Yearly Archives: 2022

GEOWEB® Geocell Reinforcement Improves Structural Performance of Railway Track Beds

Every year, railroads dedicate a great deal of capital and resources toward creating and maintaining high-quality track profiles. Providing a well-designed track profile is the foundation on which a successful rail line operates. With ballooning rail traffic carrying heavier loads than ever and increased occurrence of extreme weather events, a stable track profile is essential for successful operation. GEOWEB® geocells have been used in the track bed for rail applications worldwide for more than 40 years. Through an interconnected honeycomb-like network, the HDPE-based GEOWEB Soil Stabilization System provides apparent cohesion and strength to materials that would otherwise be unstable over soft subgrades. Geocells stabilize the ballast, reduce vertical and lateral stresses, and limit ballast movement. Stabilization within the geocell system provides a longer lasting track profile that extends rail service life, while also reducing maintenance cycles and recurring maintenance costs. Research has shown that geocells reduce settlement of the ballast foundation and can reduce required cross-section thicknesses by up to 50%. This is particularly advantageous where track beds must be constructed over soft soils. The reduction in thickness leads to cost savings, along with an accompanying reduction in carbon emissions due to decreases in aggregate processing, transportation, handling, and installation…. Read more »

Protecting Environmental Geomembrane Covers With Suspended GEOWEB Geocells

Economic pressure, the desire for green solutions, and the intensification of climate extremes have converged to create a need for better methods to effect soil stabilization. Fortunately, a proven technology exists that addresses issues associated with these conditions and provides a more stable cover solution for landfill covers, lagoons, stormwater containment basins, and other geomembrane-covered systems. Soil, aggregate, and concrete protective covers over geomembranes can be secured against known gravitational, hydrodynamic, and seismic forces using the GEOWEB® Soil Confinement System. Soil and aggregate are commonly used as a protective cover over liners on slopes of 3H:1V or less. However, when slope gradients are greater, unconfined soil and aggregate covers are typically unstable and not used. In arid areas, cover depth may range from 75 mm (3 in) to 150 mm (6 in). Where conditions support vegetation, cover depth may range from 100 (4) to 600 mm (24 in) or greater where the final depth is a function of the characteristics of the desired vegetation. Regardless of cover depth, if an extreme rainfall event occurs that is 10%, or greater than what would typically be expected, soil mass increases, assumed friction angles decrease, and factors of safety for soil stability drop to… Read more »

GEOBLOCK Grass Pavers: Fire Lane Access System

GEOBLOCK® POROUS PAVEMENT SYSTEM Environmental regulations that control and limit stormwater runoff, reduce impervious surfaces, and increase green space have resulted in the growth of permeable pavements for traffic areas. The GEOBLOCK Porous Pavement System offers support for all vehicular loadings and protects the grass from the  damaging effects of traffic while allowing natural groundwater replenishment. Examples of the GEOBLOCK system providing solutions for fire access lane requirements are illustrated in this case study summaries below. Test 1: The City of Kentwood (1994) Kentwood, Michigan GEOBLOCK System Put to the Test The City of Kentwood, Michigan put the GEOBLOCK system through a worst-case scenario field test to measure performance and prove the system’s capabilities. Prior to testing, a series of less-than-ideal installation conditions were established: Five inches of sand subbase was installed, developing a base support capacity of only 2.8% CBR. GEOBLOCK units were laid parallel (rather than perpendicular) to the direction of traffic. Edge restraints, typically used to help prevent block shifting until vegetation, were omitted—both of which help anchor the system. The test area was not proof-rolled prior to load applications. The fire marshal directed a 60,000 lb (22,400 kg) ladder/pumper to drive onto the unfilled 13 ft… Read more »

GEOWEB Geocells Combined with a Turf Reinforcement Mat (TRM)

GEOWEB® System – Research Synopsis Research Objective Measure the performance of the GEOWEB (GW) material combined with a turf reinforcement mat (TRM) (integrated system) with topsoil infill and vegetation under varying shear stresses and flow rates to quantify both hydraulic forces and corresponding soil loss. The test consisted of a series of continuous one-hour flows over the GW-TRM system at incrementally increasing discharges. The performance threshold was defined as the point at which 0.5 inches (13 mm) of soil loss occurred. Research Scenario The Research Facility Steep-Gradient Overtopping Facility (SGOF) at the Hydraulics Laboratory of the Engineering Research Center (ERCD) at Colorado State University (CSU), Ft. Collins, Colorado Test Timeframe April 2005-August 2006 Test Materials GEOWEB Soil Stabilization System North American Green C350 Turf Reinforcement Mat Scope of Test Hydraulic performance testing was conducted on an integrated system comprising the GW30V textured/perforated GEOWEB System and the North American Green C350 composite turf reinforcement mat. The C350 TRM was chosen for its known performance in the test apparatus. Six tests were conducted under the research program to measure the performance of the integrated system, identify stability threshold conditions, and quantify both hydraulic forces and soil loss. Assembling the Test Components The… Read more »

Solar Installations on Closed Landfills: Using Geosynthetics to Overcome Redevelopment Challenges

Written by: Michael Dickey, P.E. (WI, FL, GA, NC), Director Redevelopment of closed landfills and capped solid waste sites represent a unique opportunity for landfill owners, solar developers, and communities to work together to put underutilized properties back into productive use. Moreover, many such sites are conveniently located near existing transmission infrastructure and may be easier and more economical from an interconnection standpoint than rural greenfield sites. However, building over a closed landfill poses unique challenges because most landfills are covered by an engineered cap not typically designed to support loads from permanent foundations or heavy equipment. Additionally, state and federal regulations generally prohibit any activity that could potentially breach or damage the cap. Therefore, retrofitting a closed landfill for utility-scale or community solar projects requires careful planning. Ultimately, the project must not jeopardize the intent of the original cap design; that is, to protect human health and the environment. Selecting a Suitable Foundation Concrete slabs and pre-cast ballast footings are both foundation options for solar system installations on landfill caps. In general, concrete slab foundations are heavier than ballast footings and pose a higher risk of creating landfill settlement and side-slope stability issues. Ballasted footings are a lighter-weight option… Read more »

The History of Geocells

Geocell technology has come a long way over the past four decades. In its early days of development, the geocellular soil confinement system consisted of wax-coated craft paper; a plastic drainage pipe matrix fastened with staples; paper-thin, hexagon-shaped, glued aluminum; low- and medium-density recycled materials; pure polyethylene without UV stabilization; and square cells similar to old-fashioned egg carton separators. The Invention of Modern Geocell Technology In the late 1970s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) contacted Presto Products Company—a private-label consumer packaging manufacturer—to develop a more robust honeycomb-shaped confinement system that would maintain load-bearing strength under heavy vehicle loads. Working with Steve Webster at the Waterways Experiment Station (WES), Presto’s Gary Bach devised a method to weld polyethylene strips to form a cellular structure. This innovative system became known as Sandgrid and was used by the military primarily for road applications. After the development of Sandgrid, Presto Products created a new business unit to focus solely on the geosynthetics business. With this expansion, Presto Geosystems® was established. Presto Geosystems and the USACE tested various resin blends and concluded that virgin high-density polyethylene (HDPE) provided superior weld consistency and structural strength. Presto Geosystems introduced the GEOWEB® Cellular Confinement System (CCS)… Read more »