SARF Eastern Cape Region Maccaferri Lectures: Introduction to Geosynthetics in Civil Engineering and Pavements

Maccaferri Africa held 3-hour, SAICE Accredited CPD lectures at the SANRAL office’s Auditorium in Port Elizabeth, on Monday, 7 August 2017, on :

# Introduction to Geosynthetics in Civil Engineering and

# Introduction to Geosynthetics in Pavements.

The Presenter, Ms Moragh Dann, was well received by the forty delegates, consisting largely of SARF and SAT members.

Geosynthetics are becoming commonplace in the construction industry, being used to strengthen existing ground, improving its bearing capacity, increasing a roads lifetime, supporting embankments and limiting erosion.

It is no longer referred to as a material, but a geotextile, of which there are over 3800 types today.

With defined technical characteristics and performance properties, geosynthetics are replacing the use of natural materials within construction. In the right application, they can reduce project costs and environmental impact, compared with traditional construction methods.

The range, function and application of geotextile products available include:

# Reinforcement:  Goegrids to reinforce and strengthen soils, enabling it to accommodate greater loads, standing at steeper angles and reduce settlement.

# Stabilisation:  Soil stabilisation and asphalt reinforcement to extend the life of unbound and asphalt pavements, reduce rutting and the thickness of granular material required.

# Drainage:  Geo-composites for drainage, with a polymeric core, provide a conduit for water flow from the adjacent materials. Geomembranes, bonded to one or both sides of the core, ensure filtration, separation, waterproofing and protection of the core.

Management of excess water behind retaining walls and civil engineering structures, beneath highways, inside tunnels and within slope, is one of the most important aspects influencing the long term performance of the structure.

# Separation/Filtration/Protection:  Geotextiles used to replace traditional methods of

  • Separating two distinct soils or layers;
  • Improving bearing capacity of weak soils.

Specific textiles are developed to suit individual projects.

# Barrier Systems:  Geomembranes and geosynthetic clay liners used to line landfills to stop leachate polluting ground water, controlling groundwater entering tunnels and creating attenuation ponds within developments.

# Erosion Protection:  Reinforced, three-dimensional permanent erosion control mats provide immediate protection of  exposed topsoil areas from wind, rainfall and water flow, regardless of the amount of vegetation established.

# Coastal Protection:  Geocontainment systems, filled in-situ with a pumped slurry, allows the water to drain through the fabric walls, leaving the residue within the geotextile tubes. In coastal and hydraulic works, the filled tubes are used to construct breakwaters, dykes and for dune reconstruction.

Maccaferri has software which uses the latest modelling techniques to design robust, cost effective solutions for each particular application.

John Sponneck



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