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Invisible, but indispensible: geo-synthetics in ground works

Geotextiles should behave isotropically. In a longitudinal and transversal direction showing similar characteristics (MD/CD=1).


Nonwovens experienced a sharp rise a few years agowith regards to its use in geotextiles. And the trend continues. Many manufacturers are continually developing new, innovative applications in which nonwovens frequently replace classical materials. The nonwoven products are providing various functions here: including drainage, separation, reinforcement and penetration protection. They increase the load-bearing capacity of the substrate in road, path and railroad construction and help secure dams and disposal sites. And, once installed, they are no longer visible!

Here, the diverse textile fabrics really showcase their special properties: geo-nonwovens are voluminous and also very easily absorb tension. In road construction, this can considerably reduce the required mineral substructure, for example. In addition to further factors, the tenacity of the nonwovens is hugely important in such industrial applications. They need to be extremely tear-resistant and often simultaneously very extensible. 
To achieve the greatest possible mechanical robustness and durability, the raw materials used are either polypropylene (PP) or polyester (PET). PP is always used if the product has to be extremely durable. In contrast, PET is cheaper and is suitable for solutions requiring shorter lifetime tenacity in the ground or if the geo-nonwovens are installed close to the ground surface.

The quality of the nonwovens is decisively determined by the targeted transformation of the polymers into fibers and filaments with the application-appropriate properties. Geotextiles can be produced either as carded or as spunbonded nonwoven.



Ingo Mählmann

Oerlikon Nonwoven, Head of Sales and Marketing