Geosynthetics and its functions
A geosynthetic is defined as a product in which at least one of the components consists of a synthetic or natural polymer, in the form of sheets, strips, or structures, used in contact with soil and/or other materials in geotechnical and civil engineering applications. Geosynthetics have penetrated geotechnical engineering to such an extent that it is no longer possible to practice most forms of geotechnical engineering without geosynthetics. Geosynthetics are not only practical products but also form the basis of a recognized discipline because they perform a variety of functions and because in many cases their properties are essentially inherent rather than being primarily determined by interaction with a structure (Giroud 2005). Different families of geosynthetics can be defined according to their functions: first barrier, then drainage, filtration, protection, reinforcement, separation, and erosion control.
The barrier function is to prevent or limit the migration of liquids. Geosynthetic barriers (GBR) are geosynthetics that perform this function. A geosynthetic barrier is defined as a low permeability geosynthetic material used in geotechnical and civil engineering applications to reduce or prevent fluid flow through a system. Depending on the material that performs the barrier function, GBRs can be divided into three categories: (i) Clay Geosynthetic Barriers (GBR-C), whose barrier function is implemented by clays, (ii) Bitumen Geosynthetic Barriers (GBR-B), whose barrier function is implemented by bitumen implemented, and (iii) polymeric geosynthetic barriers (GBR-P), whose barrier function is implemented by a polymer.
Other terminologies exist. The word “geomembrane” is often used to refer to GBR-Bs and GBR-Ps. The terminology “Geosynthetic Clay Liner” (GCL) may be used to refer to a GBR-C. In the Recommended Descriptions of Geosynthetic Functions, Geosynthetic Terminology, Mathematical Symbols, and GSI Graphics, a geomembrane is defined as a flat, relatively impermeable polymer sheet used in civil engineering. GCLs are defined as manufactured panels composed of geosynthetic materials and soil material with low hydraulic conductivity (e.g., clay) for use in civil engineering applications. you can visit and buy geomembrane products and tools for design and construction from Geonik.pt website. In addition to that, if you need to read more about applications of geomembranes in various fields, we suggest you read our article 40+ applications of geomembranes in various industries.
Because the sole function of a geosynthetic barrier is to provide a barrier against liquids, a geosynthetic barrier must be integrated into a system of multiple structures, with each structure serving different specific functions. The main functions that other types of geosynthetics can perform are drainage, filtration, protection, reinforcement, separation, and surface erosion control.
six functions of geosynthetics:
• Drainage is the collection and transport of precipitation, groundwater, and/or other fluids within the plane of a geosynthetic material
• Filtration is the restriction of the uncontrolled passage of soil or other particles subjected to hydrodynamic forces while allowing the passage of liquids into or through a geosynthetic material
• Protection is the prevention or limitation of localized damage to a specific element or material through the use of geosynthetics
• Reinforcement is the use of the stress-strain behavior of a geosynthetic material to improve the mechanical properties of soils or other construction materials
• Segregation is the prevention of admixture of adjacent dissimilar soils and/or fill materials through the use of geosynthetic material
• Surface erosion control is the use of geosynthetic material to prevent or limit the movement of soil or other particles on the surface of, for example, a slope
Various materials from the geotextile family and related products can fulfill these six functions. A geotextile is defined as a flat, permeable, polymeric (synthetic or natural) textile material, which may be non-woven, knitted, or woven, and which is used in contact with soil and/or other materials in geotechnical and civil engineering applications.
Geotextile-related products are flat, permeable polymeric materials (synthetic or natural) used in contact with soil and/or other materials in geotechnical and civil engineering applications that do not meet the definition below. In order to read more about applications of geotextile in various fields, we suggest you read our article about this subject.
Among the various families of related products, some of which are described in the EN ISO 10318 standard (AFNOR, n.d.) and others in the IGS Recommended Descriptions of Functions of Geosynthetics, Terminology of Geosynthetics, Mathematical Symbols and Graphics, those discussed in this Article is primarily about pipes and drains, geogrids, geostrips, and drainage geocomposite.
A geogrid is a planar polymeric structure consisting of a regular open network of integrally connected tensile elements that can be joined by extrusion, gluing, weaving, or weaving, with openings larger than the adjacent soil particles.
A geostrip is a polymeric material in the form of a strip with a maximum width of 200mm used in contact with the ground and/or other materials in geotechnical and civil engineering applications.
A geocomposite is a manufactured and assembled material at least one component of which is a geosynthetic product.
Geotubes (or hoses) are perforated, or solid-walled polymeric tubes used to carry liquids or gases.
Geosynthetics can be made from various polymers such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM). Alternatively, bitumen can be used for geomembranes (Touze-Foltz et al. 2010). Polyester, polyamide, and polypropylene are used in the manufacture of geotextiles. In addition, a number of additives (e.g., chemical compounds) are used in the manufacturing process to ensure the durability of polymer materials. The chemical and mechanical properties of geosynthetics are highly dependent on the type of polymer used, the additive formulation, the morphology, and the application of the geosynthetic (Hsuan et al. 2008).
In our next blog post, we illustrate how geosynthetics help ensure water quality for all, feed the world, improve environmental protection, facilitate economic solutions, mitigate natural disasters, and finally how geosynthetics contribute to improve infrastructures and connect people and help them recover coexisting with universal human standards values.