Over the past decade a greater emphasis has been placed on the development and manufacturing of geosynthetic textiles. While the geosynthetics industry is comparatively new, it has already created products with applications in a wide range of industries including geotechnical, transportation, hydraulic, embankment management, and mining. In many cases, a single geosynthetic textile can solve or improve multiple civil engineering problems simultaneously.
The first example of a geosynthetic textile application is the use of a prefabricated pocket style vertical drain made from a nonwoven filter jacket specialized as a PVD filter material. The purpose of this product was to reduce the time needed for construction by quickly discharging water in the ground which speeds up the soil consolidation process. Overall, it proved to reduce construction time and speed up the consolidation of soft ground in a variety of different situations including road construction, the development of building sites, construction of gas and oil storage facilities, and bank revetment.
The second example of how geosynthetic textiles can provide solutions to civil engineering problems is the polyester woven geotextile mat. It is created from a high tenacity polyester filament which is highly dense. This particular geosynthetic textile has been used to reinforce soft ground and embankments, separate layers of sand and soft ground, prevent the uneven settlement of soft ground, and securing a safe path of travel for heavy equipment across soft ground.
The third example is a silt curtain or fence created by geosynthetic textiles. A silt curtain is installed in the water to prevent the spread of environmentally dangerous contaminants. These contaminants often result from coastal and Riverside construction projects although it can also be used in the event of an open water spill or leak. It has been shown effective at preventing the spread of fine soil and sand induced by construction. It can also prevent the contamination of the nearby seaports and help preserve sea farming and area beaches.
The fourth and final example of geosynthetic textiles assisting with civil engineering problems is the polyester needle punched nonwoven geotextile. It is typically made of continuous filament fiber to promote fast drainage and filtration. It has been used to help prevent landslides, control erosion on banks, protect waterproof layers in landfills, prevent road tracking, and protect waterproof sheets and tunnels.
There is no doubt geosynthetic textiles will continue to play a greater role in finding workable solutions to civil engineering problems across the globe. As their production continues to scale, prices will decrease which will lead to an increase in availability as well as further research and development.