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Soil, especially granular, is relatively strong under compressive stresses. When reinforced, significant tensile
stresses can be carried by the reinforcement, resulting in a composite structure which possesses wider margins of
strength. This extra strength means that steeper slopes can be built. Geotextiles have been utilized in the construction
of reinforced soil walls since the early 1970s.Geotextile sheets are used to wrap compacted soil in layers producing
a stable composite structure.
In the past four decades, geosynthetics have been used successfully worldwide in several areas of civil engineering,
and are now a well-accepted Construction material. The utilization of geosynthetics offers excellent technical,
economic, environment friendly and/or energy-efficient alternatives to the conventional solutions for many civil
engineering problems, and thus allows sustainable development of infrastructural projects.
Geosynthetics is a generic term for all synthetic materials used with soil, rock and/or any other civil engineering-
related material as an integral part of a man-made project, structure or system. It includes a broad range of synthetic
products; the most common ones are (Shukla, 2002, 2012;
Shukla and Yin, 2006):
Geotextiles Geogrids Geonets Geomembranes Geofoam Geocomposites.
These products are almost exclusively polymeric, and they are available nowadays in numerous varieties in the
market, under different trade names/designations for their use mainly in geotechnical, environmental, hydraulic and
transportation engineering applications.
Geotextiles are permeable, polymeric textile products in the form of flexible sheets. Currently available geotextiles
are classified into the following categories based on the manufacturing process:
Woven geotextilesThey are made from yarns (made of one or several fibres) by conventional weaving process
with regular textile structure.
Nonwoven geotextilesThey are made from directionally or randomly oriented fibres into a loose web by bonding
with partial melting, needle punching or chemical binding agents (glue, rubber, latex, cellulose derivative, etc.)
Knitted geotextilesThey are produced by interloping one or more yarns together.
Stitch-bonded geotextilesThey are formed by the stitching together of fibres or yarn.


Some advantages of geotextile-reinforced walls over conventional concrete walls are as follows:
a. They are economical.
b. Construction usually is easy and rapid. It does not require skilled labor or specialized equipment. Many of the
components are prefabricated allowing relatively quick construction.
c. Regardless of the height or length of the wall, support of the structure is not required during construction as for
conventional retaining walls.
d. They are relatively flexible and can tolerate large lateral deformations and large differential vertical settlements.
The flexibility of geotextile reinforced walls allows the use of a lower factor of safety for bearing capacity design
than for conventional, more rigid structures.
e. They are potentially better suited for earthquake loading because of the flexibility and inherent energy absorption
capacity of the coherent earth mass.
Some disadvantages of geotextile-reinforced walls over conventional concrete walls are as follows:
a. Some decrease in geotextile strength may occur because of possible damage during construction.
b. Some decrease in geotextile strength may occur with time at constant load and soil temperature.
c. The construction of geotextile-reinforced walls in cut regions requires a wider excavation than conventional
retaining walls.
d. Excavation behind the geotextile-reinforced wall is restricted
Geotextile Applications
Geotextiles can be used in the following applications:
A. Road Works: The basic principles of incorporating geotextiles into a soil mass are the same as those utilized in
the design of reinforced concrete by incorporating steel bars. The fabrics are used to provide tensile strength in the
earth mass in locations where shear stress would be generated.
B. Railway Works: The woven fabrics or non-wovens are used to separate the soil from the sub-soil without
impeding the ground water circulation where ground is unstable.
C. River Canals and Coastal Works: Geotextiles protect river banks from erosion due to currents or lapping. When
used in conjunction with natural or artificial enrockments, they act as a filter. For erosion prevention, geotextile used
can be either woven or nonwoven.
D. Drainage: In civil engineering, the need for drainage has long been recognized and has created the need for
filters to prevent in-situ soil from being washed into the drainage system. Geotextiles perform the filter mechanism
or drainages in earth dams, in roads and highways, in reservoirs, behind retaining walls, deep drainage trenches and
E. Sports field construction: Geotextiles are widely used in the construction of Caselon playing fields and Astro

F. Agriculture; It is used for mud control. For the improvement of muddy paths and trails those used by cattle or
light traffic, nonwoven fabrics are used and are folded by overlapping to include the pipe or a mass of grit.
Textiles are not only clothing the human body but also our mother land in order to protect her. Extensive awareness
should be created among the people about the application of geotextiles. Geotextiles are effective tools in the hands
of the civil engineer that have proved to solve a myriad of geotechnical problems. To explore the potential of
geotextile more researches are needed in this field.
- Shukla, S.K. (2012). Handbook of Geosynthetic Engineering-2nd edition, ICE Publishing, London, 409 p.
- Shukla, S.K., Sivakugan, N. and Singh, A.K. (2010). Analytical model for fiber-reinforced granular soils
under high confining stresses. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, ASCE, 22(9)
- Shukla, S.K., Sivakugan, N. and Das, B.M. (2009). Fundamental concepts of soil reinforcement an
overview. International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, 3(3), 329-342.
- Shukla, S.K. and Yin, J.-H. (2006). Fundamentals of Geosynthetic Engineering. Taylor and Francis,
London, 410 p.
- Geosynthetics in Civil Engineering,Edited by R.W.Sarsby (2014)
- Kousik deb Design of Geosynthetic-reinforced earth using equivalent thickness concept Indian Journal
of Geosnthetics January 2013 VOL.2 No.1,P.No.4-8
- Handbook of technical textiles,edited by S.C. Anand (2013)
- www.technicaltextiles.net