At the 2018 Made In Yorkshire Expo in May Marc van der Voort, Industrial Textiles and Plastics’ Managing Director, made a presentation to delegates.
Creating a protection solution for brownfield site development
Puraflex Hydrocarbon and VOC Barrier is a unique, technologically advanced barrier membrane that offers exceptional resistance to gas and hydrocarbon vapours.
The story of its development demonstrates Industrial Textiles & Plastics’ corporate ethos to be more than manufacturers: we are solution providers.
Product development work for customers with specific requirements is a key element of the business. In the early years of the 21st century, we were being regularly approached by specialist ground engineering firms about the performance of gas and chemical barrier membranes. Could we provide permeation data for our materials, based on site specific contaminated land reports? The pressure to develop brownfield sites was forcing the need for materials tested against an increasing number of contaminants.
This was the challenge; we needed the solution. In the 1990s, ITP had developed a new barrier material for the Ministry of Defence to produce a new generation of COLPRO shelters, resistant to chemical and biological warfare agents. We knew that we could use our technical expertise in chemical resistant textiles to design and create a geosynthetic membrane that would meet these new demands from environmental engineers and specialist groundworks contractors.
So Puraflex, a multi-layered, hydrocarbon and chemical resistant barrier membrane, was created. We then subjected it to rigorous and independent testing protocols against more than 2000 different contaminants. Today, eight years later, Puraflex remains the most comprehensively tested product of its kind on the market. In the development process, we also tested traditional HDPE barrier membranes against the 12 chemicals specified by CIRIA C748, the guidance on the use of plastic membranes as VOC barriers. This means we could also provide a comparison with HDPE materials. Puraflex’s results demonstrated a significant superiority over HDPE membranes.
But it was not enough to just produce a high performance barrier membrane; environmental consultants needed to be able to assess permeation rates based on the results of site-specific contaminated land reports. ITP’s technical department developed a permeation modeller, a powerful software program that instantly calculates permeation rates for all soil contaminants: A comprehensive solution for a specific need.