Geotextile fabrics are polymer-based fabrics used primarily in the construction of road and railway embankments, drains, and mechanically stabilized earth walls etc. Geotextile fabrics are used to separate various structural layers with a view to improving the performance of a layered system. For instance, if a high strength gravel layer is laid over a weak soil layer with a geotextile fabric in between then the fabric will prevent mixing and settling of the gravel layer into the soil layer. When geotextile fabrics are designed and installed properly, mixing and contamination of layers can be effectively controlled, resulting in reliable and consistent performance.
What are the advantages of using Geotextile Fabrics?
In order to achieve the desired results, it is important to select appropriate and site-specific geotextile fabric. Geotextiles are classified into two types; woven and non-woven geotextiles. Woven geotextiles are, as the name suggests, made of woven slit film polymers and have very low permeability. Because of this property, they are highly effective when laying improved soil over wet or weaker soil layers. On the other hand, non-woven geotextiles have high permeability, making them a better choice when both separation and filtration is required.
Geotextiles are thermoviscoelastic polymer materials. Therefore, their mechanical performance is related to the ambient temperature and rate of displacement. As a result, environmental conditions play an important role in designing soil improvements using geotextiles. Geotextiles are also sensitive to UV light. Which means a long exposure periods of these sheets to UV light will deteriorate their mechanical properties and eventually result in a loss of strength.
Geotextile fabrics invoke strength at the interface of two layers of soil through mobilization of a shear resistance through friction. Hence, the resulting strength is dependent on both the type of soil and fabric.