What is Geosynthetic Clay Liner? Geosynthetic Clay Liner Applications Installing Geosynthetic Clay Liner

What is Geosynthetic Clay Liner? Geosynthetic Clay Liner Applications Installing Geosynthetic Clay Liner

What is Geosynthetic Clay Liner? Geosynthetic Clay Liner Applications Installing Geosynthetic Clay Liner | Geosynthetic Clay Liner Advantages & Disadvantages | Geosynthetic Clay Liner Cost/Price

What is Geosynthetic Clay Liner?

The Geosynthetic clay liner, also known as GCL, is a special non-woven synthetic liner that is manufactured to be used as a sustainable and environmentally friendly protection for underground construction sites.

A geosynthetic Clay Liner is typically made from natural clay and is manufactured into a non-woven fabric.

The clay liner is a type of geosynthetic material because it is manufactured to be used as a sustainable and environmentally friendly protection.

Clay liner is a type of liner used in construction. It is a synthetic material, usually created from bentonite or kaolin clay, that is mixed with a binder and formed into a flat sheet.

The binder used most commonly is asphalt. The binding material is also a type of clay.

Clay liners can be used in areas where the soils are particularly wet, since they are impermeable to water.

Characteristics and Properties of Geosynthetic Clay Liner

Geosynthetic clay liner (GCL) is made with a liner of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and a fabric layer of polypropylene (PP) coated with bentonite clay.

The geosynthetic clay liner is made of high dilatability sodium base bentonite infill between the specific composite geotextile and nonwoven fabric, which is manufactured by the acupuncture or suture composite impervious material method.

Acupuncture into geosynthetic clay liner can generate numerous microscopic fiber spaces, preventing bentonite particles from flowing in one direction, and when water is present within the mat, it forms a consistent density of colloidal waterproof layer, preventing water leakage.

For some applications, it is possible to combine HDPE liner for improved waterproofing.

Bentonite has water expansion characteristics. When calcium base bentonite swells, it only expands roughly three times its own size.

In the case of water, sodium base bentonite adsorption 5 times its own weight of water, volume expansion to the original 15 to 17 times higher; Lock sodium base bentonite between the two layers of geosynthetic materials, protecting and reinforcing the role of, and ensuring that the GCL has a certain overall shear strength.

Benefits of Geosynthetic Clay Liner


Because sodium base bentonite is a natural inorganic material, aging or corrosion will not occur even after a long period or when the surrounding environment changes, ensuring the waterproof performance’s longevity.


Under water pressure conditions, sodium base bentonite forms a diaphragm with high density, thickness of around 3 mm, permeability of 5 x 10-11m/SEC below, corresponding to 100 times the compactness of 30 cm thickness of clay, and has very good water retention performance.

Impervious to temperature

Brittle fracture will not occur in cold climates.

Protection of the environment

Bentonite is a natural inorganic material that is non-toxic and harmless to the human body, has no unique effects on the environment, and performs well in terms of environmental performance.

Simple to install

Construction is relatively straightforward when compared to other waterproofing materials because it does not need to be heated or pasted.

Bentonite powder and nails, washers, and other fasteners are used to join and secure the components.

After construction, no extra examination is required if it is discovered that the waterproof faults are minor and easy to maintain.

GCL is an existing waterproof material in the quickest building duration.

Installing a Geosynthetic Clay Liner

Step 1:  Prepare the area for lining by excavating it.

Excavate the area at least 12 inches deeper than the finishing grade.

Step 2: Prepare the area for the installation of the liner.

Make certain that the subgrade is clear of all rocks and debris. Compact the subgrade until there is no visible deflection (rutting).

Any surface with a slope greater than 7/1 requires the excavation of an anchor trench.

Finally, ensure that the machinery used to apply the product does not leave any spaces where the liner bridges.

Step 3: Installing a geosynthetic clay liner

To maximize shear strength properties, the nonwoven side should be facing up. All panels should be rolled down the hill if practicable, and flat portions do not require any particular orientation.

Geotextiles are labeled with a min and max overlap line, with a minimum overlap of 12 inches on all sides. There should be a 24-inch overlap between where one roll stops and another begins.

To seal the overlaps, apply a quarter pound of Sodium Bentonite per linear foot.

Finally, at a depth of 12-24 inches, lay a soil cover free of sharp-edged stones (larger than 2 inches in size).

Uses of Geosynthetic Clay Liner

A geosynthetic clay liner, or GCL, is a type of liner that cannot only protect a site from contamination, but also filter and remove contaminants to a level that is safe for exposed groundwater resources.

Geosynthetic clay liners are able to filter harmful substances in groundwater, such as nitrates and heavy metals, that would otherwise be fatal when ingested.

With a GCL in place, the environment will be safer, as it will not be prone to water contamination.

