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Technology & Future

Innovation in civil engineering due to TriAx geogrids stabilizing the ground under our infrastructure

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Tensar TriAx geogrid was a huge leap forward for the geosynthetics industry when it was launched in Europe in 2008.

Since then, it has become an accepted alternative to traditional subgrade stabilisation and flexible pavement solutions, benefiting thousands of projects around the world.

“From its first project, the A66 Scotch Corner to Carkins Moor improvement scheme – where it enabled a road junction to built over an old landfill, to the present day, TriAx has proved to be a popular choice for geotechnical engineers and pavement designers,” says Tim Oliver, Tensar's vice president for global applications technology. “So much so, that our customers, have installed more than 250 million square metres of TriAx globally in the last ten years – the equivalent of over 35,000 football pitches!”
TriAx was introduced following five years of development by Tensar and performance testing by the UK Transport Research Laboratory and subsequent accelerated pavement testing (APT) by the US Corps of Engineers. This work, plus many other research studies, has demonstrated the effectiveness of TriAx to mechanically stabilise granular materials. By doing so, it reduces the thickness of road aggregate layers, mitigates differential settlement  and enables infrastructure to be built over weak and unstable ground.

TriAx was awarded European Technical Approval certification for ‘the stabilisation of unbound layers by way of interlock with the aggregate’ in 2012. Since 2014, all of Tensar’s flexible road pavement designs have used TriAx, as part of the Tensar Spectra Pavement Optimisation system.

“Research, development and testing has continued, as we have sought to refine and improve TriAx and to provide further, independently-verified, evidence of its benefits,” says Mr Oliver. “For example, results of the US Corps of Engineers’ latest full-scale APT testing, published earlier this year, demonstrated the effectiveness of TriAx to reduce pavement surface deformation and greatly increase traffic life.”

TriAx has won numerous industry accolades, including the New Civil Engineer's Innovation Award in 2007, the Gold Medal IBF Brno in 2008, the Medal at the XIV International Fair of Infrastructure in Kielce and two International Geosynthetics Society awards, in 2009 and 2010. Most recently, Tensar's Spectra Pavement Optimisation was named Highways Industry Product of the Year at the 2017 Highways Awards.

“We would like to thank all the infrastructure owners, designers, contractors and specialists we have worked with over the past decade,” says Mr Oliver. “They have played an invaluable role in expanding the use of TriAx on projects to save money, speed up construction and extend the operating life of infrastructure around the world.”

TriAx gives improved aggregate confinement and interaction, leading to improved structural performance of the mechanically stabilised layer.

Particle interlock and the effect of confinement enhances compaction over weak ground and increases the stiffness of the aggregate layer.

About Tensar International

Tensar International is a world-leading manufacturer and provider of subgrade stabilisation and soil reinforcement solutions to overcome common ground engineering problems in construction and civil engineering. Tensar’s innovative and high-performance geogrid and geotextile products offer alternative approaches to traditional methods and have benefitted thousands of roads, railways and other infrastructure projects around the world.

With an expert technical services team and an international network of distribution partners, Tensar also provides professional support and impartial advice to projects, from product selection and engineering design, to on-site construction guidance.

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