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Strengthening roads with geotextiles

Geotextiles have also been established in earth-, road- and railroad construction since the 1970s.


Low elongation, ultra-high tenacity, high modulus – industrial yarns offer superlative properties for the high-impact job of geotextiles. These cannot only be adapted to numerous requirements profiles using Oerlikon Barmag system concepts, the flexible systems concepts also enable a broad range of the most diverse industrial yarn products as well as high quality and efficiency with the lowest conversion costs. 

Building with geotextiles is an economically-prudent and simultaneously cost-saving alternative to conventional construction methods: because these flexible fabrics have outstanding material properties, are particularly durable and can even be used for extremely demanding projects. 

Geogrids as asphalt inlays – three tasks

  • Reinforcing function
    If a new asphalt overlay is applied to a cracked but still load-bearing road surface, for example, this will create preprogrammed weak points. Here, tensile stress will occur which soon comes up through the newly-applied layers of asphalt. If asphalt inlays are used, they will absorb this tensile stress, distributing it over a large surface and lowering the crack tip. 
  •  Tension-releasing function
    Equally, distortions can occur as a result of movement in the substrate, which can damage the road structure. This tension can be removed by installing a stress-absorbing membrane interlayer, such as a geogrid. This helps improve the bond between layers and helps ensure horizontal movement by lowering the tension and hence avoiding reflective cracking. 
  • Sealing function
    Potholes occur above all on roads already damaged. Whenever water is able to enter pre-damaged areas such as cracks, for instance. In winter, this water freezes, expands and breaks up the road surface. Accordingly, it is all about ensuring a closed asphalt layer. Here, geotextiles used as seals in the road surface can prevent water from entering the lower asphalt layers and hence creating more severe damage to the road.


Jen Supra

Oerlikon Barmag, Technology Manager Industrial Yarn