Types Of Geotextiles: Properties & Uses

What Is Geotextiles?

Geotextiles are synthetic or natural textile materials used in civil engineering applications to improve soil stability, drainage, filtration, and erosion control. They have become an essential component in many civil engineering projects due to their versatility and effectiveness in enhancing soil properties. Geotextiles are available in different types, including woven, non-woven, and knitted, each with its unique characteristics and properties.

Types Of Geotextiles: Properties & Uses

They have a wide range of applications in road construction, embankment reinforcement, erosion control, landfill lining, and retaining wall construction, among others. In this article, we will explore different types of geotextiles with their applications, characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of geotextiles, helping you understand how they can benefit your civil engineering projects.

Types of Geotextiles

There are various types of geotextiles are made from polymers such as polypropylene and polyester. They are divided into three categories according to their manufacturing process:

1. Woven Fabric Geotextiles

Woven Geotextiles
Woven Geotextiles

Woven fabric geotextiles are the most common, and their manufacturing technology is similar to that of clothing fabrics. This type of geotextile is made from parallel threads or two sets of threads.

2. Nonwoven Fabric

Nonwoven Fabric
Nonwoven Fabric

Nonwoven geotextiles are made of continuous yarn fibers or short-staple fibers. They relate to thermal, chemical, or mechanical approaches or a combination of techniques.

3. Knitted Fabric

Knitted Geotextiles
Knitted Geotextiles

Knitted geotextiles are made by interlocking a series of yarn rounds together. These geosynthetics are created by combining the weaving approach with other techniques such as weaving.

Read More: What Is Soil Stabilization | Soil Stabilization Methods

Application of Geotextile

The following are the major geotextile applications,

Uses of Geotextile In Construction

The scope of geotextiles in the engineering field is indeed huge. The use of geo fabric is given under the heading Nature of Work.

Road Work

Geotextiles are commonly used in road construction. It strengthens the soil by adding tensile strength. It is used as a rapid water level in roadbeds, geo-textiles fabrics need to preserve their permeability without losing their individual functions.

Railway Works

Woven or non-woven fabrics are used to separate the soil from the sub-soil where the ground is unstable, without impeding the rotation of the groundwater.

Covering the individual layers with fabric prevents the material from straying from the edge due to shocks and vibrations from moving trains.


It is used for sludge control. To enhance muddy paths and trails used by cattle or light traffic, non-woven fabrics are used and folded by overlaying to contain a mass of pipe or grit.


The use of geotextiles for soil filtration and more or less single-sized granular materials to transport water is seen as a technically and commercially feasible alternative to conventional systems.

Geofabrics perform the filtering process in earth dams, roads and highways, reservoirs, retaining walls, deep drainage ditches, and drainage in agriculture.

River, Canals, and Coastal Works

Geotextiles cover river banks from erosion caused by currents or lapping. When used in convergence with natural or artificial encapsulation, they act as a filter.

Read More: Black Cotton Soil | Black Cotton Soil Properties | Types of Foundation In Black Cotton Soil

Properties of Geotextiles

The following are properties of geotextile,

Physical Properties

  • Specific Gravity
  • Weight
  • Thickness
  • Density

Mechanical Properties

  • Tensile Strength
  • Bursting Strength
  • Tenacity
  • Drapability
  • Compatibility
  • Flexibility
  • Tearing Strength
  • Frictional Resistance
  • Porosity

Hydraulic properties

  • Porosity
  • Permittivity
  • Permeability
  • Transitivity
  • Turbidity or Soil retention
  • Filtration Length
  • Permittivity

Degradation Properties

  • Biodegradation
  • Hydrolytic degradation
  • Photodegradation
  • Chemical Degradation
  • Mechanical Degradation
  • Another Degradation occurs due to attacks of termites, rodents, etc.

Endurance Properties

  • Elongation
  • Abrasion Resistance
  • Clogging Length and Flow

Advantages of Geotextiles

  • They are light in weight which makes them easy to handle and place.
  • The transportation and labor cost is less in real terms.
  • Knitted fabrics have high incision strength.

Disadvantages of Geotextiles

  • Installation of geotextiles is critical and requires specialist contractors.
  • These can delay seed germination due to low soil temperature.
  • It has maximum flow rates.
  • The base is not suitable for traffic areas.

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