What is Geotextile Membrane used for?

July 26, 2023 | Geotextile, Insights

A geotextile is a synthetic permeable textile material utilized with soil, rock, or any other geotechnical engineering-related material. Geotextile, as well called geosynthetics, are commonly associated with high-standard all-season roads but can be used in low-standard logging roads.

Geotextile membranes are a category of fabric that can be installed into the ground to create a protective membrane. They can be used in a vast range of situations and have many perks, starting from landscaping projects to construction, but are generally found in drainage and engineering projects. They are as well commonly known as “Terram” (a brand specializing in geotextile membranes) or geotextile and A bit such as calling a vacuum cleaner a “hoover”.

Geotextile are a sort of geosynthetics material that has become more and more popular over the past fifteen years. The material is obligated its success in more than 80 applications to a large extent to its resistance to biodegradation. Geotextile are certainly textiles, yet not in the traditional sense of the word. They are no organic materials like cotton, wool, or silk. Geotextile are synthetic fibers that can be built into an extensible, porous, nonwoven needle felt fabric. They are absorptive to water flow, to differing degrees.

Different Uses for Geotextile Membranes

Geotextile are porous fabrics made from synthetic materials such as polypropylene, polyester, polyethylene, nylon, polyvinyl chloride, and various mixtures of these.

They are available in thicknesses extending from 10 to 300 mils (1 mil = 1/1000 inch) in widths up to 30 ft, in roll lengths up to 2000 ft. The absorptive of geotextile sheets is comparable in the range from coarse gravel to fine sand. They are each two woven from continuous monofilament fibers or non-woven created by the use of thermal or chemical bonding of continuous fibers and pressed through rollers into a relatively thin fabric. These fabrics are effectively strong and durable even in a belligerent soil environment. They acquire pH resistance of 3 to 11.The use of geotextiles in geotechnical engineering has been evolving in popularity for the last many years. Geotextile Membranes can be used in so many ways.

Separating Types of Aggregates

Geotextile membranes can help separate two types of soil and sums that you don’t want to mix, particularly when water is running through them. Different types of soil can have different consistencies, resulting in fine particles being washed away amid rainfall into the percolation channels. The mixing of soil can cause the ground to turn uneven and even sink as small particles are washed down between the larger particles.
Geotextile membranes can avoid this by not allowing the smaller particles to become displaced even at the time of rainfall. In addition, this can prevent drainage channels within courser soil from becoming clogged by smaller particles, reducing the potential for standing water and flooding post rainfall.

Protecting Against Erosion

Protection geotextile membranes are frequently used in coastal areas between the beach and coastal defense projects to prevent erosion. The membrane must be firm enough that the coastal defense project can’t damage it, but permeable much to allow for drainage to happen. Specialist membranes are usually needed for this purpose as they have to be super strong so as not to tear on the defense materials like gabions.

Weed Membranes

Weed control fabrics are another kind of geotextile membrane and can be utilized to protect plants, as the plant is allowed to grow while weeds are prevented from doing the same, eliminating competition between species for space and nutrients. Permitting the plants you want to grow to get more nutrients themselves, instead of weeds sucking them up!

They can as well be used as barriers are being used to contain harmful substances at landfill sites for instance, from contaminating the area.
Ocean Global is the paramount geosynthetics material supplier and geosynthetics manufacturer in India. They are a supplier of geosynthetic products, for illustration., geotextile, geogrids, geomembranes, geocomposites, and geonets from India. With a handsome experience of more than 21 years, they are quick to work with the latest technology providing innovative engineering solutions. They strive to maintain the greatest standards in their manufacturing and production processes and provide seamless integration.

Geotextile are a sort of geosynthetics material that has become more and more popular over the past fifteen years. The material is obligated its success in more than 80 applications to a large extent to its resistance to biodegradation. Geotextile are certainly textiles, yet not in the traditional sense of the word. They are no organic materials like cotton, wool, or silk. Geotextile are synthetic fibers that can be built into an extensible, porous, nonwoven needle felt fabric. They are absorptive to water flow, to differing degrees.

Some Interesting facts about Geotextiles

We are surrounded by various types of textiles in our daily lives. Geotextile are a bit different but very famed due to their use in over 80 different types of applications around us. These are simply synthetic fibers turned into a fabric with absorptive qualities and are contrary to biodegradation.

Geotextile were intended to be purposed as an alternative to soil filters. Based on the textile’s intended properties, these fabrics have been utilized to separate, reinforce, filter, protect or drain. Sometimes known as geosynthetics, geotextile are primarily used in civil or environmental engineering undertakings.

