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Where to use geotextiles

Which geotextile should you use on your project?

Over the last 30-40 years the use of geotextiles on construction projects has grown rapidly and continues to do so. With such growth, there has been a tendency for the product to become commoditised where geotextiles can be supplied on price rather than ensuring the correct type of product is supplied for the particular application.

Geotextiles are manufactured using two basic methods, either woven (FasTrack) or non-woven (MultiTrack). For a large percentage of projects, where basic separation is the main requirement, using either type of product would be suitable. However, the two manufacturing processes are inherently different, giving the resulting products differing properties. For more particular applications this can be significant and could result in an incorrectly specified product being unfit for purpose.

In principle, nonwoven geotextiles offer superior performance in applications with a significant hydraulic element or critical separation function. In contrast, woven geotextiles offer superior performance where tensile strength for reinforcement is required. It would be impractical to list every possible use of a geotextile but to provide some guidance on which geotextile to use, and where, we have prepared the table below for guidance.

Application table

Application FasTrack MultiTrack Notes
Standard separation/filtration Provided there are no particular site conditions to address (such as poor drainage) then either type of product should be suitable.
Golf courses Good drainage is often a key requirement, so we would suggest using a non-woven geotextile.
SUDS applications The requirement for good drainage characteristics means that a nonwoven geotextile should be used. If an impermeable geomembrane is being used as part of the solution, consider using a higher grade of non-woven geotextile such as Multitrack SNW40 to provide puncture protection.
Soakaways The superior permeability and pore size of a non-woven geotextile means that this should be used.
Permeable paving The requirement for superior separation and filtration properties means a non-woven geotextile should be used. Often a grade of geotextile with particular oil retention capabilities is required.
Basal reinforcement The woven geotextile manufacturing process means that the product stretches less under load, so should be used for reinforcement applications.
Tree root protection To achieve the required separation, filtration and protection, MultiTrack SNW40 must be used for this application. It must be supplied with Wrekin ProtectaWeb to form the complete tree root protection solution.
Filter drainage trenches A geotextile in this application must be highly permeable with superior pore size, so requires a non-woven geotextile.
Coastal protection /rock armour A heavy duty non-woven geotextile should be used in this application, due principally to its superior permeability and extensibility.
Impermeable membrane protection High puncture resistance from a thick geotextile is required, so a non-woven geotextile should be used. Depending on the application, this may be required above or below the membrane, or sometimes both.
Reinforced soil slopes Woven geotextile manufacture means that the product stretches less under load, so should be used for reinforcement applications.
Tunnel lining surrounds The superior protection provided by a non-woven geotextile would be required for this application.

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