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Procedia Engineering 189 (2017) 247 – 251

Transportation Geotechnics and Geoecology, TGG 2017, 17-19 May 2017, Saint Petersburg,
Russia

The Performance of Geotextile Materials Used for Filtration


and Separation in Different Structures as an Important Part of
Geotextiles Requirements
V I Shtykov, L S Blazhko, A B Ponomarev1*
Petersburg State Transport University, Moskovskiy prospect, 9, Saint Petersburg, 190005, Russia

Abstract
Currently, a water discharge coefficient as an important feature of geotextile materials that affects their filtration
capacity in a frozen condition is not included in the geotextiles material specifications. The higher the water discharge
coefficient of geotextile materials is, the less ice they contain when frozen. The necessary requirements and corresponding
mathematical relations for choosing the appropriate geotextile materials are presented in this study. Geotextile materials used
as separating layers in a railway formation should meet the same requirement.
The effective diameter of the geotextile material pores (cells) was obtained by sieving through it the fine-grained
quartz sand of pre-determined grain-size composition. Nevertheless, as microscopic research showed, particles produced due to
the ballast abrasion and bridging (colmating) of the geotextile material have a plate-like shape. Consequently, the curve of their
granulometric composition differs from that of the quartz sand.
Based on the experimental data, the criteria for the required mathematically calculated filtration flow diameter have
been established to ensure that geotextile materials are not colmated during their designed life span. The theoretical, field and
laboratory research conducted permitted to formulate the propositions on making amendments to the requirements and their
modification boundaries depending on the area of geotextile materials application.

© 2017
© 2017TheTheAuthors. Published
Authors. Publishedby Elsevier Ltd. This
by Elsevier Ltd. is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the International conference on Transportation Geotechnics and
Peer-review
Geoecology. under responsibility of the scientific committee of the International conference on Transportation Geotechnics and Geoecology

Keywords: geotextile; water discharge coefficient; colmating particles; drainage; frozen soils

Experience gained in the field of geotextile material application in industrial, civil and hydraulic engineering
permits assessment of whether geotextile material performance in different structures in different conditions is
adequately reflected in the generally accepted geotextiles requirements of today [1, 2].
A greater part of Russia lies in the zone of seasonal deep-frozen soils. Thus, it is important that the frozen
geotextile material does not prevent water flow from reaching the covered drain system through the thawed
ground layer before the top-cover filling soil is defrosted [3]. Currently, a water discharge coefficient as an
important feature of geotextile materials that affects their filtration capacity in a frozen condition is not included in
the geotextiles material specifications. The higher the water discharge coefficient of geotextile materials, the less
ice they contain when frozen [4, 5].

* Corresponding author.
E-mail address: pol1nom@yandex.ru

1877-7058 © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of the scientific committee of the International conference on Transportation Geotechnics and Geoecology
doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2017.05.039
248 V.I. Shtykov et al. / Procedia Engineering 189 (2017) 247 – 251

Petersburg State Transport University (PSTU) has conducted research and laboratory tests on water discharge
coefficient changes of geotextile materials over the course of time [6]. Three types of textile materials with a
relatively high water discharge coefficient were chosen for the tests: Product-A, Product-B and Product-C. The
samples were placed in a device with crushed rock inside. The devices were covered with PE filming. The tests
were conducted at a temperature of 24-25°C to avoid evaporation from their surface. After three days, the water
discharge coefficient of Product-A and Product-Bdecreased by 4-5% and that of Product-Cby 9.1%.
The effect of the water discharge coefficient on the filtration material performance in frozen grounds is shown
in Table 1, from which it follows that the higher the water discharge coefficient of a geotextile material, the higher
is its filtration coefficient in frozen grounds.

Table 1. The dependence of geotextile materials filtration coefficient on water discharge coefficient in frozen
ground.
Geotextile Porosity Water coefficient Volume of Filtration coefficient
type n, fractions μ, fractions ice in the pores, К, m/s, in different conditions
fractions defrosted frozen
Product-A 0,89 0,78 0,12 2,4x10-3 3,2x10-4
-3
Product-B 0,82 0,66 0,15 3,2x10 3,6x10-4
-3
Product-C 0,76 0,64 0,14 1,4x10 1,9x10-4
-3
Product-D 0,87 0,01 0,94 2,6x10 0,0
Product-E 0,88 0,35 0,58 2,9x10-3 1,1x10-5
-3
Product-F 0,82 0,38 0,49 2,2x10 6,9x10-5
-3
Product-G 0,68 0,49 0,21 0,5x10 4,6x10-5

Table 1 shows that only three types of geotextile materials (Product-A, Product-Band Product-C) have a filtration
coefficient exceeding the lowest permitted specification value of 1x10-4 m/s in a frozen condition.
When a geotextile material loses its filtration ability in a frozen condition, taking into consideration the fact that
high-level ground water migrates to a frozen front section in winter, it will prevent the water from flowing and
thick ice sublayers will possibly form under the geotextile material. The formation of ice layers can be disastrous
for railway gauge geometry when soil thawing reaches the depth at which the geotextile material was laid.
Petersburg State Transport University has been conducting research on how the colmation of geotextile materials
with soil particles finer than 0.05mm can affect their filtration properties.
The inspection of the geotextile materials taken from five sections of the Octyabrskaya railway, seven sections of
the Moscovskaya railway and five sections of the Western-Siberian railway gave evidence that nearly ᪞ of the
geotextile materials will be colmated and their filtration coefficient will decrease up to ≤7x10-6 m/s, which is
considerably below the permissible level of 1x10-4 m/s. This is caused by the following factors. The effective
diameter of the geotextile material pores (cells) was obtained by sieving through it the fine-grained quartz sand of
pre-determined grain-size composition. Nevertheless, as microscopic research showed, particles produced due to
the ballast abrasion and bridging (colmating) of the geotextile material have a plate-like shape as shown in Figure
1.
V.I. Shtykov et al. / Procedia Engineering 189 (2017) 247 – 251 249

