T ensar Geosynthetics in Civil Engineering

A guide to the products and their applications

Solutions for Soil Reinforcem ent and Ground Stabilisation

T ensar T echnology - proven practical solutions and the know-how to get them built
Based on the characteristic properties of T ensar geogrids, T ensar T echnology is widely adopted for ground stabilisation and soil reinforcement problems, delivering real savings in cost and time. We can help you apply T ensar T echnology to improve the bottom line on your project. LEADING INTERNATIONALLY T ensar International is a worldwide leader in the manufacture and provision of soil reinforcement and ground stabilisation solutions. Our expertise and experience has been accumulated over several decades of successful collaboration in international project design and implementation. Supported by our team of qualified civil engineers, we offer proven, practical and best value answers to an extensive range of requirements. INNOVATIVE, BEST VALUE SOLUTIONS IN THOUSANDS OF APPLICATIONS T ensar’s high performance range of innovative geogrid and geotextile products has been continuously developed since their introduction in the 1970s as the first products of their type. The superior performance has benefited thousands of road, rail, runway, embankment and many other applications across the world. Backed by regional offices and an international network of specialist distributors, our service and products are available wherever ground reinforcement and soil stabilisation are required. EXHAUSTIVELY, INDEPENDENTLY PROVEN PERFORM ANCE Our state-of-the-art geogrid and geotextile products have been rigorously and exhaustively tested by leading universities, independent laboratories and national authorities, under research and site conditions. Many Tensar products and applications hold internationally recognised certification, and all provide cost-effective, timesaving and lasting solutions to widely encountered civil engineering problems. PARTNERSHIP FOR SUCCESS Tensar International’s extensive support services are an integral part of every project partnership. Our dedicated team of design and applications engineers work with you from the outset to ensure that our solutions are tailored to your exact requirements, to help you achieve your project objectives on time and to budget.

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Contents T ensar International - Support Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Ground Stabilisation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Heavy Duty Pavements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Railway T rack Ballast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Asphalt Pavements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Embankments over Weak Ground . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Foundations over Piles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Slopes up to 45°. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Slopes Steeper than 45° . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Reinforced Soil Retaining Walls and Bridge Abutments . 12 Modular Block Retaining Wall Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Controlling Erosion - Soil and Rock Slopes. . . . . . . . . . 14 Independent Certification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Partnership from feasibility studies to full design and supply.

T ensar International Support Services
PROFESSIONAL SOLUTIONS Our International Support Services T eam provides professional support and impartial advice on your civil engineering projects, from application suggestions and product selection to on-site advice and construction guidance. Our range of innovative products is combined with our global experience of thousands of projects in a wide variety of climatic conditions and soil types. This means that we provide you with a unique specialist civil engineering viewpoint and proven, best value solutions in your application. T ensar’s dedicated and trained teams of engineers and local distributors are constantly out in the field delivering the very highest levels of technical assistance. All are committed to working in partnership with clients, with common goals for project success. Design, applicat ion and supply Our professionally qualified Civil Engineers will respond to your needs, from a free application suggestion supporting your own design, to a fully indemnified design and supply service. By consulting our team at the earliest stages of a project, we can help you save time and money during the initial design phases as well as checking existing designs and providing budget costs. Extensive use is made of our powerful in-house specialist software. Com prehensive and in-dept h We can also support your projects with construction and installation guidelines, with independent certification documentation and with specification notes to assist in the production of contract documents and installation procedures. These are backed by an extensive range of case studies, product specifications and in-depth technical papers. SOLID ADVICE I Your project requirements met through our comprehensive design service I Comprehensive hands-on technical information through in-depth international workshops I Full, personal technical training seminars tailored to your requirements I Effective on-site support (in most countries) ensures installation success I Ease of design and specification with advanced design software incorporating internationally recognised methods

Drawings issued for construction.


Software using the latest design method.

One of the many T ensar Design and Supply wall packages (UK).

Seeing is believing

T ruck on sub-base without grid.

T ruck on sub-base with grid.

Safe construction access.

Ground Stabilisation
THE TENSAR SOLUTION There are now unprecedented demands to design economic and environmentally sensitive roads, container ports, car parks, airfields and hardstandings sited over weak or variable ground. T ensar geogrids give a high performance solution which also meets economic and environmental constraints. The structural contribution made by T ensar geogrids is to reinforce the unbound layers of roads and trafficked areas. When granular material is compacted over the geogrid it partially penetrates and projects through the apertures to create a strong and positive interlock. The high tensile stiffness of T ensar geogrids allows load to be developed at very low strains. Independent trials have confirmed that it is the shape and form of the ribs and junctions of T ensar geogrids, which determine the structural performance of pavements - unique characteristics and superiority. Since 1980, several hundred million square metres of T ensar geogrids have been successfully incorporated into a wide range of sites under diverse working and climatic conditions. THE BENEFITS T ensar biaxial geogrids combine major cost savings with considerable performance benefits in granular capping and sub-base layers. I Savings in granular thickness of up to 40% with no performance loss I Reduction of excavated soil together with conservation of natural aggregates I Reduced disturbance and weakening of sensitive subgrade formations I Improved fill compaction I Increased design life I Control of differential settlement I Spanning of voids I Very often, making possible the impossible

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Granular layer T ensar geogrid

Constructions of equivalent performance
Significant saving in granular thickness. The mechanism of Interlock.

Heavy Duty Pavem ents
THE TENSAR SOLUTION Excavation and replacement with an imported fill, or expensive ground treatment methods such as piling, can be avoided when building over weak and variable subgrades by incorporating layers of T ensar geogrid within the granular layer. Multi-layer systems are possible as a direct result of the unique interlocking action achieved between the aggregate and T ensar geogrids. The resulting composite creates a stiff platform. The system can also accommodate high dynamic and static loads such as those experienced at container ports. Differential settlement can be controlled by the flexural stiffness of the platform and also its ability to span depressions and voids. T ensar’s design methods and pavement engineering experience combine to provide whole life cost savings. THE BENEFITS T ensar multi-layer reinforcement combines major cost savings with considerable performance benefits. It combines all the benefits realised in reinforcing granular capping and sub-base layers: I Savings in granular thickness of up to 40% I Reduced disturbance and weakening of sensitive subgrade formations I Improved fill compaction I Reduction of excavated soil together with conservation of natural aggregates I Increased design life and in addition multi-layer reinforcement can: - Reduce differential settlement - Support extraordinarily heavy loads

T ensar geogrid

Multi-layer reinforced granular sub-base.

Steel Fabrication yard (Malaysia).

No1 for Builders and Contractors


For a design consultation
Multi-layer construction over landfill.


Railway Track Ballast
THE TENSAR SOLUTION Railway track that overlies a soft subgrade will always experience relatively rapid and permanent settlement. This, in turn, leads to the need for expensive, disruptive and frequent maintenance. The railway industry needs ways to reinforce track ballast simply and economically. Independent, full-scale research has shown that T ensar reinforced ballast over poor formation achieves stiffness levels similar to unreinforced ballast over firm foundations. TENSAR GEOGRIDS: I Interlock with ballast to provide an effective reinforced composite foundation over peat and soft alluvial soils I Restrict lateral movements within the ballast to minimise migration of fines I Are certified by Network Rail - the UK’s national railways authority - and other European railway authorities There are two distinct uses of T ensar geogrids in railway engineering - either control of lateral displacement of the ballast or bearing capacity improvement over weak ground by reinforcement of the sub-base. THE BENEFITS Reinforcing railway track ballast with T ensar biaxial geogrids is extremely cost-effective and provides these significant advantages. I Reduces maintenance frequency I Reduces elastic deflections I Offers an alternative to increasing depth of ballast or using chemical stabilisation I Reduces the rate of permanent settlement I Avoids excavation and replacement with thick layers of imported fill I Allows consistent high speeds to be achieved
The geogrids can be placed as part of the track cleaning operation (India). Ballast Granular sub-base Soft sub-soil Maintenance reduction T ensar biaxial geogrid

Ballast Granular sub-base Soft sub-soil Improved bearing capacity

T ensar biaxial geogrid

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Mechanical ballast cleaning (Germany).