Geosynthetic Clay Liner Applications

Geosynthetic Clay Liner is a clay-based liner product with a wide range of applications. Geosynthetic Clay Liner is an efficient barrier against liquids, vapours, and gases once hydrated.

The applications of Geosynthetic Clay Liners are nearly limitless. They include;

1. Waste and Contaminated Soil Caps /Groundwater Protection

Geosynthetic Clay Liner are commonly used in groundwater/wastewater treatment, landfills, and mine sites.

It is made from clay that has been treated with a binding agent. The binding substance is usually asphalt.

2. Landfill Base Liners

The main use of GCLs in landfills and mines for both waste containment and leachate management are when they are used as covers for the inside of a landfill or around waste disposal infrastructure to prevent leachate flow.

3.  Gas and Vapour Seals

Geosynthetic Clay Liner is used in gas and vapor seals. Geosynthetic clay seal, also called GCL seal, has had a long history of usage in gas and vapour sealing applications.

The main purpose is to provide protection against the release of odorant additives into the atmosphere.

4. Highway/Road Construction

Geosynthetic clay liners are used in highway construction. It creates an embankment with a layer of clay that serves as a waterproofing solution for the road surface itself.

5. Drainage Systems

Geosynthetic clay liners are used in drainage systems to hold the soil in place and prevent it from flowing.

6. Landfills and Dumps

The main use of GCLs in landfills and dumps for waste containment is when they are used as covers for the inside of a landfill or around waste disposal infrastructure, to prevent leachate flow.

7. Secondary Containment

Geosynthetic Clay Liner are used in secondary containment where waste is disposed, to prevent it from being released into the environment.

Geosynthetic Clay Liner is used in interim storage. Interim storage consists of a site that has not been declared as part of an officially regulated permanent disposal facility, but might eventually serve the same purpose.

8. Waterproofing

Geosynthetic Clay Liner is used to prevent groundwater contamination and to keep water from seeping through the walls of the building.

Geosynthetic Clay Liner is used to protect buildings and underground structures, such as water supply and drain lines.

9. Drainage Walls /Dams, Canals, and Water Courses

Geosynthetic Clay Liner is used in drainage walls where there’s likely to be a lot of water buildup, such as around a river or stream or in areas that get a lot of flooding.

10. Tailings Containment

Geosynthetic Clay Liner is used in tailings containment, which is the primary purpose of a clay liner. Geosynthetic clay liners are used for the containment of the flow and transport lines that contain and remove materials from a mine site.

11. Sandy Soils

Geosynthetic clay liners are also useful for sandy soils, such as on road embankments, where there is a high risk of erosion caused by cars.

12.  Vertical Barriers

Geosynthetic clay liners are used in vertical barriers. Vertical barriers are walls that can be built to keep out water or other substances.

13. Earth Retention Structures

Geosynthetic Clay Liner is used as an erosion-control/sediment control material. It is used to prevent soil loss and to stabilize slopes along roads and around construction sites and other areas where there is a lot of erosion and sediment buildup.

Geosynthetic Clay Liner Advantages

  1. Durable: Geosynthetic clay liners are long lasting and are resistant to wear and tear. They are also resistant to water and weather corrosion, which makes them more durable.
  2. No Groundwater Contamination: Geosynthetic clay liners filter harmful water contaminants, such as seepage, from the surrounding area. This prevents the contamination of groundwater resources that would otherwise be harmful to public health and the environment.
  3. High temperature tolerance level: The geosynthetic clay liner has a high temperature tolerance level; they can withstand high temperatures, making them ideal for composting facilities, landfills, and waste disposal locations.
  4. Non-porous: This means that geosynthetic clay liners are not permeable, so they do not allow access for harmful contaminants, such as substance and gases to get through.
  5. Wind resistance: The geosynthetic clay liner disperses the wind that blows across the surface of the barrier, which means that it will still be effective even if there is too much wind.
  6. Easy to Install: Geosynthetic clay liners are easy to install, which means they are not expensive to produce or to maintain.

Geosynthetic Clay Liner Disadvantages

  1. Can create a habitat for pests: Although geosynthetic clay liners do not allow harmful substances to seep through, it can sometimes allow pests to get through. It is important to make sure that your environmental impact assessment includes a plan for pest control as well as on the disposal of the geosynthetic clay liners themselves.
  2. Strict standards: Due to the strict standards that are in place for geosynthetic clay liners, it is important to buy only from approved vendors. This will ensure that you get a quality product and that it does not contain any harmful substances.
  3. Expensive: Geosynthetic clay liners are expensive, but they last a long time, which makes them worth the extra expense. The biggest expense involved in installing a clay liner is the cost of labor. The installation process involves digging trenches, laying down a clay lining, and covering it with a sand-clay mixture.
  4. Not Biodegradable: While they are not harmful to the surrounding environment, they themselves are not biodegradable, which means that you will need to dispose of them once you no longer need them.
  5. Weak Against Cement: Geosynthetic clay liners are not strong in the face of other, stronger materials such as cement. It is important to make sure that there is an appropriate distance between your geosynthetic clay liner and any concrete structures so that they are not compromised or stressed.

