Coir Geotextiles in Roads can Provide a Strong Layer for Roadways

coir geotextiles in roads

Coir geotextiles in roads – The transportation infrastructure is essential for a country’s economic development. Rural roads are mostly unpaved, and they face significant problems due to weak subgrade and subbase/base-coarse. Geotextile materials play a crucial role in road construction, as they can perform various functions, including filtration, separation, and reinforcement.

Geotextiles act as a tensioned membrane and reduce the vertical stress acting on the subgrade. The position of the reinforcement is a significant factor that affects the bearing capacity of reinforced granular soil. It has been observed that lowering the reinforcement placement depth can increase the bearing capacity. Additionally, using reinforcement can lead to a reduction in pavement thickness, resulting in favorable economic benefits.

However, the benefits of reducing base course thickness can only be realized if the cost of geosynthetics is less than the cost of the reduced base coarse material. In developing countries like India, geosynthetics’ price and availability are major constraints in pavement construction.

Road Pavement Layer Using Coir Geotextiles in Roads

A reinforced unpaved road typically consists of a layer of fill compacted into the subgrade, with a single layer of geosynthetic reinforcement placed at the base of the fill. Geosynthetic support is particularly effective when the subgrade is weak. Since natural materials decompose over time, their use is limited to short-term applications only.

The presence of the reinforcement layer increases the fill material’s lateral restraint or passive resistance, which increases the system’s rigidity and reduces the vertical and lateral pavement deformation. Reinforcement placed high up in the granular layer hinders the lateral movement of the aggregate, increasing the load-spreading ability of the total and reducing the necessary fill thickness.

Coir geotextiles, made from coconut fibers, are designed to provide good interface friction with granular fill, inducing tensile stress in the support when embedded within the fill material. The presence of the reinforcement layer also increases the load spreading angle compared to the unreinforced one. The article shows that including coir geotextile as soil reinforcement improves the lateritic soil ratio.

The Natural Material and Safe for Environment

It is expected that joining the soft subgrade soil will make reinforcement unnecessary in the long term, as an unpaved road on a soft subgrade gets stabilized by soil consolidation due to the passage of vehicles. Geotextiles made from biodegradable materials, like coir, can take advantage of the early period of structure when much of the working of membrane action cannot be predicted.

In conclusion, geotextiles play a crucial role in road construction, with coir geotextiles being a viable option due to their biodegradability and ability to induce tensile stress. While the cost of geosynthetics may be a constraint in developing countries, reducing the base course thickness can lead to favorable economic benefits. Additionally, reinforcement placement depth and position are significant factors that affect the bearing capacity of reinforced granular soil.

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