A new foundation reinforcement standard allows for the safe construction of roads and rails using MIRAFI® G-Series Geolon geotextiles in areas prone to voids.
Soil erosion frequently goes unnoticed under roads or railroad tracks in regions rich with limestone soil thereby representing a significant risk to traffic safety: permanent vibrations as well as internal erosion cause existing voids to expand to the surface thereby damaging or destroying the structure and potentially resulting in traffic accidents.
Soil subsidence occurs as a result of old infrastructure structures, such as mines or caves, and due to water-related rock weathering.
The new standard design method inspires confidence and guarantees users safety and quality. It also contributes to the advancement of geotextiles for the benefit of society.Alain Nancey, Senior Technical Manager, Solmax
Preventing infrastructure damage safely with high-strength geotextiles
Thanks to a new French procedural standard (XP G 38065) for the design and placement of foundation reinforcements with high-strength geotextiles, there is now a safe design method to preventively and effectively avert this risk. Solmax offers MIRAFI Geolon, a range of robust, high-tensile geotextiles with a tremendous resistance between 600 and 2,000 kN/m that can withstand heavy loads as a stabilizing layer.
In the event of subsidence, the soil reinforcement secures and maintains the structural integrity so that thanks to the design, there is very little controlled deformation and the structure remains intact on the surface. When occurred , the void created is filled or left as required by the specific infrastructure. Since the installation of the geotextiles strengthens the structure, there is no further technical risk.
Numerous research programs and more than 20 years of practical experience served as the basis for developing the standard for these infrastructure applications. The new standard provides maximum safety for both users in infrastructure construction as well as for the users of the corresponding structures and means of transport.
Cost efficiency and CO2 reduction compared with “drilling and filling”
Conventional solutions focus on discovering cavities in the ground before construction begins by carrying out costly soil investigations and filling them with concrete or other material. This very cost-intensive method requires an immense amount of time and effort and does not provide a solution for voids that occur later.
The use of geosynthetics, on the other hand, reduces the number of drills required as part of the soil investigation by about two-thirds and leads to massive cost reductions: For example, the soil investigation campaign to search for cavities in a road construction near Paris in 2004 was reduced from an initial cost of around 12 million euros to around 4 million euros through the use of high strength geotextiles. The cost of the geotextile products was only around 300,000 euros.
In addition, constructions using geotextiles reduce the expense associated with the fillings, including the cost of transporting the material. The CO2 footprint is thus significantly minimized.
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Content provided by:
Alain Nancey, Senior Technical Manager, Solmax