1. History of Geotextile

Originally geotextile were called filter fabrics. In the 1950s, R.J.Berrett begin working with geotextile, utilizing them in erosion control situations such as behind precast concrete sea-walls, underneath large stone ripraps, beneath precast concrete erosion control blocks, etc. After this, he used distinctive woven monofilament fabrics, with 6 to 30% of the open region. The requirement for permeability along with soil retention, fabric durability, and elongation made geotextile perfect for use in filtration situations.

Though, Geotextile go preceding, Geotextile were one of the initial textile products possibly used in human history. Exceptionally so, Egyptian site excavations have shown the purpose of linen and grass mats. These early on, Geotextile were made occasionally with natural fibers or vegetation mixed with soil to enhance road stability.

2. Features of Geotextile 

Geotextile should be capable to permit material exchange between soil and air, so it should be passable for plants to grow roots, rainwater to come into the soil, or excess water to exhaust out without causing erosion, etc. This creates the following certain characteristics necessary to be present in Geotextile:

  • Physical features- Right particular gravity, weight, rigidity, weight, and frequency
  • Mechanical features– right firmness, tensile vitality, drapability, bursting rigidity, affability, frictional support, and tearing clout.
  • Hydraulic features- absorbency, transitivity, absorptive, turbidity, and diffusivity defiance to the bio, hydraulic, photo, chemical, and mechanical deterioration.
  • Endurance features– grating resistance, continuation, and appropriate clogging length.

3. Categories of Geotextile 

There are varied categories of Geotextile used for various operations. Although capturing every type in this blog is not practically possible, we can discuss the three principal types of geotextile used, especially woven, non-woven and polyspun.

Woven Geotextile

Woven Geotextile are purposed mainly for separation and reinforcement operations. Great tensile strength and load capacity features make these suitable for the above-mentioned functions. These are comparably impermeable, during not good with drainage; they have high compressive strengths making them perfect to be used in the construction of roads, etc.

Non-woven Geotextiles

Non-woven textiles are felt such as materials that lack tensile, shear, or compressive strength fronts but are best in fields where separation, drainage, or filtration properties are required. They hence are good for hardscape operations or erosion control.

Polyspun Geotextiles

Polyspun geotextiles are as well non-woven materials with separation being their main function. These materials are absorptive, and thus are used to add drainage, but they fail to add any form of reinforcement. These are typically used as weed barriers.

4. Fibers Utilized For Geotextiles

Both natural and synthetic fibers are purposed in manufacturing different types of geotextiles, suited for various functions.

Natural fibers in the shape of paper strips, wood shavings, jute nets, or wool mulch are utilized in geotextiles. Natural geotextiles are used particularly when they are required to bio-degrade in a relatively shorter period, like when they are applied for preventing soil erosion till vegetation sets.

Synthetic fibers are chiefly used for geotextiles. There are 4 prime synthetic polymers, polyester, polyethylene, polyamide, and polypropylene that are broadly used for manufacturing geotextile.

5. Applications of Geotextiles

For a wider understanding, geotextiles can be understood as any textile product used beneath the soil. This makes geotextiles handy in applications such as streets, ponds, pipelines, embankments, etc. reinforcements. In any application, geotextiles are used for six discrete causes, separation, filtration, reinforcements, drainage, protection, and enclosure. These functions as well make geotextiles useful in multiple environmental and civil undertakings.

Application in Dam Construction

Geotextiles as well have a wide application when it comes to embankment dam construction. The application, howbeit, may be limited in some cases since geotextiles are prone to installation damage and have a hidden for clogging. Thus, they are architected and accepted by experienced engineers considering all aspects of design and construction.

Geotextiles have the following functions on account of their application in Dams:

Filtration & Drainage

In some situations, geotextiles play a very vital role in the filtration of seepage through and under embankment dams. These textiles function as a filter, controlling the transport of soil particles by seepage.

Protection and dissolution

The most usual application of geotextiles is its usage as a separator of natural material to prevent the contamination of adjacent zones in the embankment. 

Surface Stabilization

Geotextiles can effectively function as armor systems to minimize erosion associated with the dams and sediment transport at the time of dam construction.


How long do geomembranes last?

The lifespan of geomembranes depends on factors such as material quality, installation techniques, site conditions, and exposure to UV radiation. Generally, well-installed geomembranes can last for several decades.

Can geomembranes be repaired if damaged?

Yes, geomembranes can often be repaired using specialized techniques such as patching, welding, or fusion bonding, depending on the extent and type of damage.

Can geomembranes be used in contact with various chemicals?

Yes, certain types of geomembranes are specifically engineered to withstand exposure to a wide range of chemicals, acids, and alkalis, making them suitable for chemical containment applications.

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