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APPLICATIONS OF GEOTEXTILES IN EARTH EMBANKMENTS

INTRODUCTION: Geotextiles are defined as a fabric or synthetic material placed between the soil and a pipe, gabion or retaining wall; to enhance water movement and retard soil movement and act as a blanket to add reinforcement and separation. They are permeable fabrics which, when used in association with soil, have the ability to separate, filter, reinforce, protect, or drain. Typically made from polypropylene or polyester or natural fibres, geotextiles and other related products have been identified as a solution to almost all the geotechnical problems. The use of geotextiles has been recorded as early as !"# but it was only in !$%s that their impact became significant. &n !"#, the 'alifornia (ighways department used woven cotton fibres in a series of road construction field tests. )ut due to the *uestionable durability of cotton fibres, they were never established as geotextiles. The first use of polymer made geotextiles was recorded in !+%s by thee ,utch in the ,elta works scheme. -ince then the various applications and degree of usages have .ust increased. /hile geotextiles are permeable materials, geo membranes are impermeable materials. The recent developments in this field are geogrids, nets, webs, ties, strips and composites. Geotextile fabrics come in three basic forms0 woven 1looks like mail bag sacking2, needle punched 1looks like felt2, or heat bonded 1looks like ironed felt2. Geospacers0 impermeable spacers used within fin drains. Geowebs0 cellular geotextiles. Geogrids0 geotextile or related products with large rectangular apertures. Geonets0 geotextile or related products with non3rectangular apertures. Geosynthetics0 geotextiles, geomembranes and related products excluding those based on natural fibres. Geofabrics0 planar, flat sheet geotextiles excluding geotextile mats. Geoproducts0 geosynthetics, geomembranes, and geotextile products, geospacers and metal reinforcements. Geocomposites0 combination of " or more geoproducts. APPLICATIONS OF GEOTEXTILES: Geotextiles and related products have a wide range of applications and are currently used to advantage in many civil engineering applications including roads, airfields, railroads, embankments, retaining structures, reservoirs, canals, dams, bank protection, coastal engineering and construction site silt fences. 4einforced soil walls0 They have emerged as a technically superior and cost effective alternative to conventional rigid concrete retaining structure for

construction of approaches to flyovers and 4ailway 5ver )ridges. 4einforced soil walls has many advantages like its durable and maintenance free, the construction is economical and rapid, it has high tolerance to differential settlement and it is earth*uake resistant. 6sphalt reinforcement0 The asphalt 7avement suffer from various problems like 4eflective cracking, rutting, pot holes etc. )y using proper geotextiles, we can reduce reflective cracking and rutting, increase life of overlays, repair patches in asphalt effectively and prevent cracks during road widening. -ub3base reinforcement0 The polypropylene rigid geogrids can be effectively used for sub base reinforcement of roads so as to increase their performance and life span. These have properties like (igh strength and stiffness in torsion, rigidity and chemical, biological and 89 radiation resistance. The sub3base reinforcement is used in runways and in harbours and in places where the sub3base is sub.ected to high loads. &n the mountains : cuttings land slides and rock fall occur fre*uently in the monsoon seasons and are a serious threat to the lives of people : property constructed in : around the cuttings. These landslides and rock fall causes accidents due to falling of boulders on plying vehicles or due to vehicles hitting these boulders or landslide debris. )oulder nets made of high strength steel ropes are the ideal solution for rock fall protection. )oulder nets trap the falling boulders thus preventing the accidents due to these falling boulders as well as facilitating the smooth flow of traffic in mountainous terrain. 4einforced embankments0 8sing geotextiles and geogrids, we can avoid the need for expensive foundation treatment for very flexible structures well adapted to accommodating differential settlement, avoid face slumping. The pro.ects where the there was a restriction in use of space hence the steep reinforced slopes was the only solution. ;or ground improvement0 The differential settlements of marshy soils and compressible clays are long term phenomenon in such cases and construction of structure without proper ground improvement methods can lead to failure of the structures due to settlements. The 8se of 7re3fabricated vertical drains and Geocells is the solution to deal with such problems. They accelerate the rate of settlements and can bring down the consolidation of the soils in a span of few months so that post3construction settlements can be kept to a minimum. Geocells are compartmental containers that can be used as a load transfer platform. These are effective in increasing the bearing capacity of the soil. 'oastal protections0 7olymer 4ope Gabions can be used for variety of erosion control applications in coasts. They are containers made with ropes which can be filled with boulders and can be placed at the coast. They are resistant to acidic : alkaline environments and rusting, flexible and can take the contour of the

ground, harmless to the marine ecosystem. The gabions have a lot of functions to play at the coast like prevent erosion and scouring, act as energy dissipaters. Geogrids provide an extremely cost3effective solution for the reinforcement of ballast over a soft sub grade, bringing significant benefits to the railway engineer. There are two ma.or application areas for the use of biaxial geogrids 3 within and beneath railway track ballast. ,irect ballast reinforcement to reduce the rate of track settlement and hence reduce maintenance cycles. 4einforcement of a granular sub3base layer beneath the railway ballast to increase the bearing capacity of the track foundation.

