New Coarse Geogrids Prevent Erosion

From: academici. The Virtual Academy
Published: Fri Aug 05 2005

The researchers used a rope of about 13 cm in diameter in a meander-like wave pattern on a 360 acres (1.500 square meter) slope. This unusually thick rope-structure provides a rough Geogrid, providing water storage capacity, preventing rain to drain soil and to inflict erosion.

These novel geotextiles have been developed at the Saxon Textile Research Institute and are produced in venture with the company VTT Vliestextilien Chemnitz and the research group for textile engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology. As textile machines able to produce ropes as thick as needed for the new coarse Geogrids had never been produced, the research group for textile engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology helped to specially develop new machines for this product. Due to its importance in road building, landscape design and prevention against erosion and flooding the research received official government support and local development grants.

"With each new road we seal more soil, cut trees and remove natural storage area for water. As a result, rain water which can not sink into the ground, runs fast and uncontrolled down the embankment", Dr. Monika Seeger from the Saxon Institute explains. "We intended to test whether or not slopes along roads or rail tracks and embankments without intensive vegetation could be supported and protected against rainfall and wind by covering the soil with Geogrids." However, there were no machines that would produce the necessary textile ropes that are up to a hundred times thicker than normal yarns. Rolf Arnold from STFI had invented the KEMAFIL-technology that can produce the necessary rope-like structures which are up to a hundred times thicker than usual textile yarns. In addition, these extremely thick "yarns" needed to be joint together into grids.

Jointly the researchers at the Institute and Chemnitz University of Technology developed an extremely coarse warp knitting machine with Rolf Arnold, Dr. Hans-Jürgen Bauer and Bernd Anger as the developing engineers. "The new machine produces arm thick textiles, weighing about 1 kg per meter." The specialists welcome the readers to join the discussion about environmentally friendly landscaping at the academici forum for "Technology Management, Sustainable Development and Environmental Affairs"

The environmentally valuable Geogrids can be produced from biodegradable or non-degradable materials, fibres, chips or cuttings of natural or synthetic material, textile waste, even hay or straw by the third partner in this project, VTT Vliestextilien. VTT ensured a quick transfer of the institutes’ research into production. The field tests delivered phenomenal results: "After last year’s winter months, there was no erosion, not even on the very steep slopes", says Bernd Anger. "We do not know of any comparable technique or material that could secure steep, stony slopes, and help growing plants and shrubs, especially in the first months after an embankment has been build", added Dr. Seeger.

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Saechsisches Textil Forschungs Institut e.V. Abt. Gewirke/Gewebe
D-09107 Chemnitz, Germany
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