Geotextiles--woven or non-woven material that is typically placed underground--is a pervious fabric used for increasing soil stability, providing protection against soil erosion, and aiding in water drainage. Geotextiles come in a variety of types, each with different qualities that will work best in specific applications. But how do you determine which types of geotextile fabrics are right for your business?
Geotextile manufacturers produce two basic types of cloth; it is either woven or non-woven. While most geotextile fabrics are created from man-made fibers, in the future, it will be increasingly popular to also make them of natural, eco-friendly, "green" fibers. When determining which type you should use, in addition to geotextile prices, consider the following:
- So-called "slit film" woven geotextile fabric is the strongest you can buy.
- "Monofilament" woven geotextiles are both strong and offer good filtration.
- Non-woven geotextile fabrics handle high flow rates better.
Select slit-film woven geotextile fabrics for strengthWoven geotextile fabrics are made by weaving at least two sets of fibers. These fibers (or strands) may be flat (called "slit-film") or round (called "monofilament"). Typically, you use slit-film geotextiles where strength is essential and filtration properties aren't critical.
Pick monofilament geotextiles when both strength and filtration are a mustUse monofilament geotextiles when strength and filtration are paramount in a project. They are particularly useful where erosion might be a problem.
Choose non-woven geotextiles for filteringNon-woven geotextiles look a lot like felt and are good at aiding planar water flow. Sometimes they are called "filter fabrics." They are commonly used in asphalt pavement overlays, aggregate drains, and erosion control.
- As "green" products become more popular, expect to see geotextile manufacturers put natural geotextiles on the market. They are made from renewable sources like coconuts and jute, have great absorbency, are more flexible than synthetic options, drain well, and cost less. They are also bio-degradable.