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Coastal erosion in Sri Lanka prevented by nonwoven geotextiles.

recent field trial proves versatility and strength of nonwovens

A recent field trial in the southern part of Sri Lanka was successful in proving the effectiveness of nonwoven geotextiles in protecting the road against erosion. The main coastal road from Matara to Hambantota, Sri Lanka, was in danger of being washed into the sea. The local Coast Conservation department, in cooperation with the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (which is working in Sri Lanka under a bilateral technical assistance program between Germany and Sri Lanka), decided to hold a field trial.

The objectives were to protect the highway, to implement a training program so that proper filter design using local engineers could be practiced on-site, to design the works so they could be carried out by a local contractor and to compare the performance, costs and construction time of conventional granular filters and geotextile filters.

The nearly 700 meter stretch was protected using large armor stones. Along about 220 meters, a conventional granular filter was installed, designed using established methods. For the remaining length, "Terrafix 600," a nonwoven geotextile filter from Neue Fasertechnik, Lubbecke, Germany, was designed, using rules developing in Germany.

The Terrafix product, a needlepunched polyester material, was effective in this case because of its ease in installation under water and its abrasion and UV resistance. The geotextile also proved easier to control in terms of homogenity and regularity.

Analysis of the cost and construction time showed that the Terrafix nonwoven geotextile solution was more cost effective than the granular filter method.

The German Agency for Technical Cooperation and the Coast Conservation department also used a complementary Neue Fasertechnik product, Terrafix 800, in sandbags for erosion control along another stretch of coastline in Sri Lanka.
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Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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