Subject Matter Experts: Why Use Our Secondary Containment Liners?


Over the years, our customers have often challenged us with specific questions regarding our unique secondary containment and oil management solutions. Many of these questions are addressed in the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website. However, we’ve decided to regularly feature some of the most common as well as most unique queries, in an ongoing blog series called “Subject Matter Experts.”

Question: “We’re bidding a job in which your polyvinyl liner system is specced. However, we prefer to work with XR-5 liners. Why do you choose to use polyvinyl? What makes your geomembrane liner better than other geomembrane liners like XR-5?”

Answer: This is an excellent question, and one we hear a lot. We’re well aware of the fact that XR-5 is a popular choice for secondary containment liners. We’ve even used it before in some of our installations, when specifically requested by the customer. However, our goal is to always provide the customer with the absolute best solution possible, which is why we try to explain the reasons we’ve chosen the type of liner we offer in our custom-designed C.I.Agent® Geomembrane Liner systems.


C.I.Agent Solutions secondary containment liners are adaptable and flexible
C.I.Agent Solutions offers flexible and adaptable secondary containment liners that can be easily installed around transformers.

When we realized the need to develop a secondary containment liner system, we carefully considered a number of available liners on the market before narrowing our recommendation down to a polyvinyl geomembrane liner, available in 22 oz. and 40 oz. (Note: the 40 oz. is most comparable in size and performance to XR-5.) See the technical data below for more details and test results.

22 oz Liner 40 oz Liner
Type of coating PVC PVC
Total Weight 22.4 oz/sq.yd. (ASTM D-751.10) 40 oz/sq.yd. (ASTM D-751.10)
Tensilte Strength 425 / 390 lbs/in (ASTM D-751 Procedure B) 425 / 390 lbs/in (ASTM D-751 Procedure B)
Tongue Tear 110 / 110 lbs (ASTM D-751) 110 / 110 lbs (ASTM D-751)
Adhesion 11 lbs/in (ASTM D-751 RF Weld) 11 lbs/in (ASTM D-751 RF Weld)
Temperature Resistance -40°F / +158°F -30°F / +158°F
More Details (PDF) Download 22oz PDF Download 40oz PDF



Polyvinyl Secondary Containment Liners Provide Great Chemical Resistance

Secondary Containment Liners are Chemical resistant

When trying to identify the right geomembrane for a secondary containment liner to pair with our Oil Filtration Panels, we looked at a number of options, but in the end, we chose our geomembrane liner due to its great chemical resistance. Time after time, we’ve found its secondary containment liner performance level was compatible with that of XR-5 liners. It also has a UV value of greater than 6, according to DIN EN ISO.

Polyvinyl Secondary Containment Liners Provide Enhanced Flexibility and Adaptability

Secondary Containment Liners are Flexible

We’ve customized our oil barrier solutions to be used with other types of geomembrane secondary containment liners over the years, when requested by our customers. However, we generally walk away from these installations with greater appreciation for our own polyvinyl secondary containment liners. One of the main reasons for this is because of how flexible they are in the field. Of course, we strive to make the installation process as easy as possible, which is why we pre-fabricate the corners in the factory. Because our liners are very malleable, not stiff and rigid, workers can easily make adjustments on site to our secondary containment liners during installations. As an added benefit, no special equipment is required to seal our secondary containment liners, a versatility not shared by all types of secondary containment liners, and patching and booting can be done using surplus or scrap pieces of the liner.

C.I.Agent Solutions secondary containment liners don’t’ need heavy equipment for installation.
Retrofit cracked of chipped concrete moat containment with our secondary containment liners.

In terms of adaptability, it requires little effort to incorporate our polyvinyl secondary containment liners to retrofit outdated or failing containment systems. For instance, our geomembrane secondary containment liners can be used to line chipped or cracked concrete containment, which is much cheaper than replacing the concrete altogether. Our liners are also recommended to use with Strongwell COMPOSOLITE wall systems, to ensure no oil leaches out through the floor of unit.


C.I.Agent Solutions secondary containment liners are easy to incorporate when retrofitting existing containments
Strongwell recommends lining COMPOSOLITE systems with secondary containment liners provided by C.I.Agent Solutions


Safety first, When It Comes To Our Secondary Containment Liners

High voltage power equipment found at electric substations can pose some dangerous risks. One question we’ve been asked before is what effect our secondary containment liners have on the step potential of the grounding grid within a substation. According to E&S Grounding Solutions, step potential is the “step voltage between the feet of a person standing near an energized grounded object.” If a fault occurs at a substation, that current will run into the earth and be distributed into the soil. The voltage drop in the soil surrounding the grounding system can create a hazardous environment for anyone standing or stepping in the vicinity of the grounding system.

We brought this concern to the attention of engineers at Burns & McDonnell, who let us know there’s no reason to worry. Polyvinyl secondary containment liners have no impact, positive or negative, on step potentials within a substation. The grounding grid passes around the liner and thus is not impacted by it, so the step potential remains the same whether a secondary containment liner is in place or not.


Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Is

CIAgent Solutions Insurance Policy
C.I.Agent Solutions Insurance Policy

It’s easy to say something will perform in a certain way, but it’s an entire different ballgame to back up that statement … however, we do it every day. We’re so confident in the performance of our Geomembrane Liner Secondary Containment systems that we back up each one with Pollution and Product Liability Insurance of up to $7 million. We doubt it will ever need to be used, but we know our customers appreciate the additional peace of mind it provides.

Do you have a question about secondary containment, hydrocarbon filtration or vault and manhole maintenance? We have an answer! Contact us today to talk to one of our Subject Matters Experts, or ask your question in the comments section below. Who knows, we may even feature your challenge in a future Subject Matter Expert blog post!





Subscribe to Receive New Blog Post Notifications

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *