Reinforcing the Shipping Industry of Mersin

Reinforcing the Shipping Industry of Mersin

Turkey | NAUE GmbH & Co. KG

In southern Turkey, the city of Mersin has become an important trade center due to its strategically located port on the Mediterranean Sea. It possesses a large amount of land for cargo storage and rail and road access. But the soils upon which the stability of the container shipping port relies began to destabilize with the port’s high-level of use and expansion needs. Differential settlement of topsoil was responsible for the collapse of at least one container pile—a threat to the site’s safety and, with the potential loss of goods or storage credibility, the port’s economic security.

The port’s reconstruction design team called for base course reinforcement. Combigrid® was chosen to improve the insufficient bearing capacity of the subgrade. A test area was setup using 5,200m² of Combigrid® geogrid. The results supported the design goals and led to the further installation of 34,000m² of Combigrid®

For the installation to be truly secure, the site’s 20-year-old soil cover layer and gravel aggregate needed to be excavated to a depth of 1.4m. A nonwoven geotextile firmly bonded between uniformly extruded geogrid bars, Combigrid® 30/30 201 GRK 3, was placed on this base of soft soil.

Turkey | NAUE GmbH & Co. KG

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Combigrid®, in this application, acts as a separation layer between the base course and the subsoil, so that fines do not mix with the reinforced aggregate. The geogrid reinforces the soil by transferring its stresses and by constraining the lateral movement of base course materials. Granular soils interlock with the geogrid. Combigrid® protects the integrity of the reinforced installation in all directions, thus providing true long-term support.

On the same day of the geogrid installation in Mersin, a 1m layer of well-graded base course material was applied and compacted. A 0.4m thick cover layer of concrete completed the newly reinforced soil. The profit of the reinforcement with Combigrid® was realized quickly. Soil settlement has not been a problem and shipping activity continues to provide vital economic support and life to the region.