As anyone who has ever bought a car knows, the cost of ownership can sometimes outweigh the initial sticker price. It is better to add the cost of ownership to the sticker price in order to calculate to true cost over the vehicle’s lifetime. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) liners shouldn’t be treated differently. HDPE liners carry a cost of ownership—in this case, the cost of transporting, installing, and maintaining the liner. The cost of ownership, in addition to the liner’s total lifespan, influence the total cost of the liner throughout the duration of a project. And when it comes to using the liner as a closure system for landfills, the total cost of the liner becomes essential when crunching the economics of each bid.
In this article, we discuss the factors that impact HDPE liner cost and how manufacturers such as AGRU America have positioned themselves to drive down your costs.
Reducing the distance between supplier and project sites
Most buyers will prefer the convenience of buying products that are nearby. And, in a mature industry such as geosynthetics, distance is one of the leading factors driving the cost of HDPE liners. Distance represents variable costs such as transportation, labor, and time. Reducing the distance between supplier and the project site can help drive down these variable costs.
Manufacturers know that purchasers look beyond the price of the product, taking into account also the variable costs of distance. For this reason, manufacturers seek to expand their presence across multiple regions to help reduce distance between their products and the project sites. Of course, not all the variables related to freight are in the manufacturer’s hands.
Site accessibility is another influencing factor of HDPE liner cost. If your construction site is hard to reach, you might expect increases to the cost of transportation.
Reducing HDPE liner labor costs
HDPE liners are associated with labor costs beyond transportation such as installation and maintenance. The cost of installation is directly related to the site’s total surface area. Beyond that, the labor cost for installation is related to how easy it is to lay down the material. On average, materials like cement carry the highest material and labor (combined) cost due to its weight and support equipment required. Meanwhile, plastic liners such as those made with HDPE, offer among the lowest combined cost. The difference can be staggering. While it may cost between $60 and $120 to install a square foot of cement while the cost of installed HDPE liner is cents per square foot.
HDPE liner is far cheaper to install thanks to its light weight and high flexibility. These properties drastically reduce the number of hours it takes to unload the material and rollout the liner across the installation site.
After the liner has been installed, you should also be aware of maintenance costs. Structures made with concrete, for instance, must be regularly inspected and protected against water infiltration as concrete is not naturally hydrophobic. Even a little water moisture is enough to begin corroding the steel reinforcement inside the concrete, leading to failure. Lining that structure with a HDPE liner will help prevent water infiltration. While both materials have a lifespan between 50 and 100 years, HDPE carries a far lower maintenance cost thanks to the ease of patching potentially damaged areas with fusion welding versus replacing the concrete structure.
HDPE liners can also be customized with specialized layers that help quickly detect leaks, significantly speeding up the inspection and repair cycle.
Reducing the cost of ownership with AGRU HDPE liners
AGRU America produces among the highest quality HDPE liner in North America and possesses manufacturing facilities in the eastern and western United States, capable of delivering to East and West Coast projects. AGRU HDPE liners undergo strict quality control procedures and use only the highest-grade resins available, ensuring product quality and ability to meet or exceed design specifications. AGRU can also manufacture specialized HDPE liners with a colored layer to improve thermal performance during installation. You can also specify the use of a conductive layer, a feature that allows Construction Quality Assurance Testing for possible holes, punctures, tears, cuts, cracks, and similar breaches over the partial or entire area of an installed geomembrane using test method ASTM D7240.