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Geo mat for reinforcement when needed

October 1st, 2010 / By: / GMA Techline

RE: Reinforcement
We have a dirt area at our recycling center that large trucks drive on and, during normal conditions, the soil is stable. However, problems arise after heavy rains and it becomes difficult for the trucks to drive on. So, we are looking for a “geo mat” that we can roll out for reinforcement only when needed, and then roll it back up and store it when the ground dries out.

Geogrid does not appear to be an option because we are looking for something that does not need additional material or aggregate put on top of it.

My boss mentioned that 10-15 years ago they used to use a metal mesh type mat (sorry I do not have more information), and they are looking for something of a similar nature that can just be used as needed and stored the rest of the time.

Thank you.
(Danielle | New Jersey)

Reply: Your boss has a very good memory. Congratulate him/her for me and watch out yourself in this regard!

In the first edition of Designing with Geosynthetics (1984), I mention a steel strand reinforced, high-strength fabric manufactured by Robusta of Holland under the trade name of Mommothmat. While various tensile strengths can be manufactured, one of them developed 4500 lb/in. (800 kN/m) by 11,200 lb/in. (200 kN/m). I wrote, “This particular fabric is capable of being used in the stabilization of poor soils without the need of any aggregate surfacing layer. It has been used as such for military construction and for oil exploration projects over soft clay and peat.”

The above said, it is probably quite expensive and I don’t think you can seam the edges and ends, so to prevent the soft soil from squeezing through you probably have to put a lightweight fabric beneath it.

Thanks for asking, it was fun to look back in time.

Bob Koerner | GMA Techline

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