Advantages of COLETANCHE® Bituminous Geomembrane: A tough and adaptable containment liner 

Bituminous geomembrane, also known as BGM liner, is a specialty geomembrane with composite layers that make it stronger, more watertight, and more durable than resin-based geomembranes. Key advantages of BGM liner include resistance to aggressive environments, excellent resistance to aging, and suitability to extreme weather conditions. BGM liners cater to public works, mining, and civil infrastructure in a wide range of applications, making it one of the most adaptable geomembranes on the market. 

Bitumen: a historically tested compound for hydraulic applications 

Bitumen, a key component of bituminous geomembranes, has been used in construction for thousands of years. Construction with natural occurrences of Bitumen dates as far back as 40,000 BCE. The compound was used as a waterproofing caulking or mortar solution for terraces, canals, dams, and more.  

The exceptional durability and longevity of bitumen continued to be used as waterproofing material for centuries and one of the most common civil engineering applications is now in the form of bituminous geomembrane or BGM liner. 

What makes COLETANCHE® BGM liner a go-to liner choice among civil engineers? One reason is how it is fabricated. Let’s take a look.  

The Key Components of COLETANCHE® Bituminous Geomembranes

Engineers are increasingly incorporating BGM liners into their projects due to their water resistance, elasticity, durability, and installation advantages. Much of this has to do with bituminous geomembrane’s mechanical properties: 

  • Non-woven long fiber polyester geotextile that provides high mechanical resistance against tear and puncturing. 
  • Glass fleece with a bitumen compound that provides waterproofing properties, chemical resistance, flexibility and longevity by coating and protecting the geotextile. 
  • Sanded top layer that enhances UV resistance and provides grip for installation workers and/or cover materials. 
  • Polyethylene anti-perforation film on the bottom layer to limit penetration of vegetation roots. 

The thickness of BGM liners typically range from 3.5 millimeters to 5.6 millimeters according to the ASTM D5199 standard, with a mass per unit area ranging from 4.2 to 6.4 kilograms per meter squared as per ASTM D3776 standard. 

Technical infograph of COLTANCHE BGM liner

Which sectors benefit from the use of COLETANCHE® BGM liner?

BGM liner offers significant durability, flexibility and adaptability, making it suitable for several sectors. BGM liner caters to public works, mining, and civil infrastructure construction projects in a wide range of applications from environmental protection to hydraulic structures and transportation. Some common applications include: 

  • Mine tailings ponds 
  • Mine caps 
  • Mine dam raises 
  • Biogas barriers 
  • Wastewater containment ponds 
  • Concrete dams 
  • Concrete and earthen canals 
  • Settling basins 
  • Embankment dams 
  • Roadside ditches 


Key Benefits of COLETANCHE® BGM Liner

COLETANCHE® bituminous geomembrane, offered by Titan is an environmental liner with a unique design featuring a width of 5.10m. COLETANCHE®’s unique manufacturing process and bitumen formula create several benefits that increase installation efficiency, reduce project costs, and significantly increase performance life up to 300+ years. 

Water resistance and internal reinforcement: 

  • Excellent water resistance due to internal reinforcement provided by the geotextile which eliminates the need for additional layers. 
  • Bituminous layer provides UV resistance, eliminating the need for additional covers. 
  • If extra protection is desired, the membrane can be covered with any covering material, such as gravel, rip rap, hot mix asphalt, or concrete slabs. 

Elasticity and durability: 

  • Elastic nature guarantees permanent contact with supporting ground and allows for recovery over time, unlike plastic membranes that become brittle and lose their properties.
  • High puncture resistance allows for installation using heavy machinery without adding an anti-puncture geotextile.
  • Durability ensures a long lifespan, with an estimated lifespan of over 30 years when exposed and more than 300 years when covered. 

Installation advantages:  

  • Installation is not hindered by extreme weather conditions, allowing for faster project completion and extending the construction season. 
  • Thickness allows for use in rougher soils, reducing the need for extensive soil preparation.
  • Heavy weight allows for installation in high wind conditions without the need for excessive sandbags or supports.
  • Compatible with all subgrades and covering materials, reducing costs and installation time.
  • Can withstand extreme temperatures of hot-mix asphalt installation.
  • Can be installed at temperatures as low as -40°C
  • COLETANCHE® BGM has been successfully installed in various regions that experience extreme weather conditions, including Western Australia, Northern Canada, and Siberia. 


Why Engineers are Specifying COLETANCHE® BGM for Mining Infrastructure

The extreme durability, flexibility and optimal performance life of BGM liner makes it the perfect environmental containment liner for mining infrastructure. The containment of harmful and toxic materials is imperative for the protection of the environment, the safety of local communities, and the continued operation and profitability of a mine.  

There are specific benefits that COLETANCHE® BGM liner offers for engineers and contractors who are designing and constructing mining infrastructure: 

  • High tensile strength and resistance to extremely high strains
  • Strong adherence to subgrade and steep slopes with no wrinkles 
  • High puncture resistance and wind uplift resistance
  • Local mine material can be used as a cover or subgrade
  • Reduced risk of leakage
  • Extreme temperature resistance
  • Installation in almost any climate and high altitude
  • Resistant to any cover material
  • Performance life compatible with life of a mine
  • Provides environmental protection for hundreds of years 

In addition to mining applications, any application that involves waterproofing or resistance to chemical leaching is highly suited to COLETANCHE® BGM. 


Specifying the Correct COLETANCHE® BGM Liner for your Application  

COLETANCHE® BGM liner is available in two different ranges: COLETANCHE® ES and COLETANCHE® XP.   

COLETANCHE® ES RANGE is made from elastomeric bitumen, with high elastic properties, ensuring better resistance at low temperature, higher resistance to UV, and improved durability in exposed situations.  

COLETANCHE® XP RANGE is a single-structure variation of the ES range that is less thick, but made from the same amount of elastomeric bitumen, ensuring the same mechanical and construction performance. 

Over 30 million m² of COLETANCHE® BGM liner has been installed throughout the world to prevent pollution, contain industrial waste, and build on sensitive sites.

BGM Installation Requirements

To help ensure the performance and longevity of a BGM liner installation, Titan provides installation services or optional support to customers who have limited experience with BGM liner. Our installation service is backed by extensive technical knowledge and expertise. 

At a Northern Ontario mine site, Titan’s experienced field crew installed a record breaking 9,347 m2 of BGM in one day while adhering to stringent quality control and safety audits.

Let’s Work Together

Our top priority is your project’s success. If you’re interested in learning more about COLETANCHE® BGM liner for a current or future design, or you already know your project requirements and need pricing, get in touch with us!

Request a consultation or a quote below.