What is Geogrid? How Geogrids Work

What is Geogrid? How Geogrids Work

Geogrids are a subgroup of geosynthetics notable for their open apertures for use in reinforcement.  They comprise three main categories based on construction style; knitted and woven polyester or fiberglass grids that have been coated with PVC or other additives, extruded polypropylene and HDPE plastic geogrids, and welded rod or strap geogrids.  

What Is Geogrid Used For?

Also known as geogrid mesh, geogrid is a type of geosynthetic primarily used for soil or ground stabilization and reinforcement. Commonly used in construction, it offers a solid base that can help stabilize the soil. In pavement structures, the geogrids are placed at the bottom or within the layers of the pavement system, improving its load capacity under repeated foot or vehicle traffic.

Geogrids can also increase the service life of pavements by stabilizing the subgrade and reducing their vulnerability to the elements such as water, sunlight and chemicals. Geogrids can help prevent cracking and potholes which can damage pavements. When building roadways, thick bases are needed for the foundation to improve stability, but this can cost a lot of money. Installing geogrids for soil reinforcement is a cost-effective solution that offers the same level of stability and increases the roadway's service life at the same time.

Geogrids for Slope Reinforcement

Geogrids are also used in retaining walls by reinforcing the soil backfill, preventing movement from behind the wall. It's safe to build steeper and higher walls with geogrids since they can hold the backfill together. Using geogrids for slope reinforcement such as in a retaining wall is more cost-effective because there's no need to purchase additional materials to hold back the soil behind it, since geogrids can achieve this task. Walls with geogrid systems are also more flexible and resistant to the effects of earthquakes.

How Does A Geogrid Work?

Geogrids are made with polymeric or polymer materials and are resistant to UV radiation, chemicals and mechanical damage. Easily installed, geogrids serve as reinforcing material that prevents soil movement behind a retaining wall or beneath a pavement. They achieve this through their apertures — the open spaces between the ribs — which help create interlocking pockets that hold the material better. Geogrids also help distribute weight evenly, keeping the structure safer and more stable.

Visualize holding compacted soil in one hand and using the other hand to press down on it. The soil loses its shape; it may spread out or become flatter. When the compacted soil is placed in a mold, it prevents it from crumbling or spreading. If installed in a structure, the mold prevents soil movement, creating a solid, stable base. This is what a geogrid does.

The polymer material in geogrids is stretched out to strengthen the ribs, ensuring it can withstand the tension and pressure from the materials filling up the apertures. When buying geogrids, look at the thickness of the rib, tensile loads and the aperture area to determine if it can withstand the pressure or tension. Contact us for high-quality geogrids for construction projects.

How Geogrids Stabilize the Soil

Geogrids stabilize the soil through the tension membrane effect which is based on vertical stress distribution. When the sheet is placed within the soil, it acts as a supporting structure, creating a tension membrane that helps even out soil distribution. The framework helps prevent issues such as differential settlement or subsidence.

Compared to other geotextiles, the load-bearing capacity of geogrids is much higher, ensuring the stability of the structure above it. Geogrids also increase road performance and safety of the pavements through lateral restraint. Without a geogrid, a large vehicle driving over the pavement can move the soil beneath, affecting the stability of the pavement. Geogrids prevent this shift, since they hold the soil firmly in place via the apertures, ribs and nodes.

Types of Geogrids

Several types of geogrids are available in the market and are manufactured for different construction projects or applications. Two of the most common geogrids are uniaxial and biaxial.

Uniaxial Geogrids

Ideal for slope reinforcement or wall applications, uniaxial geogrids have rectangular apertures and offer high tensile strength in just one direction. While it's more affordable, it's not suited for roads or pavements where the pressure is distributed in both directions. Landfill liner systems, retaining walls and steep slopes can benefit from this type of geogrid.

Biaxial Geogrids

Designed with square apertures, a biaxial geogrid is ideal for pavements or road applications because it offers high tensile strength in both directions. Like uniaxial geogrids, biaxial versions are suitable for use in slope or wall applications. When compared to uniaxial geogrids, biaxial geogrids are more economical because there's no need to increase aggregate layer thickness, which costs more money. Contractors can use biaxial geogrids when working on weak subgrades, unpaved roads and airport runways.

Get in Touch Today

Geogrids, whether uniaxial or biaxial, promote soil stabilization and offer efficient distribution of loads. They can help reduce construction project costs or maintenance needs. We sell different types of geogrids and geotextiles used for multiple applications. Please contact us today.

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