Asphalt Pavem ents
THE TENSAR SOLUTION Asphalt pavements, subjected to heavy or sustained loadings, will benefit from reinforcement. So too will those with cracked lean mix roadbase and concrete pavements with asphalt overlays. Products are needed to extend overlay life, reduce maintenance costs and asphalt thickness, control fatigue and reflective cracking, and reduce rutting on roads and airfields. T ensar International has a wide range of grids and composites with an extensive track record for improving the life and performance of asphalt pavements.

Close up of asphalt being placed on T ensar products.

Rig installing reinforcement.

THE BENEFITS T ensar International asphalt reinforcement products help to reduce maintenance costs and are suitable for all types of asphalt mixes. I I I I I I Reduction of asphalt thickness of up to 40% Significantly retards reflective cracking Reduces rutting by up to 70% Increases pavement life Easy to install Composites also seal the substrate from water ingress, extending pavement life



Em bankm ents over Weak Ground
THE TENSAR SOLUTION When faced with building embankments over soft ground, it may not be economical or environmentally viable to excavate and dispose of the poor soil and replace it with granular fill. In such cases, T ensar International can help with the best option from a range of possible techniques. Whatever the particular circumstances and problems, we can provide advanced, cost-effective and proven solutions. When stability rather than settlement is the problem, the use of T ensar geogrids will allow initial access over a soft formation and permit embankment construction to take place in a controlled and safe manner. The use of T ensar Basetex geotextiles can avoid staged construction delays and, if vertical drains are used, will allow greater surcharges to be applied safely to the weak foundation. Basetex can also be used as a tensioned membrane between piles. T ensar geogrids and Basetex geotextiles can be placed as a single layer, or as multi-layer reinforcement, at the base of the embankment to intersect potential failure surfaces extending into the foundation. When there is a danger of collapse into underlying voids a reinforced layer may be constructed by using either T ensar biaxial geogrids with granular fill to form a stiffened raft, or T ensar Basetex, as a tensioned membrane, to span over voids. Either approach may be used to generate a design to provide permanent support to embankments and bunds. When the need is to reduce differential settlement or maximise the bearing capacity from a relatively thin soft formation, a T ensar Geocell mattress provides the base strengthening. The T ensar Geocell is a 1m deep, open top, continuous cellular structure formed from geogrids and strong connectors. It is placed on the subsoil and filled with granular material. This creates a stiff foundation for the embankment as well as safely allowing initial construction access over the soft site.
Geocell construction at a landfill (Germany).

Use of the T ensar Geocell results in rapid construction with no need for excavation and removal of subsoil. THE BENEFITS T ensar International has a range of proven and economical solutions for construction over soft or variable ground that: I I I I I Allow rapid construction Allow safe access for operatives and machinery Avoid excavation and replacement Reduce loss of fill into weak foundations Enable safe spanning of voids

Basal reinforcement to a new highway embankment.

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The Geocell is rapidly assembled on-site.

Foundations over Piles
THE TENSAR SOLUTION Project programme constraints can mean that there is insufficient time to allow for consolidation settlement to occur after placing embankment fill over soft compressible soils. In this situation, a deep foundation solution may be the only way to resolve such a problem. The Load T ransfer Platform (L can distribute TP) embankment load efficiently onto a series of piles or vibro concrete columns (VCCs) which bear on firmer strata below. This avoids the cost of using a concrete raft, ground beams or separate pile caps. Usually the most economic solution is to form the L from good TP quality granular fill reinforced with multiple layers of T ensar biaxial grids. An alternative design using T ensar Basetex can be employed to accommodate poorer quality fill. T ensar L have also been successfully used below TPs concrete ground floor slabs in order to avoid designing the slabs to span between piles. THE BENEFITS When settlement restrictions dictate that a deep foundation solution is required to support an embankment or ground-bearing slab, an L TP: I Avoids the need for concrete rafts, pile caps or ground beams I M eans simple and rapid construction I Is a proven, reliable solution I Can be used under ground-bearing slabs to provide a uniform quality of support

T ensar biaxial geogrids Working carpet Grid for temporary support Piles or VCC’s

Piles T ensar L TP

L to support a concrete ground floor slab beneath a steel portal frame TP building (UK).

Road construction using an L over peat (Indonesia). TP


Slopes up to 45°


New construction In order to save both time and money it is often necessary to reinforce slopes to enable them to stand at a steeper angle than normal. Utilising poorer quality fills is also possible. Doing this could also assist a project through planning control and significantly minimise the impact on the environment by creating soft structures with minimum landtake. A structural facing is not normally necessary for T ensar reinforced slopes of 45° and flatter. For erosion protection, T ensar Mat (a three-dimensional nonbiodegradable matting) may be installed with the top soiling operation. The mat will no longer be visible once vegetation is established.

Slip repairs Failures of natural or man-made slopes are a common problem, especially in cohesive soils or in areas of high rainfall. Such failures can be repaired by excavating and re-using the failed soil and reinforcing this with layers of T ensar geogrids. THE BENEFITS T ensar Geogrids allow the use of relatively poor quality fill in slope construction for major financial, environmental and construction benefits. NEW CONSTRUCTION

I M inimises land use

I Restricts encroachment into environmentally sensitive areas I Reduces the amount of fill required I Simple and rapid construction I Permits the use of locally available soils I Allows heavy plant to operate close to the slope edge for uniform good compaction SLIP REPAIRS In addition to the New Construction benefits: I M inimises off-site haulage

T ensar M at and topsoil T ensar secondary reinforcement

T ensar primary reinforcement

I Costs as low as 25% of traditional methods
Standard embankment cross section for shallow slopes.

I Can reduce traffic disruption and lane closure

Interceptor drain

Typical slip repair

T ensar geogrid reinforcement

Benched excavation profile Reinstated failed soil

Vegetated topsoil

Granular drainage layer

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French drain

Standard embankment cross section for slip repair.

Slopes Steeper than 45°
THE TENSAR SOLUTION T ensar geogrids allow the construction of slope gradients up to 90° . Choosing a suitable soft facing for slopes can depend upon a number of elements, namely the desired finish, the constraints and circumstances of the local environment and, perhaps more importantly, the angle of the slope. T ensar International offers a range of construction techniques - the most popular use either grid wraparound or steel mesh panels (SMP) at the face. With a T ensar wraparound finish the facing element may be formed from the T ensar geogrid by extending the length, wrapping it around the face and subsequently anchoring it back into the fill. An internal bagwork support or temporary external support is required for the wraparound face details to control alignment and to provide the restraint necessary for good fill compaction. SMP facing can be used instead of the wraparound. This can be secured to the horizontal grids in such a way that no temporary internal or external support is required. In general, facing elements have a temporary internal lining to retain topsoil/fill and promote vegetation. THE BENEFITS A soft facing is extremely cost-effective and allows you to choose from a range of finishes with attractive results. The benefits associated with the construction of steep reinforced slopes are: I M inimises land use

I Restricts encroachment into environmentally sensitive areas I Reduces the amount of fill required I Simple and rapid construction I Permits the use of locally available soils I Cost-effective alternative to retaining walls I Soft face alternative to hard face retaining walls in sensitive areas

T ensar primary reinforcement

T ensar bodkin joint

Wraparound face using internal bagwork.

Steel mesh panel T ensar geogrid

HPDE bodkin

Steep face achieved using steel mesh panel.


Bagwork-faced slope before vegetation established.

The same slope some months later.

Steep reinforced slope with mature vegetation (Hong Kong).

