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What’s next for roadway stabilization and reinforcement technology

News | June 24, 2024 | By:

For years, multiple products were required to provide the combined functions of reinforcement, separation, filtration, drainage, and confinement in roadway applications. Typically, this was achieved by using a geogrid and a nonwoven geotextile as a composite or deployed together. In the early 2000s, MIRAFI RSi-Series was launched and became the first product to provide all five functions into a single product.

MIRAFI RSi is engineered with a double-layer weave technology that incorporates both monofilament and fibrillated fibers to create a product with high tensile modulus (high strength at low strain), high water flow and high interaction all integrated into one material.

Taking this technology a step further, MIRAFI H2Ri was developed using the same double-layer weave construction while incorporating wicking fibers into the geosynthetic to provide enhanced moisture management. 

The unique double layer construction allows for smaller apparent opening size (AOS) to retain finer soil particles, allowing optimal subgrade separation while simultaneously providing higher modulus and water flow than other woven or composite materials. Even a small percentage of fines contamination can significantly reduce the modulus of the structural section. Jorenby & Hicks (1986) showed that at a bulk stress level of 35 psi (which represents the stress state within a typical aggregate base course), less than 10% fines contamination of the base course can result in a 50% drop in modulus.

The double-layer construction also allows for a greater number of openings of various sizes than single-layer geotextiles, enabling RSi-Series to confine smaller particles and better prevent subgrade fines from migrating into overlying aggregate materials.

Additionally, the double-layer construction provides more than three times the surface area of typical woven geotextiles. This engineered design creates higher in-plane friction and micro-interlocking, resulting in excellent interaction with the underlying subgrade and overlying materials. This surface friction mechanism enables the use of a wide range of materials on top of the geotextile.

In a study by Louisiana Transportation Research Center, the improved friction characteristics of the MIRAFI RSi-Series were found to provide high lateral restraint of the base course at low strain levels. The double-layer construction also creates more depth in the structure, which improves long-term water flow by improving clogging resistance while retaining finer soil particles.

The double-layer construction of MIRAFI RSi-Series provides more than three times the surface area than a typical woven geotextile.

In Spring 2024, Solmax introduced the next generation of MIRAFI RSi-Series that integrates wicking yarns to provide passive drainage to balance moisture within a cross section. This moisture redistribution is beneficial in applications that have low or localized weak spots where water can accumulate and cause potholes and other damage.  Applications for MIRAFI RSi with moisture management include standard subgrade stabilization, temporary roads, construction platforms and ballast/sub-ballast reinforcement.

For applications that require aggressive moisture management such as expansive clays, high water tables or frost heave challenges, MIRAFI H2Ri continues to be the best solution. MIRAFI H2Ri is designed with maximum wicking abilities to actively move water out of the roadway, even in unsaturated soil conditions.

A standard single layer geotextile has a smooth surface, providing less opportunities for soil interaction.

Solmax leads the industry in manufacturing innovative geosynthetics in all major categories including geotextiles, geogrids, geomembranes, geonets, GCLs, geotextile tubes and paving interlayers. It is committed to developing new solutions, bringing the advantages of geosynthetics to more infrastructure projects across the globe.

An unpaved road in Alaska shows how MIRAFI H2Ri uses capillary suction to move moisture away from the roadway, leading to greater modulus and stable conditions. 

MIRAFI H2Ri and MIRAFI RSi-Series are high-performance geosynthetics engineered to provide roadway reinforcement and stabilization with a single product. Learn more about Solmax here.

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