By Bob and George Koerner
The Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) Techline was launched in September 2004—now in its 10th year!—as a free worldwide service to answer questions involving the many aspects of geosynthetic materials.
From the outset there were no constraints placed on the questioner or their questions. GMA contracted with the Geosynthetic Institute (GSI) for answers and, again, there were no constraints placed on the answers that we provided.
These answers have been addressed to the best of our ability and have been provided generally by Bob Koerner, with assists from George Koerner (usually laboratory or field related) and Grace Hsuan (usually polymer related). Jamie Koerner has assisted in assembling the data and curves provided in the quarterly and summary reports, and Marilyn Ashley has provided general information and report preparation
Regarding the activity level, quarterly reports are provided to GMA with selected Q & A that appear regularly in Geosynthetics magazine. Recently we have even had questions stemming from the answers that were provided in the magazine—a second generation set of questions if you will.
The activity trend showed a slow growth until about mid-2007, when the volume increased. This was stimulated by having direct access on several industry-related websites including GSI’s. Since the beginning of 2008, the trend has been quite consistent with a subtle decrease during the past year.
It took about the same time for this last set of 500 questions as it did for the three previous sets of 500 questions. Overall, however, the activity level is substantial at about 30 questions per month. About half of the questions submitted to the Techline come from the U.S., with international questions coming from: Far East Asia (17%), Europe (11%), Africa (6%), Canada and Mexico (4%), Latin America (4%), Australia (4%), and Near East Asia (3%).