Geosynthetic, Geotextile, Geomembrane- what's it all mean? There are many words starting with the three letters "GEO" (Geotextiles, Geogrids, Geonets, Geomembranes, Geosynthetic Clay Liners, Geofoam, Geocells, and Geocomposites). All these words fall under the grand category of Geosynthetic.
A geosynthetic describes classes of products that fall within the polymeric family. They are used in both environmental projects and civil engineering projects. Due to their polymeric composition these products are excellent candidates to be used in the ground where high levels of durability and longevity is required. An added feature of these geosynthetics is their ability to hold up in exposed weather conditions. Applications for these geosynthetics include, landfill liners, oil field drilling, erosion control, canals, resevoirs, aquaculture and agriculture. What makes geosynthetics super stars is the fact that they don't easily degrade when buried in the environment. This is crucial in applications where it is essential to protect the ground water and the soil below the toxic contaminants that are often laid upon these Geosythetics.
Under the umbrella of geosynthetics falls geotextiles. They are one of the two largest groups of geosynthics. Geotextiles are a fabric/ textile but they are made from synthetic fibers so they can have a long life protecting the environment. Geotextiles are porous to allow liquid to flow through them, but to varying degrees. Geotextiles have four main functions, they separate, reinforce, offer filtration and/or drainage.
The next large group of geosynthetics are geomembranes. They represent the largest volume of dollars spent in the geosynthetic market. Geomembranes are the work horse for containing dangerous toxic chemicals and the like. Geomembranes are surprisingly thin, and their primary job is containment. They not only contain liquids, but they stop roots from wrecking chaos to adjacent structures and sidewalks.