Why is it so crucial for lining membranes to have these two characteristics and how does EPDM offer them in spades?
Elasticity is defined as “the ability of a stretched material to return to its original shape and size when the forces causing the stretching are removed”, while flexibility is “the ability of a material to bend easily without breaking”. EPDM lining membranes have both high elasticity and flexibility, which allow them to deliver full creative freedom to designers. They can be used to waterproof water containment features in any shape and size, regardless of their complexity, with optimal results.
Their significant level of cross-linking carbon chains allows EPDM membranes to elongate over 300% in all directions and, most importantly, return to their initial form afterward. In other words, EPDM lining membranes have a memory! And this is crucial, as it allows them to absorb substrate movements without jeopardizing their physical properties.
EPDM lining membranes are also highly flexible by nature. Studies show that they can be repeatedly bent over 15 million times without showing any signs of damage. This flexibility facilitates installation, as the membrane adapts easily to irregular shapes and lays flat on the substrate. When mechanically stressed, even at temperatures as low as -45 °C, EPDM lining membranes retain all their flexibility and strength. Artificial snow reservoirs lined with EPDM membranes over 25 years ago are still working today with the same liner. The membrane remains flexible without cracking even after several years of exposition to demanding weather conditions.
The combination of their exceptional elasticity and flexibility allow EPDM membranes to adapt to the inevitable deformations of the substrate. This results in an excellent puncture resistance that is a key factor for the longevity of the most challenging projects.
One of the most striking examples of the outstanding elasticity and flexibility of EPDM lining membranes can be found in an irrigation reservoir in Lorca (Spain) waterproofed with our GeoGard EPDM membrane in 1998. Thirteen years later, in 2011, an earthquake with a 5.1 magnitude hit the area and made the reservoir move about 20 cm. Not a single drop of water was spilled, whereas 80% of the buildings in the nearby village were affected. The irrigation reservoir was very close to the village and if its walls had broken down, the damage would have been terrible.
Elasticity and flexibility allow EPDM lining membranes to provide creative freedom, ease of installation, and last but not least, dependable performance and resilience against severe weather conditions.
Learn more about our Lining range or contact today one of our experts. We are happy to help you on your next project!