRU’s geomembrane liners, which includes AGRU Smooth & MicroSpike®, Super Gripnet®, MicroDrain®, and AGRU Drain Liner®. Our goal is for CleanSeam to be the most cost-effective and risk-reducing product option for geomembrane liners. So far, we’re proud that it is helping installation crews spend less time cleaning and more time welding.