How Cable Ties Can Cost a Geosynthetics Project Millions

Construction quality assurance expert Glen Toepfer (CQA Solutions) takes on the topic of cable ties in his latest video post from his Uncontained blog. In the 3.5-minute video, he shares notes from the field, including the impact of geonet yield, thermal expansion, safety, and testing speed.

“Not a lot of attention seems to be paid to them in the specifications,” he says. “How many specs have you seen that actually address cable ties beyond the typical color … and the tie spacing?”

Cable ties are integral to installed geosynthetics systems, he emphasizes, both for system security and installer safety. Failure to properly select and use these ties can even lead to slope failures, as system layers give way. Those failures can cost a project millions of dollars, if materials and equipment slide.

Toepfer’s concern, and push to have a larger discussion, echoes cautions Ian Peggs (I-CORP International) found in analyzing geosynthetic-lined facility failures in the early 2000s. Peggs found that costs that were considered irrelevant on those projects (e.g., experienced design review, leak surveys) could have prevented failure. The cost of repairing/redoing an installation versus the basic CQA-related expense that could have prevented failure was roughly 17:1.

Cable ties may be just such an issue.

“I’ve seen it first hand in the field,” Toepfer notes.

Is it time to have an industry-wide discussion on cable ties? Listen to Toepfer’s thoughts.

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