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Safe filling in geotextile tube dewatering

Products | July 22, 2021 | By:

TenCate Geotube with EyePort opening before filling. Photograph courtesy of TenCate Geosynthetics

A product is only as strong as its weakest point. In the case of dewatering tubes, this applies to the fill openings, since in conventional manufacturing the opening is a round cut through the fabric, which essentially weakens it. Under the Geotube brand, TenCate Geosynthetics has developed an innovative solution that does not damage the fabric structure. Thus, it increases safety and generates ecological and economic benefits. 

An eye on safety

The fill opening is the most critical point of a dewatering tube. The tube is made of a relatively thin geotextile that must hold tons of wet material in a reliable manner. The better a geotextile can absorb the forces generated during filling, the lower the risk of a rupture. 

With this traditional manufacturing method, the fill opening interrupts the woven structure of the material, reducing the strength at the location of the fill opening. This leads to an overall reduction in the safety factor and in the maximum filling volume. In addition, tilting the hydraulic fill pipe that leads into the tube creates tension, which can damage the port and the tube.

EyePort: What is behind this?

TenCate Geosynthetics is committed to making its dewatering solutions increasingly safe, cost-effective and sustainable. The EyePort fill opening is the fruit of this practical and continuous development work. 

Unlike flange-reinforced tube openings, the patented EyePort fill funnel is a soft, stitched structure that is gentle on the surrounding fabric and allows a higher filling rate. The hydraulic fill pipe can enter the tube horizontally, reducing the tilting tension and eliminating additional material stress. The EyePort fill opening has a self-closing mechanism. The patented system has been thoroughly tested and has proven its reliability in the field. 

Advantages at a glance

Increasing safety was a key driver behind the development of the EyePort fill opening. If a dewatering tube were to rupture, the contents, weighing several tons, would be released uncontrollably, putting people and materials at risk. Due to the innovative construction of the EyePort fill opening, the fabric structure remains intact, and the geotextile tube retains its full resistance. This makes Geotube systems with the EyePort fill opening more than twice as safe as geotextile tubes with traditional openings at a comparable filling height. 

The EyePort fill opening combines safety and cost efficiency. The increased maximum filling height allows an average of 30% more volume per linear foot to be realized, with the same safety factor. As a result, fewer geotextile tubes are required compared to conventional solutions. The accompanying expenses such as transport, installation and disposal costs are reduced. 

In addition, the EyePort fill opening simplifies handling for customers. The lighter tubes are more convenient to handle thanks to their continuous, soft structure, and the self-closing opening reduces the manual labor required. 

TenCate Geosynthetics is committed to the sustainability and ecofriendliness of its products, including the EyePort fill opening. Due to the smaller footprint of the filled tubes, less intervention in the natural environment is required. Due to the soft material, tubes with EyePort openings can also be packed and transported in a way that saves more on space. This is yet another element that contributes to the reduction of transport-related CO2 emissions. 

This article originally appeared on the TenCate Geosynthetics Blog Europe,   

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