Geosynthetics are materials manufactured from various types of polymers used to enhance, augment and make possible cost effective environmental, transportation and geotechnical engineering construction projects. They are used to provide one or more of the following functions: separation, reinforcement, filtration, drainage and liquid barrier.
Geotextiles are typically defined as flexible, textile-like fabrics of controlled permeability used to provide all of the above functions, except liquid barrier, in soil, rock and waste materials. It should be noted that natural fibre geotextiles (e.g. using jute) are manufactured in some parts of the
world and these products are also considered to fall within the geotextile classification.
NTPEP is also studying use of geocomposite drains and geogrids. Geogrids are generally described as stiff or flexible polymer grid-like sheets with large apertures used primarily as reinforcement of unstable soil (and waste masses.)
The growth of these geosynthetic materials in Transportation, Geotechnical and Environmental related applications has been dramatic. Total use and sales of these materials are regularly increasing at rates of 10% to 20% per year in each of the above categories. (Source: International Geosynthetics Society, IGS)