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For A Medley Of Innovative Designs

FLUTe flexible liners provide a unique set of high resolution subsurface measurements for:
Mapping ground water contaminationCharacterization of flow paths intersecting boreholes Locating NAPL sourcesMeasurement of hydraulic head distributionsHydrologic assessments of municipal water supplies and mine sites Augmentation of horizontal drillingAccess through tortuous passages under landfillsQuickly and completely sealing boreholes against cross contamination, and more.
The ease of sampling FLUTe’s multi-level system is only exceeded by the speed with which
a flexible liner can map the transmissivity profile in great detail in a 300 ft borehole.

FLUTe's new 30,000 sq. ft. Velarde, NM facility
shown with a 1200 ft. tray for everting liners

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FLUTe Liner Fabrication, Velarde, NM plant

The FLUTe’s main plant and offices are in Velarde, NM with other facilities in Albuquerque, NM and Warminster, PA.
FLUTe was founded in 1996 by Carl Keller, our principal scientist, to apply the unique attributes of inverting/everting flexible liners to underground measurements and other uses.  The quality of construction, performance, and cost effectiveness of our flexible liner systems are why our customers keep returning.
 

The FLUTe designs have gained recognition with the R&D 100 Award in 1994 and the National Ground Water Association Technology Award in 2008.  In 1995, Professor John Cherry said, these flexible liners "are the only revolutionary advance in groundwater monitoring that has happened in the last 10 or 15 years". FLUTe systems have continually evolved and are now used in 12 countries by many large corporations, regulatory agencies, and research institutions.  FLUTe’s unique methods are covered by 19 domestic plus 13 foreign patents with others pending.
FLUTe methods for underground measurements of many kinds have gained acceptance as superior, or complementary, to traditional methods.
A company is only as good as it's staff and we have the best. Our senior staff averages over 8 years in the flexible liner business.

Mark Sanchez, Production Manager, responsible for all liner fabrication, including defining our customers’ specifications, maintaining our component inventory, and setting the fabrication schedule.
Ian Sharp, Chief of Field Operations, assures the training, and defines the scheduling of our excellent field crews, and oversees the construction of our unique machines.
Plant Manager, Steve Martinez, assures the exact details of liner construction procedures as performed by each of our meticulous fabrication staff and maintains our unique fabrication equipment.
Sylvia Martinez, company administrator, manages our contracting, accounting services, and human resources.
FLUTe has 2 international distributers, Paulo Negrão in Brazil and Mike Mercuri in Australia. See "Contact Us" page more contact information.

There are many advantages of the liner's sealing of the borehole:

1. The flow in the formation is not perturbed by flow in the open hole. Therefore measurements of various kinds, such as temperature distributions due to flow in the formation, are more realistic of the natural hydrologic state.

2. The borehole is not likely to collapse on geophysical sondes which can “see” through the thin liner such as sonic tele-viewer, radiation logs, induction coupled electric logs, radar, etc… can traverse the borehole without concern about collapse of the borehole on the instrument.

3. Salt water intrusion in the formation can be sensed with a deionized water fill of the liner, as was done in Majorca, Spain, without the open hole perturbing the salt water front.

4. Removal of the blank liner can enhance the borehole development as described in the paper Open Hole Well Development Problems.

5. The liner installation is used to obtain a high resolution transmissivity profile of the borehole in a few hours as compared to days for straddle packer testing with lower spatial resolution. And a head distribution can be obtained during the stepwise removal of the liner after a continuous transmissivity profile has been measured.

6. The liner conforms to the borehole wall better than packers because it is thin and flexible. And, the liner is not abraded by the borehole wall as it is everted into, or inverted out of, the borehole.

7. The liner seals the entire hole where it can be sealed as compared to multiple packers in boreholes. This is especially useful in karst formations. A packer must be placed in an aquitard to be fully effective.

8. Liners are shipped on a small reel with no need of heavy equipment for the liner installation such as a drill rig or crane truck. The blank liner is easily installed by simply adding water to the interior of the liner.
9. The FLUTe liners are made of fabrics with tensile strengths ranging from 100-400 lb/inch and therefore have low risk of puncture by sharp rock.

10. FLUTe liners have never yet been trapped by slough of the borehole because of the gentle nature of the liner propagation and associated support of the borehole. Hence there is little risk of entrapment as compared to packer systems.

11. One can deduce the highest head in the formation by slowly pumping down the water level in the liner until it no longer drops, because the liner is being collapsed by the highest head in the formation.

12. The blank liner is used as a carrier for installation of many kinds of coverings for a variety of measurements (NAPL FLUTe, FACT, vadose absorbers). The blank liner presses the cover against the borehole wall and isolates the cover against flow along the borehole.

13. Liners are used to tow instruments through the protected interior of the liner as the liner is being emplaced. See geophysical applications and landfill monitoring.

14. Blank liners can be equipped with many special features for custom applications such as cure-in-place liners, transparent liners, heaters on the tether, fiber optic sensors, insulation of various kinds as well as special fill materials like weighted mud, DI water, sand, freezing fluids to stabilize the hole, etc….

15. Liners can prevent the loss of annular sealing grouts outside a casing emplaced in karst formations. –a common problem with oil and gas borehole casings.

16. Liners can seal shallow portions of municipal wells preventing contaminants entering the well. An interior casing in place of the tether allows the pump emplacement to greater depths. A grout fill of the liner makes it a permanent seal.

FLUTe methods include a wide variety of flexible liner designs to perform functions such as:

Quick sealing of boreholes

Multi-level ground water sampling

Mapping hydraulic head distribution
Landfill monitoring

Vadose zone pore fluid sampling

Plus many other uses in piping and water bodies
Mapping the subsurface flow features with exceptional spatial resolution

Mapping contaminant distributions, and locating NAPL (none aqueous phase liquids) in sediment and fractured rock

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Miles of Liner Material

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Water Flute Installation

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Miles of Tubing

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Liner Capstan Fabrication