A NEW coarse geogrid for stabilising steep slopes has proven its capability during recent field trials.
Researchers at the Saxon Textile Research Institute in Chemnitz, Germany used a rope of about 130mm diameter in a meandering wave pattern on a 1500m2 slope.
The unusually thick rope structure forms a rough geogrid, providing water storage capacity and preventing rain from washing away soil and causing erosion.
The geotextiles were developed at the Saxon Textile Research Institute and are produced in a joint venture with manufacturer VTT Vliestextilien and the research group for textile engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology.
The geogrids can be produced from biodegradable or non-degradable materials, fibres, chips or cuttings of natural or synthetic material, textile waste or even hay or straw. New machinery had to be built because existing plant was unable to produce rope this thick.
The field tests delivered excellent results: 'After last year's winter months, there was no erosion, not even on the very steep slopes,' said Bernd Anger of Chemnitz University.
'We do not know of any comparable technique or material that could secure steep, stony slopes, and help grow plants and shrubs, especially in the first months after an embankment has been built, ' added Saxon Textile Research Institute's Monika Seeger.