Geosynthetic Clay Liner FAQs

0. What is the geosynthetic clay liner?

Geosynthetic clay liners, also called geosynthetic clay horizon, can be found in a number of construction types.

The geosynthetic clay liner is typically used to create waterproof and erosion-resistant sheets that can be installed below the ground.

This helps to prevent runoff and seepage. Geosynthetic clay liners may be able to withstand harsh weather conditions, such as fire, earthquake, and hurricane.

This is because, in addition to being soil-resistant and water-resistant, they are also immune to extreme heat.

1. What is the geosynthetic clay liner price/cost per square meter?

Geosynthetic clay liner cost per square foot is determined by the required thickness as well as liner width.

A standard width of the geosynthetic clay liner ranges from 1-8 Meters, about 3-6 MM thickness and the length can be customized.

The cost of geosynthetic clay liner per square meter ranges from $1.50 to $4.00 depending on the thickness and other factors.

Geosynthetic clay liners have a wide range of prices depending on what they’re being used for and the size of the project.

2. What is the lifespan of a geosynthetic clay liner wall?

Geosynthetic Clay Liner has an average lifespan of over several decades/years. Geosynthetic Clay Liner is made up of clay which is an inert material, therefore it survives any type of environment.

Geosynthetic Clay Liner is able to withstand extreme weather conditions such as hot dry seasons, wind and earthquakes.

An experiment conducted in 2011 discovered that GCLs experienced no or very little meaningful shrinking after nearly 5 years of exposure.

Based on the evidence to date, it is predicted that GCL shrinkage will not be a problem if the GCL is installed according to proper building practice and the composite liner is immediately covered with a ballast layer (e.g., cover soil or leachate collection system).

If the GCL must be exposed, its performance in covers and liners can be improved by:

(a) Adopting panels with 300 mm of overlap,

(b) Heat tacking the overlaps, and

(c) Using a GCL with reduced shrinkage in the field.

3. Does geosynthetic clay liner shrink? Will it shrink if it is exposed to the sun for long periods of time?

No, Geosynthetic clay liner does not shrink. In fact, it will form a stronger bond with the soil underneath because of the clay nature.

Yes, Geosynthetic clay liner will have minimal shrink if exposed to direct sunlight or heat. This can be corrected by heat tacking over the overlaps and using a GCL with reduced shrinkage in the field.

4. What are clay liners made of?

A layer of montmorillonitic clay (often sodium ‘bentonite’) is sandwiched between two non-woven geotextiles or attached to a geomembrane to form the liner. The clay lining is normally about 6 mm thick.

T A typical geosynthetic clay liner is a strong, non-shrinkable composite comprising sodium ‘bentonite and polymers.

5. Are there different types of geosynthetic clay liners?

There are three different types of geosynthetic clay liners:

– “Pozzolanic” clay liners made from sodium montmorillonite (smectite) clay deposited on a geomembrane;

– “Montmorillonitic” clay liners made from bentonite clay consisting of layers of sodium and calcium montmorillonite that are deposited on a geomembrane;

– “Grain Boundary” clay liners made from polymers.

The clay liner is normally about 6 mm thick. The thinness of the composite depends on the type and thickness of the composite liner.

6. What are some common uses for a geosynthetic clay liner?

General applications for geosynthetic clay liners include earth retention structures, drainage walls, drainage works and other embankments and dams (e.g., silt-fence and silt-bag dams, check dams, etc.).

Geosynthetic clay liner is durable and can be used in a variety of applications.

7. How long do geosynthetic clay liners last?

Geosynthetic Clay Liners have an average lifespan of over several decades’ years. Geosynthetic Clay Liners are made up of clay which is an inert material, therefore it survives any type of environment.

8. What is the function of geosynthetic clay liner?

Geosynthetic Clay Liners (GCL) are made of bentonite that has been lined by a geotextile. The bentonite is frequently strengthened with threads or needle punching.

GCL’s primary function is to act as a separator between soil and water layers. In general, the GCL function is similar to the geomembrane function.

9. What does the geosynthetic clay liner do?

Geosynthetic Clay Liner (GCL) serves as an erosion-control/sediment control material. It is used to prevent soil loss and to stabilize slopes along roads and around construction sites.

10. What are geosynthetic clay liner used for?

Geosynthetic Clay Liner is used for erosion control, sediment control and providing a damp resistant barrier.

11. What is the cost of geosynthetic clay liner?

Geosynthetic clay liner cost per square meter depends on the type and size of the job as well as other factors.

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