Rapid Prototyping of High Strength Geosynthetic Interfaces


Research during 2015/2016 at Loughborough University, UK has investigated the use of rapid 3D prototyping techniques to produce geomembranes with high interface shear strength to facilitate higher and steeper slope for containment facilities. This involves the feasibility study of applying different production approaches in attempting to improve the shearing strength of geomembranes, including the Laser Thermal Ablation (LTA) for a subtractive process, and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) for an additive manufacturing alternative. The LTA method removes excess material from an over thick polymer sheet, whilst SLS “prints” a new material. The project is funded by the EPSRC, IGS UK chapter and supported by Golder Associates (UK) Ltd, Coffey Geotechnics Ltd and AECOM.

 Read More…. Interim Report 2016

AGM 2016 Presentation: fowmes-2016-3d-printed-geosynthetics.pdf

For more information contact Dr Gary Fowmes: g.j.fowmes@lboro.ac.uk

Reducing the environmental impact of construction through use of geosynthetics


A 4 year Engineering Doctoral project is taking place at Loughborough University sponsored by the International Geosynthetics Society; UK Chapter. The project titled ‘Reducing the environmental impact of construction through use of geosynthetics’ commenced in December 2012 and is extending an existing study carried out in the UK by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP. The main aim of the EngD research is to establish and quantify anticipated sustainable benefits of geosynthetic based solutions. It will develop awareness and provide guidance with the aim of using geosynthetics to reduce the carbon footprint of construction projects. The findings of the research will help to form a framework or tool that could be used to compare the carbon footprint of both geosynthetic and traditional solutions.

The initial phase of the research involved a survey of IGS UK chapter corporate sponsors, to understand the constraints or barriers to the use of geosynthetics. The survey results showed that lack of education in clients, consultants and contractors was the biggest barrier to the application of geosynthetics. These findings were published and presented at the Geosynthetics Middle East 2011 conference in Abu Dhabi. Follow on research led to an investigation in to the use of marginal/cohesive fills. This involved reviewing the literature to understand the state of practice and understanding of designing reinforced structures with cohesive fills. The study provided a number of key conclusions in particular however the need for clearer guidance on the use of cohesive fills. A paper was produced from this study and an oral presentation was provided at EuroGeo 5.

Now in its final phase the EngD research has moved on to investigating key issues such as embodied carbon values and comparing carbon calculation techniques and tools currently being employed. Case studies have been produced for a range of applications to compare the carbon footprints of geosynthetic and non geosynthetic solutions. One such case study will presented at the upcoming 10th ICG conference in Berlin. The research has also focused on developing geosynthetic specific embodied carbon values, which would help improve the accuracy of CO2 calculations and promote the sustainable benefits of geosynthetics. Feedback and input from IGS members is encouraged. For any further details please do not hesitate to contact Jamil Raja at j.raja@lboro.ac.uk.

Publications to date:

Raja, J., Dixon, N., Glass, J., Frost, M., Fowmes, G. & Fraser, I., 2011. Constraints and Barriers to the Application of Geosynthetics. Proceedings of 4th International Conference Geosynthetics Middle East 2011, 25th-26th October 2011, Abu Dhabi, pp. 143-150.

Raja, J., Dixon, N., Frost, M., Fowmes, G. & Fraser, I., 2012. Designing with Marginal Fills: Understanding and Practice. Proceedings of Eurogeo5, 16-19th September 2012, Valencia, Spain, Vol 5, pp 460 – 465.