Geotextile is a man-made permeable fabric that comprises of bonded continuous-filament nonwovens produced from UV-stabilised polypropylene. The bonding of fibres are achieved through thermal or chemical methods.
They are often used in civil construction projects to improve soil characteristics. By improving the state of the soil, these materials enable construction in areas that would otherwise be unsuitable.
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Functions of Geotextile
Placing geotextiles between two layers of different materials can help to prevent them from intermixing.
The permeable nature of this material allows it to be used for filtration. This limits the loss of soil while allowing water to flow through freely.
When geotextiles are placed between layers of old and new asphalt, they are able to absorb the asphalt and become an impermeable layer. This helps to reduce the amount of vertical water flowing to the pavement structure.
By placing geotextiles within a weak layer, the tensile strength of that layer increases by a great deal. Geotextiles are good fill materials as they have high soil fabric friction coefficient and tensile strength.
When placed on compressible material, geotextiles allow water to pass through and into a more freely draining material. This strengthens the bottom layer and stabilises the base.
This material is able to protect synthetic membranes from being damaged as it is puncture resistant and able to withstand high pressure.
Advantages of Geotextile
Geotextile has 6 main functions when used in association with soils: filtration, drainage, reinforcement, cushion, waterproofing and separation.
- Excellent filter for civil engineering
Geotextile fabrics work as an excellent filter and are able to separate water from larger soil particles.
- Ability to withstand or overcome adverse conditions or rigorous testing
Non-woven geotextiles have superior strength and are resistant to tear and puncture.
- High resistance for long term usage
Their high resistance to chemicals, bacteria and fungi allow them to be used for a long time.
- Reduces soil erosion
Like gabions, geotextiles help to reduce soil erosion caused by wind or water by increasing the stability of loose soil.
Common Applications of Geotextile
Geotextiles are commonly used for civil engineering purposes and are ideal materials for many infrastructure works such as the following:
- Roads and railways
- Pipeline construction