Many sites are affected by the presence of underground cavities, both naturally occurring and/or due to human activity. These cavities can suddenly cause collapse of the ground surface, leading to catastrophic failure of the structures and injuries, or potential loss of life.
Reinforcing Geosynthetics with unique characteristics and performance suited to specific site conditions are installed to reinforce the zones exposed to the localized collapse of ground surfaces over possible cavities. The choice of products and their installation is based on international design codes of practice, ensuring that it is a safe, well founded engineering solution. The stresses generated in the event of a collapse are absorbed by the short- and long-term strengths of the geosynthetics. With a predefined allowable deformation at the surface, a defined estimate of the cavity dimensions, site-specific soil and engineered fill properties, and known factored loads, the durability and resilience of the structures e.g. roads, railways or embankments are achieved.
Such solutions can also be adopted in structures over soft soils and/or piles and can be instrumented to monitor the strains and stresses in real time. Moreover, there are significant financial advantages in adopting techniques like this as substitutes or ancillaries to traditional reinforcing methods.