A monitoring system fabric, based on geotextiles equipped with optical fibers, launches in the North American market this year.
TenCate’s GeoDetect, which has already been used in Europe for a few years, is called “the world’s first intelligent geotextile,” providing early warning of deformations in soil structures, according to a January press release.
The material consists of a geotextile that incorporates optical glass fibers, as well as special instrumentation equipment and software. The slightest settlements and changes in temperature and strain in, for example, embankments and dikes can thus be registered at an early stage. This makes it possible to take any necessary measures and to avoid breaches.
The system can be built into dike bodies during the construction of seawalls, roads, and railways and the building of retaining walls, tunnels, underground structures, and pipelines.
In Europe, GeoDetect was used in pilot projects, including one in France for the construction of the embankment for the rails of SNCF’s (French Railways) high-speed line (This project was featured in “Case history: ‘Intelligent’ geosynthetics” in the June/July 2008 issue of Geosynthetics magazine, pp. 20-22.)