What is the purpose of Geotextiles?

Nonwoven geotextiles have many uses. The term "non-woven fabric" refers to a sheet or fabric that has a web structure that is bonded together by entangling the fibers. Non-woven geotextiles are multipurpose fabrics that from a distance almost look like felt. The main function for these products is filtration and separation. Often geotextiles are used in civil construction projects to improve the characteristics of the soil. When soil is flyaway and considered "poor soil" nonwoven geotextiles can make it more manageable. By doing so they allow a problematic area to become usable.

Types of Geotextiles

The most common geotextile is referred to as a "Nonwoven" geotextile because it is made by a spun bonding process. Molten polymer is extruded through a spinneret which creates separate filaments which are then cooled and moved to a conveyor belt to form a continuous web. The term "spinneret" is often used to describe the way a spider creates its highly complex web structures. The fibers re bonded together by chemical, heat or solvent treatment. The result is a smoother yet stiffer product with reduced pore size with increased strength. At GPS the types of non woven geotextiles that we offer are made from polypropylene.(learn more here.)

Geotextile Applications and Functions

Non woven geotextiles have so many different uses. Here is a partial list of some of the more commonly used applications.

  • Sand Bags

  • soil stabilizers and roadway underlayment

  • landfills and stone base courses

  • foundation stabilizers

  • sidewalk and sand drainage layers

  • erosion control

  • canals construction

  • drainage systems

  • retaining walls

  • geomembrane protection

  • frost protection

  • pond and canal water barriers

  • duct band and pipe trenches

  • sand infiltration barrier for drainage tile

What is meant by "geotextile separation"?

Often a geotextile will be placed between two different soil materials to separate the  dissimilar material which allows the required soil to be retained. When water seeps down into the soil layers the geotextile will prevent the soil from effectively mixing. An example would be when a road is being constructed. The engineer may want to keep the fine sub-grade aggregate apart for the coarse aggregates which are on the bottom layer.

Geotextile Drainage and Filtration

Due to the fused entangled filaments this allows the water to move in both directions. This can apply to both a woven or nonwoven geotextile. Depending on how porous and permeable the material is, geotextiles can promote lateral flow of drainage water. Geotextiles are used in both vertical and horizontal applications.