SITE VISIT 10 -<9<6-(46=, 6ngamaly. -evashram is a charitable society registered in =arch !!+.&t was launched by ;r. >uriakose =ampilly. The organi?ation has made a small effort to revive the currently stagnant coir industry by trying to make use of coir geotextiles for various other non3 conventional uses. -ince the organi?ation@s main activity was agriculture, they have used geotextiles to stabili?e the ground by lying coir mats and then cultivating over them. Thus this helps the roots of plants penetrate the soil faster. &nstead of common clay pots, we saw the use of coir bags which may be used for planting small plants in homes. 'oco lawns are their latest pro.ect. These are coir mats over which fast spreading grass is planted and allowed to grow. These mats can be later rolled and placed elsewhere whenever needed. The geotextiles and vetiver system are used in the sides of drains is commendable to reinforce the sides and prevent their collapse. The roots of vetiver are known to grow fast and hold the soil together, preventing erosion. The coir mats are lined along the sides to add more protection. )iofence0 &t is like the providing walls around a property. &n this the geotextiles are placed vertically around the boundary and some plants like hibiscus are closely planted. &t is seen that when the hot polluted air from outside passes through the biofence, it gets purified and cooled. They claim that the coir mats have a life span of "3Ayears and are highly effective. 6t present they are trying new techni*ues like using coir mats instead of .ute bags for curing, using geotextile3 vetiver systems for waste water purification. /e would like to conclude that though the engineering aspects of geotextiles were not seen or dealt with at this site, the visit did increase our knowledge on how vast the applications of geotextiles can be. SITE VIST 20 ;ly over construction at >5,6>646.

The geotextiles have most of the time been associated with road construction. 5ne of the first uses of that in road constructions for stabili?ation, drainage and increasing strength and durability. &n normal cases the approaches of flyover have to be wide for safety purposes. )ut due to scarcity of land and to prevent congestion of traffic near the fly over, it is important to keep approaches narrow. ;or this reinforced soils are used which trap soil in the two sides, reducing the width of the approaches. Then soil is filled and compacted in the area between the " walls and compacted well and the road s constructed over it. This system is extremely strong and the reinforced walls prevent the lateral movement of the soil in the approaches. 5ne of the important aspects that should be taken care of is the soil water. /ater in the soil wall can affect its performance due to increase in water pressure. Therefore the water in the soil wall should be drained effectively. ;or drainage, filter media of gravel of si?e %3"%mm is provided behind the facia. 6 non3woven geotextile is provided in the interface between the filter medium and fill material. 7erforated 79' +%mm diameter pipe is provided in the filter medium at a slope of 0"%%, close the existing ground level. The perforations are %mm in diameter. The pipe is wrapped with a non3woven geoxtile. 5utlets to these pipes are provided at B%m cCc using T elbows or couplers. 6nother place where geotextiles is used on the reinforced walls is at the gaps between " slabs. The reinforced wall is made of precast slabs which are placed one over other to form a formidable wall. There is a vertical gap of width "+mm and hori?ontal gap of +mm between two slabs to reduce the damage due to contact with ad.acent slabs. The gaps are closed by sticking non3woven geotextiles over them. This is to prevent the soil from getting into these gaps. Thus at the fly over construction at >odakara, we learnt about the use of geotextiles for drainage purposes. APPLICATIONS OF GEOTEXTILES IN EARTH EMBANKMENTS0 <mbankment is defined as a structure of earth, gravel etc raised to prevent water from overflowing a level tract of country, to retain water in a reservoir or to carry a roadway etc. 6n earth slope is unsupported, inclined surface of soil mass. The slopes of embankments must be stable under all conditions of construction and operation. ,ue to land scarcity, high risk if seismic ha?ards, ground improving operations are highly important. 6lso due to the lesser land being available, shortage of materials, embankments has steeper slopes therefore the importance of reinforcement is increasing. &n railway and highway embankments which are sub.ected to several cycles of loading, shear strength of soil and their li*uefaction behavior can be improved using reinforcements. 8se of high modulus geosynthetics will result in thinner embankments on weak sub grade, therefore fill materials will be less and weight of the embankment will be less and so settlement will be less.

The use of geotextiles to improve embankments over soft soil is an effective and well tried application. Geotextile improve the embankment stability, allow a more controlled construction over soft or difficult foundation soil, and ensure more uniform settlement of the embankment. The long term durability of the geotextile may not be of much importance since the embankment stability needs to be improved only while the foundation consolidates. 4einforcement in the embankment on soft soil is most effective when it is placed at or close to the foundation surface. &f the reinforcement were absent, the factor of safety at the end of construction would fall below unity and the desired cross section could not be built without allowing sufficient time to improve the strength of foundation as the result of consolidation process. The main functions of geotextile in an embankment are0 6s a reinforcing layer 6s separator and filtration layer &n vertical drains. 4einforcement in soil is provided to get higher shear strength. Geotextiles can be laid in different ways on an embankment0 <xternal reinforcement0 &n cases where removal of unstable materials is not possible without extensive works, external geotextile soil reinforcement is used. The application of compressive force to the surface of slope can decrease the soil moisture content and increase the soil strength by enforcing more rapid soil consolidation -heet reinforcement0 &f layers of geotextiles reinforcement are placed in the base of an embankment in order to resist rotational and sideslip failures, these will tend to act as a foundation mattress and help resist bearing capacity failure. =aterial lying0 &f the ground where geotextile laid is dry and firm, the site is cleaned of rocks, stumps of trees which may tear the fabric. &n case of high embankments, the geosynthetic function is reinforcement. &f soils are too soft to provide bearing capacity, reinforcement tends to spread. The hori?ontal shear stress caused by earth pressure at the base of embankment is resisted by the foundations. &f foundation soil does not have ade*uate shear strength, the reinforcement will provide a hori?ontal force to increase the resisting moment. /hen a geotextile is used as soil reinforcement, the bond developed between the soil and the geotextile must be sufficient to stop the soil from sliding over the geotextile or the geotextile from pulling out of the soil, when the tensile reinforcing load is mobili?ed in the geotextile. OTHER PLANS: To visit a reinforced embankment to study the construction details and identify the role of geotextiles in the pro.ect.