Fig 1. The result of ballast abrasion. The photo has been taken with an electronic microscope by the Institute of
Precambrian Geology and Geochronology at the Russian Academy of Sciences (IPPG RAS).

Having on average the same diameter, geotextile plate-like shape particles and quartz sand particles of more or
less spherical shape can have significantly different curves of their granulometric composition. Apparently, sharp-
edged particles are more easily trapped in geotextile filtration passageways. This is one of the main reasons for
geotextile materials used as separating layers in a railway track structure to have an inadequate geotextile pores
diameter. The laboratory and field tests confirm that for the geotextile material used as a separating layer in a
railway track structure, it is necessary to determine the filtration passageway diameter by the formula:
§ 1 1 ·
du 2˜dp ¨  ¸ (1)
© 1 n S¹
Where dp is a geotextile fiber diameter, m; n is geotextile porosity fractions.
To prevent geotextile colmation, value du according to formula (1) should satisfy the following equation:
0,165mm ≤ du ≤ 0,220 mm (2)
The studies established the proneness of a number of geotextile materials to colmation (Table 2) [7].

Table 2. Geotextile filtration coefficient in a partially colmated condition. (as of year 2007) [7].
№ Geotextile material Porosity, fractions Filtration Estimated Estimated
type, before At the time coefficient at the remaining time for filtration
year of laying laying of taking time of taking K to reach its passageway
samples samples K, m/s minimal value, diameter
years
mx10-3
-4
1 Product-B, 1999 0,83 0,54 4,1x10 15 0,134
2 Product-B, 2000 0,86 0,63 6,9x10-4 19 0,152
3 Product-B, 2000 0,85 0,62 5,3x10-4 13 0,145
4 Product-C, 2000 0,68 0,02 <1x10-5 - 0,132
5 Product-H, 1993 0,85 0,69 8,0x10-4 62 0,161

Table 2 shows that the №5 sample is the only one to satisfy equation (2), and consequently, its life span exceeds
the estimated one (30 years). The filtration coefficient of a partially colmated geotextile material can be
determined by the following relationship (3):
250 V.I. Shtykov et al. / Procedia Engineering 189 (2017) 247 – 251

S
ne 1  n
2
1  ne
Kз K ,
n 1  n S  1 n
2
(3)
e

where K is a filtration material coefficient in the initial state, as accepted at the moment of certification; n is the
initial geotextile material porosity (before colmation), fractions; n e is effective porosity of a partially colmated
material.
Effective porosity of a geotextile material is determined by the equation:
m
ne n , (4)
U0
wherem is the mass of the particles per volume unit of the colmated geotextile material, g/cm3; ρ0is the density of
the colmated mass, g/cm3.
If we accept that the rate of colmating particles in the ballast and the rate of their sedimentation in the geotextile
material are proportional to each other, the total mass of these particles in the geotextile pores will increase
linearly. If to assume that the colmation takes place at a steady pace, it is possible to calculate how many particles
by mass sediment per volume unit of a sample per year:
m
m' , (5)
N
where N is the period of time during which the geotextile material has been in use expressed in years.
If, in the future, the railway capacity on the sections does not change or changes slightly, we should expect that
the rate of forming ballast abrasion particles and that of the geotextile being colmated by them will not change
either. After the geotextile pores become clogged with colmating particles, the filtration coefficient will reduce to
≤ 1x10-5 m/с, and it will not change in the future.
Conclusion.
When laying geotextile materials with a low water discharge coefficient in the zone of seasonal frost penetration,
they will turn into a water dam and prevent water from flowing to the frozen section in the winter period, which
will lead to the formation of ice sublayers under the geotextile materials. If the geotextile materials and the
structures where they are used are to ensure the excessive water discharge in the early spring period when the
geotextile materials are in a frozen condition, their water discharge coefficient should not be less than 0.65 with
porosity ≥ 0.8.
Due to the impact of vibration and dynamic loads from trains, the ballast abrasion yields particles with the
diameter ≤ 0.05 mm, which are classified as colmation particles. They have a plate-like shape different from that
of the natural quartz sand particles used in certificated tests. Therefore, to ensure the standard service life of a
geotextile material, the estimated filtration passageway diameter should satisfy the following requirement: 0.165
mm ≤ du ≤ 0.220 mm.
In view of the above mentioned, there is a good reason to introduce amendments to the geotextile materials
specifications. An adjustment should be made for the water discharge coefficient of the geotextile materials which
are used as a separating layer or in a drainage system in the zone of seasonal frost penetration. When using
geotextile materials as a separating layer in the railway track structure, it will be necessary to introduce changes in
the currently operating pore diameter requirements of the geotextile. Construction with geotextile materials is a
costly business, but it will pay its way only in cases when they maintain functionality during their standard service
life.

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