The advent of Geomembrane
Faced Earth and Rock Dams (GFRD)
Nam Ou Dam (Laos)
SC SEMBENELLI CONSULTING srl, Italy
Upstream facings to waterproof earth and rock dams offer several advantages. Among the many materials used for decades, modern polymers (Geomembranes) proved to possess substantial advantages and were successfully applied to dams of increasing height.
Deformations are inevitable and relevant in high rockfills. Facings should therefore have: low permeability, large deformability and be joint-free. Geomembranes, associated with other synthetic materials, fulfill all such requirements. PVC and HDPE are the most commonly used geomembranes and their properties and applications are described in detail. Design details, like supports, welds, peripheries, protections and anchors are reviewed and described. Significant GFRD dams are listed for reference.
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