GEOTEXTILES in Flexible Pavement Construction

Alungbe, Gabriel D.
September 2004
Tech Directions;Sep2004, Vol. 64 Issue 2, p22
The article discusses the use of geosynthetic textiles in pavement construction. There are two major types of pavement: flexible and rigid. Rigid pavement consists of a portland cement concrete pavement with optional base course between the pavement and subgrade. Wheel load distribution in rigid pavement takes place over a relatively wide area of the subgrade because of the pavement's rigidity and high modulus of elasticity. The performance of some flexible pavement in some climates has proved disappointing because transverse cracks developed within a few years of construction. Other forms of flexible pavement distress include map or alligator cracks, ruts, frost heave, and reflective cracking. The useful life of a highway or airfield pavement depends on the ability of an underdrain system to adequately remove free water from under the pavement. The use of geotextile material can keep the soil particles from migrating into the gravel layer while permitting water to pass through. Some other advantages of using geotextile for pavement drainage include reduced trench excavation; elimination of some trench shoring; ability to use less-expensive gravel, such as pit-run or back-run; and elimination of sand filter in dual-media backfill. Geotextile is used to separate natural soil from pavement materials. This prevents the fine-grained soils in the subgrade from intermixing with the high-quality aggregate in the base or subbase. This will in turn insure that the aggregate maintains its design load-bearing capacity throughout the design life.


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