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Getting Under Your Feet – The Revolutionary Technology of Geogrids

Tensar's Triax Geogrid Most people reading this will have driven along a highway recently. But did you ever stop to think about how it stays up? With all the trucks and cars that speed along the average highway every day, it’s a wonder they don’t collapse!

Now how would you feel if you heard that the reason these highways and bridges and embankments manage to stay so stable is all thanks to the simple triangle?

Wait, triangles?

Let me explain.

Geogrid fabric is a sheet of synthetic material commonly used for soil stabilization. It forms a layer over soft soil when building roads and steep slopes, in fact anything that requires a solid foundation.

It works by trapping particles of earth within the mesh, compressing it through the holes, or apertures, to form a stiff layer.

The TriAx geogrid has triangular shaped apertures, the idea being that triangles are one of the strongest geometric shapes because they have fixed angles that don’t distort. They have been used in construction since even the Roman times!

Here’s an example of how a geogrid works. Check out this awesome video as two sandboxes are filled with sand, one with a geogrid, one without…

Notice how as the model walks across the unsupported box his feet sink into the sand, then see him walk across the box that contains the geogrid. This is happening under your feet every day!

But what are the real benefits of geogrids?

  • Increased load distribution through 360 degrees
  • Multi-directional tensile strength
  • Reduced materials + reduced excavation = Sustainability and reduced costs

Geogrids in action: Van Nuys Airport case study.

TriAx Geogrid

Van Nuys Airport, in California, needed its main runway re-building. However, in a busy airport, time is of the essence and the work needed to be carried out with the minimum disruption to flights and passengers. Traditional construction methods would have been costly and time consuming, with huge amounts of excavation required. Georgrid technology was used which reduced labor and materials costs. They managed to save over $600,000 on the overall project, and finished well ahead of schedule. That sure is one massive saving!

It just goes to show that you should always be thankful for what’s beneath your feet.

About Tensar International

Tensar is a world-leader in technology-driven soil reinforcement and mechanical ground stabilization. Visit their website at http://www.tensarinternational.com/