The Basic Guide On Geotextiles
Geotextiles can be defined as a flat, permeable and polymeric textile material, which is used in contact with soils and other materials for geotechnical applications in civil engineering. The polymers used in the manufacture of geotextiles are usually of synthetic origin due to their greater durability compared to natural ones. The main ones are polyamides, polyesters, and polyolefins (polyethylene and polypropylene).

The first references of the modern use of geotextiles date back to the 60s and refer to the construction of maritime works in the Netherlands. They began to be used in drainage and filtration functions. From that moment on, the design and application technology is developed both in Europe and in the United States and new functions are obtained for other civil works fields, such as the reinforcement and separation of the land.
A key moment in the history of these materials was the appearance of the word "geotextile" in the year 1977. In an International Symposium on the use of textiles in Geotechnics held in Paris, J.P. Giroud named these products with that name. From then on, conferences and congresses are organized to advance in the technological development and the regulations to apply on these materials.

What are the functions of a geotextile?

Geotextiles are characterized by developing several simultaneous functions once placed in the field. This property guarantees an advantageous position over other systems or products that exist in the market:

Filtration: The geotextile retains fine-grained particles by flowing water from the fine-grained layer to the coarse-grained layer.
Separation: Separates two layers of soil of different physical properties (granulometry, plasticity, consistency) and thus avoids the mixing of materials.
Drainage: The geotextile conducts and evacuates liquids (water) and even gases in the same plane.
Reinforcement: Increases the bearing capacity (resistance to cutting) of the soil and the stability in the construction.
Protection: The geotextile protects membranes and other related products against physical attacks (perforations and wear).

In addition to these functions, geotextiles present a series of advantages that are the cause of the spectacular increase in the use of these products throughout the world over the last 15 years; Among the most important stand out:

•    Ease of installation.
•    They are cheap.
•    They allow savings in execution times.
•    They enable correct environmental solutions.
•    They offer many variants and possibilities of use.


Classification of geotextiles

There are several ways to classify geotextiles and products related to geotextiles, but the one that most defines its type of application is the manufacturing method used.
There are mainly two types of geotextiles depending on the most common methods of manufacturing that are:

1 - Woven Geotextiles

They are those formed by high resistance tapes. They are formed by polypropylene tapes in warp direction (longitudinal direction) and weft (transverse direction). It is the simplest and most efficient fabric, also known as one up and one down, resulting in a flat structure.

Its tensile strength is biaxial (in both directions of its manufacture). Thanks to its structure and the characteristics of the used tapes, they are recognized for having high resistances and low deformations; Its application is oriented to the reinforcement of roads, walls, embankments and
foundations.

Functions:

•    Separation.
•    Reinforcement.
•    Stabilization.

2 - Non-woven geotextiles

They are formed from an interlacing of randomly mixed polypropylene fibers or filaments, forming a layer with high filtration and drainage properties.

The Geotextiles manufactured by this process have good mechanical and hydraulic characteristics, thanks to its three-dimensional structure, large elongation (can stretch from 40% to 120% or more, before entering breaking load) which gives them very good adaptability to the disuniformities of the grounds, excellent properties for protection, (usually denominated effect mattress) as well as good functions of filtration and separation.

Functions:

•    Filtration.
•    Sewer system.
•    Protection.
•    Separation.
•    Stabilization.
•    Repaving.

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