Geocells

Geocells are three-dimensional cellular confinement systems, made ​​up of perforated and textured strips (which greatly improve the characteristics of the filling material). These systems have many uses, including: increasing the bearing capacity of the low bearing strength soils, retaining walls execution, slope stabilization and protection systems, erosion control, protection and bank protection etc.

In order to ensure the best possible compound with the infill material, the material is textured and the holes from the walls provide an efficient drainage, allowing the development of the vegetation where appropriate.

Geocell Uses

1. Solutions to increase the bearing capacity

The problems that appear at the road structures and platforms, following the subsidence of the foundation material or the material instability from the road bed, can be eliminated using the geocellular confinement system. This system provides good stabilization, reducing cracks from the surface layer.

This system creates a semi-rigid structure, leads to the significant reduction in the form layer, gives long operating time and considerably reduces the maintenance and repair costs.

Which is the mechanism?

The cellular confinement system improves the characteristics of the filling material, adding an apparent cohesion to the material cohesion.

The system controls the shear stress and the lateral displacement of the filling material.

The circular peripheral resistance of the cells, the passive resistance of adjacent cells and the interaction between the filling material and textured walls of cells leads to remarkable results compared to other solutions.

The advantages are worthy to be taken into consideration, thus:

  • results a solid base with high bending strengths;
  • system acts as a semi-rigid plate by lateral distribution of loads, reducing the pressure on the road bed;
  • reduce the amplitude of vertical strains;
  • total and differential settlement control even in the fields with low bearing capacity;
  • allow the use of local materials as infill materials.

Research on the behavior of the aggregates confined with this system in comparison with those unconfined show a decrease in the thickness and weight of structural elements by 50% or even more, for those confined.
The results also show an increase of more than 10 times for the number of cyclic loads that lead to permanent deformation when confined in comparison with those unconfined materials.

Applications: foundations and road structures, temporary and permanent access roads, platforms, ecological parking, retaining walls, slab foundations, channels.

2. Innovative solution for the retaining walls’ execution

In the last years there was a huge explosion in using the cellular system for the execution of the retaining walls, because the rehabilitation and widening of roads and highways often require steep slopes that must fit in limited spaces. The development of the industrial, residential and commercial properties situated   nearness of roads also requires special measures that are expensive. In these situations, the cellular system is the most effective solution that provides:

  • road widening in a delimited space
  • adding a traffic band or parking
  • execution of emergency access areas
  • stabilization of neighboring channels and water courses
  • retention systems or rainwater inlet execution
  • repairing of damaged structures and landslides repairs
  • execution of safety barriers along roads
  • use as energy absorbers and noise barriers

Advantages of using the cellular system

  • The cellular system allows the obtaining of very steep slopes or even near vertical surfaces, structurally stable under its own weight and the imposed external factors and that minimizes erosion.
  • The efficiency of the system is not only technical but also economical compared to conventional solutions. Costs can be lower by 25 % to 30% compared to the old solutions that used concrete. Of course this percentage varies depending on the local situation specific to each work.
  • Do not forget the damage and dangers that arise in cases of vandalism, the cellular system being not affected in these situations.
  • The structures executed with geocells are distinguished by their durability and resistance to physical and chemical factors.
  • This system eliminates any potential for cracking, peeling, fragmentation, grinding that can occur in case of structures executed with other materials.
  • The system can be used at structures exposed to seawater, soils with high pH, salts used for thaw or chemical products.
  • The infill materials can be highly variable: sand, gravel, ballast, concrete, topsoil.

 

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