Using coir geotextiles for erosion control

Using coir geotextiles for erosion control

Coir is 100% biodegradable, organic and is made of fibre. The consistency of coir is coarse, strong and rigid by nature. The components that make up coir include cellulose and lignin for the most part. Coir fibre is resistant to natural elements as well as fungal and bacterial decomposition. This essentially means that the rate of decomposition of coir is much lower than that of any other natural fibre. This resistance is attributed to the high percentage of lignin in its composition.

Coir can now be found in the form of woven mesh mattings as well as non-woven blankets that are stitch- bonded. These are used in engineering in various applications related to geotechnical work, such as in polymeric applications in civil engineering. They have a long lifespan and are not harmful to the environment. Geotextiles, which have been gaining popularity in the recent past, have been in the industry for over 50 years and have already proved their worth and value, both within the various industries that they are used in and for our environment. While geosynthetics have long dominated the market, geotextiles have surpassed geosynthetics that may actually cause harm to the environment in the long run.

What is the role of geotextiles in soil erosion control?

Soil erosion is a very complicated phenomenon and an alarming environmental issue in many of the regions in the world. Soil erosion can occur on a large scale when there is an imbalance between the rate of soil formation and soil loss. In reality, the rate of soil formation is really slow, and implementing best practices in erosion control, such as using geotextiles, targets the main contributing factors that are responsible for accelerating erosion, and works to reduce and eliminate them.

Using geotextiles in soil erosion can be dated back to the 1960s and the early 1970s, after research was carried out in using synthetic textile materials in civil engineering projects. In this research the filter fabrics were replaced by the use of granular filters. This led to development of what can be used to control soil erosion. Erosion control geotextiles are found today in the form of meshes and blankets and they have been protecting the surface soil from erosion by wind and water. Geotextiles also allow for vegetation to grow on them, and therefore, they may even provide resistance to erosion temporarily up to 3m/s flow velocity, when they are used in channels with a moderate flow. They mimic the erosion controlling properties of natural vegetation like a cover over the soil surface.

How can you install geotextiles?

  • Prepare the installation area first. This will usually involve removing trees and bushes from the surface of the soil and filling up weak soil pockets with a granular filling.
  • Next, smoothen out and level the subgrade. All of depressions or the lumps should be removed.
  • Place the geotextiles in the prepared installation area. The fabric or mesh should be laid out in accordance with the engineer’s plans for the site. Remember to stretch the fabric as tight and as flat as possible.
  • Once the mesh or fabric has been laid out, you can overlap the adjacent rolls as is specified for your site. Fabric should always be overlapped at a minimum of between 12 – 18 inches unless you are advised differently.

What are the benefits of using geotextiles?

  • Lightweight – these are light in weight and yet really strong. This accommodates easier handling and laying them out on the site. This means that you will be saving on transport and labour costs in the long run.
  • Exceptional tear strength – knitted geotextiles have incredible strength, and additional strength can be designed and built into the weft direction.
  • They are proven to be one of the most effective methods of 100% environmentally friendly soil erosion and slope stabilization control methods.
  • They leave no harmful residue behind and are organic and 100% biodegradable.
  • They facilitate optimal water drainage and retention.
  • They can help fertile vegetation growth.

CoirGreen® and geotextiles

CoirGreen® Geotextiles or coir netting (coir matting) are used globally for bioengineering and slope stabilization purposes. Coir netting or geotextiles lasts for 3 – 5 years, and by the time the product degrades it converts itself in to humus, which enriches the soil. CoirGreen® manufactures and supplies geotextialises under a range of specifications to suit the client’s requirements. All our products are 100% nature, environmentally-friendly, and biodegradable.

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