Reinforced Soil Retaining Walls and Bridge Abutm ents


Designers and builders of retaining walls and bridge abutments look for a number of advantages from reinforced soil structures. I Long-term design stability using proven, independently certified products and systems I Simply constructed solutions at the lowest achievable cost I An aesthetically appealing end result

I Complete technical support and advice at every stage of the process Considerable cost savings can be made by using reinforced soil retaining walls. T ensar Wall Systems offer the complete solution when selecting retaining walls and bridge abutments. Right from the start, we offer free Application Suggestions to support your own designs or you can select a Design and Supply contract including comprehensive internal and external stability checks, construction drawings, specifications and certified designs. TENSAR WALL FACINGS OPTIONS INCLUDE: I A variety of large precast concrete units in differing sizes, textures and colours

T emporary bridge abutment using steel facing mesh panel.

I T echniques which incorporate natural stone or brickwork

I Full-height concrete panels complete with castin starter grids ready to be connected to the main grids using bodkins I Low-cost steel mesh for temporary works and thrust-relief walls built behind existing structures I M odular block systems

Incremental concrete panel wall.

THE BENEFITS Considerable cost savings are possible with reinforced soil retaining walls. I Wide range of possible face types

I Cost-savings compared with traditional reinforced concrete and gravity structures I Possibility of using site-won backfill I Durability - 120-year design life

T ensar geogrids Facing For det ails of Tensar w orkshops visit w w w.t ensar-int ernat ional.com

I Internationally recognised fitness for purpose independent accreditation - British Board of Agrément and Institut für Bautechnik

I High resistance to dynamic and seismic shock loadings
A typical reinforced soil bridge abutment

I M ay avoid the need for piling or ground treatment

Modular Block Retaining Wall System s
THE TENSAR SOLUTION Modular block concrete facing units offer yet another way to use the reinforced soil technique to form costeffective retaining structures and bridge abutments. Modular block retaining wall systems have developed very rapidly over the last ten years, and are becoming the first choice solution in many situations. The modular blocks are manufactured from high quality concrete in block making machines, and are available in a range of colours, styles and finishes. Some of the systems are designed to allow a facia of masonry or brickwork to be tied to the structure for architectural effect.
Close-up of block and connector.

The modular block provides a hard concrete finish to a retaining structure, which may be preferred in many situations. However, the wide choice of available finishes adds interest and softens the look of the completed structure.
T ensar geogrids M odular block facing units

THE BENEFITS The use of modular block retaining walls and bridge abutments offers all the advantages of the reinforced soil technique. I Wide range of possible face types and colours I Simple, rapid construction I Certified systems

I Avoid or minimise the need for lifting equipment and numerous ancillary fixings I Easily form complex or curved geometry I High-strength mechanical connection between blocks and T ensar geogrid


Modular block wall.

Masonry facia.

Plain block appearance.

Controlling Erosion - Soil and Rock Slopes
SOIL SLOPES - THE TENSAR SOLUTION ROCK SLOPES - THE TENSAR SOLUTION Weathering and freeze-thaw action can often lead to spalling on rock slopes, creating the hazard of falling rock fragments. This is particularly dangerous when close to public areas. T ensar biaxial grids can be secured to the face to control loose rock fragments and reduce further rock slope erosion. THE BENEFITS T ensar geogrids provide a high-performance and economical solution for the control of erosion on rock faces. I Durable geogrid with high impact resistance I Easy to install, wide, lightweight rolls I Non-corrodible I High resistance to weathering


Natural vegetation provides excellent erosion protection, however, extra erosion control measures are needed on steep slopes such as reinforced embankments or soilnailed cuttings. Areas prone to intermittent water inundation, wave runup or occasional high velocity flows, such as river banks, shorelines, ditches, flood bunds and dam spillways, can also suffer from soil erosion. In these cases, an additional permanent erosion protection material is needed to enhance the resistance of the vegetation, but one which ultimately becomes visually unobtrusive. The T ensar Mat range is used to control surface erosion and consists of flexible three-dimensional nonbiodegradable matting installed with the top soiling operation. T ensar Mat initially stabilises the surface until vegetation becomes established and then goes on to provide long-term reinforcement of the root system. THE BENEFITS T ensar Mat provides an economical, long-term solution for permanent erosion protection on soil slopes. I Less expensive than most hard and inert slope treatments I Environmentally appealing I Long-term solution I Easy to install

T ensar grids and mats are often used as a facing to soil-nailed slopes.

