Soil stabilization is an integral part to any roadway, railway, or load bearing construction project. Poor drainage and co-mingling of materials can lead to rapid structural disintegration and subsequent project failure. With the cost of aggregate continuing to rise, engineers and contractors are looking for a solution that will allow them to continue providing quality results, with no cost increase. Geotextiles are rapidly becoming the key component to this dilemma. They allow roads and other load bearing projects to be designed and installed in much the same manner as before. Additionally, far less aggregate is required in order to accomplish the desired effect.
Geotextiles work by separating two layers of material. These layers need to have sustained separation in order to co-exist in a structurally effective manner. Examples include aggregate over soil and good soil over poor soil, both of which are common occurrences in roadway and railway construction.
Geotextiles can help in a multitude of soil stabilization situations. Various textile options perform many different tasks, including the following:
- Non-permanent roadways, as geotextile fabrics can be perfect for applications such as haulroads that only need to be used for a season or two.
- Maintaining soil integrity in long term projects such as road building. It’s crucial that the aggregate laid on top of the soil have a breathable and porous layer that will allow drainage yet not allow the rock to co-mingle with the soil. This, obviously, reduces the lifetime of the road and can lead to premature cracking.
- Reinforcing the soil below the geotextile fabric in order to carry high tensile loads without collapsing or spreading. This is a key factor in how geotextiles can extend roadway and railway lifespans.
- Increasing the longevity of retaining walls by allowing the passing and transmission of liquids and gasses through the geotextile fabric itself, which lessens the impact on the wall itself.
- Reinforcement of soil in slopes of just about any slope angle so that projects with previously unmanageable slope ratios can now be accomplished with confidence.