GEOSYNTETICS

Geosynthetics are the generally polymeric products used to solve civil engineering problems. This includes eight main product categories: geotextiles, geogrids, geonets, geomembranes, geosynthetic clay liners, geofoam, geocells and geocomposites. The polymeric nature of the products makes them suitable for use in the ground where high levels of durability are required. Properly formulated, however, they can also be used in exposed applications. Geosynthetics are available in a wide range of forms and materials, each to suit a slightly different end use. These products have a wide range of applications and are currently used in many civil, geotechnical, transportation, geoenvironmental, hydraulic, and private development applications including roads, airfields, railroads, embankments, retaining structures, reservoirs, canals, dams, erosion control, sediment control, landfill liners, landfill covers, mining, aquaculture and agriculture.

Table 1 - Identification of the Usual Primary Function for Each Type of Geosynthetic

Type of Geosynthetic (GS)SeparationReinforcementFiltrationDrainageContainment
2.1 Geotextile (GT) X X X X
2.2 Geogrid (GG) X
2.3 Geonet (GN) or Geospacer (GR) X
2.4 Geomembrane (GM) X
2.5 Geosynthetic Clay Liner (GCL) X
2.6 Geofoam (GF) X
2.7 Geocells (GL) X X
2.8 Geocomposite (GC) X X X X X

  • The manufactured quality control of geosynthetics in a controlled factory environment is a great advantage over outdoor soil and rock construction. Most factories are ISO 9000 certified and have their own in-house quality programs as well.
  • The thinness of geosynthetics versus their natural soil counterpart is an advantage insofar as light weight on the subgrade, less airspace used, and avoidance of quarried sand, gravel, and clay soil materials.
  • The ease of geosynthetic installation is significant in comparison to thick soil layers (sands, gravels, or clays) requiring large earthmoving equipment.
  • Published standards (test methods, guides, and specifications) are well advanced in standards-setting organizations like ISO, ASTM, and GSI.
  • Design methods are currently available from many publication sources as well as universities which teach stand-alone courses in geosynthetics or have integrated geosynthetics in traditional geotechnical, geoenvironmental, and hydraulic engineering courses.
  • When comparing geosynthetic designs to alternative natural soil designs there are usually cost advantages and invariably sustainability (lower CO2 footprint) advantages.

Disadvantages

  • Long-term performance of the particular formulated resin being used to make the geosynthetic must be assured by using proper additives including antioxidants, ultraviolet screeners, and fillers.
  • The exposed lifetime of geosynthetics, being polymeric, is less than unexposed as when they are soil backfilled.
  • Clogging of geotextiles, geonets, geopipe and/or geocomposites is a challenging design for certain soil types or unusual situations. For example, loess soils, fine cohesionless silts, highly turbid liquids, and microorganism laden liquids (farm runoff) are troublesome and generally require specialized testing evaluations.
  • Handling, storage, and installation must be assured by careful quality control and quality assurance about which much has been written.
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Arian Khak Iranian Group
[Iran (Islamic Republic of), Tehran]
  • Business type: Manufacturer, Importer, Exporter, Service provider
  • Services/Products : Geosynthetics, Geomembrane HDPE, Dimpled Sheet, Geotextile
  • Business entity: CompanyLtd
  • Phone: +98-21-88005043, +98-912-0204952