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Cladding a steep face with a grid provides vegetation with a foothold. T ensar Mat applied to a steep vegetated slope.

Independent Certification
T ensar geogrids have been given accreditation by a number of independent government and other certifying agencies around the world. No other soil reinforcement material has such a wide range of certification. I The British Board of Agrément has awarded certificates both for retaining walls and abutments, and for steep slopes. I The British Board of Agrément has also awarded certificate No 00/122 for the T ensar TWI wall system for reinforced soil retaining walls and bridge abutments.









I Network Rail, the UK authority responsible for the maintenance of the national rail track network, has certified Product Acceptance for T ensar SR and RE uniaxial geogrids for use in reinforced soil railway structures (certificate numbers PA05/175 & PA05/177), for T ensar SS biaxial geogrids for structural reinforcement of rail ballast (PA05/179 & PA05/1032) and for T ensar biaxial geogrid for rock face protection (PA05/176). I Allgemeine bauaufsichtliche Zulassung Z-20.1102 of the Deutsche Institut für Bautechnik (DIBt), Berlin for reinforced soil with the T ensar geogrids SR55, SR80, SR110.

I In Hong Kong, the Geotechnical Engineering Office has awarded Certificate RF 2/05 for the use of T ensar RE geogrids in reinforced fill structures.

Reinforced Fill Product Certificate No RF2/05 for Tensar 40RE, 55RE, 80RE, 120RE, 160RE and Joint Bars

I The Roads & Traffic Authority in Sydney, Australia, has certified both T ensar SR and RE geogrids under Specification R57 for use in Reinforced Soil Walls.



Contact T ensar International or your local distributor to receive further literature covering T ensar products and applications. Also available on request are product specifications, installation guides and specification notes. The com plete range of T ensar literature consists of: • T ensar Geosynthetics in Civil Engineering A guide to the products and their applications • Ground Stabilisation Reinforcing unbound layers in roads and trafficked areas • T ensar Structural Solutions Bridge Abutments - Retaining Walls Steep Slopes • Foundations over Piles Constructing over weak ground without settlement • Basal Reinforcement Constructing embankments over weak ground • Railways Mechanical Stabilisation of Track Ballast and Sub-ballast • Asphalt Pavements Reinforcing asphalt layers in roads and trafficked areas • Erosion Controlling erosion on soil and rock slopes

Y our local distributor is:

T ensar International Lim ited Cunningham Court Shadsworth Business Park Blackburn BB1 2QX United Kingdom

T + 44 (0)1254 262431 el: Fax: + 44 (0)1254 266868 E-m ail: info@tensar.co.uk www.tensar-international.com

Q 05288
BS EN ISO 9001: 2000

EM S 86463
BS EN ISO 14001: 2004

©Copyright T ensar International Lim ited Printed February 2007 Issue 9, 79010010 The inform ation in this brochure is supplied by T ensar International free of charge. T ensar International do not assume any duty of care to you or any third party. No liability for negligence (other than for death and personal injury) can arise from any use of or reliance on the inform ation in this brochure or use of any T ensar International product mentioned. T ensar International will not be liable if this brochure contains any misrepresentation or misstatement. Determ ination of the suitability for any project of the information and any T ensar International product m entioned in it m ust be m ade by your engineer or other professional advisor who has full knowledge of the project. Y ou, together with any such engineer or advisor, must assume all risk of loss and dam age of any kind arising from use of the information or any product of T ensar International other than the risk of death and personal injury. If you or any third party subsequently purchases a product referred to in this brochure or any other T ensar International product the entire term s of the contract of purchase and the entire obligation of T ensar International relating to the product or arising from its use shall be as set out in T ensar International's Standard Conditions in force at the tim e of purchase, a copy of which may be requested from T ensar International.