Thousands of vehicles drive through our roads day after day, many of which are heavy vehicles. In some areas nearby trading estates, there is an even larger number of heavy vehicles causing several negative effects on the road surface that may result in significant damage. For this reason, it is crucial to use different materials during road construction to prevent cracks from appearing for as long as possible.
Geomesh fabrics are therefore a good solution for road construction.
Our strengthening geomesh is a network structure covered with products that can provide protection with the aim of reinforcing the road surfaces and preventing future cracks caused by continued use. Using a geomesh for road construction will ensure a correct distribution of loads in embankment bases, foundations and pavements, as well as live loads, on low bearing capacity soils. These can be combined with other geotextiles to simplify their installation.
Strengthening geomesh fabrics provide several advantages:
- Extending the pavement’s useful life.
- Easy, fast and cost effective to install.
- May be installed in low temperature settings in accordance with the emulsion and asphalt installation conditions.
- Providing excellent bonding between layers thanks to the geotextile fabric’s presence.
- Reducing bituminous compounds’ fatigue.
- Highly resistant to traction and tear.
- Protecting glass fibre from mechanical damage.
- Strengthening the different tarmac layers.
- Delaying and minimising the appearance of cracks.
- Glass is easily recyclable.
STRENGTHENING AND PREVENTING CRACKS IN CASES SUCH AS THE CV-797 FONT ROJA ROAD (ALICANTE)
A good example of the application of geomesh fabrics in road construction for strengthening and preventing cracks is the CV-797 Font Roja road (Alicante). In this case, the construction company opted for the installation of our ALVAGRID FV G GEOMESH because it helps distributing the loads in a uniform manner between the subsequent layers in order to strengthen the weakest areas and preventing cracking.
INSTALLING GEOMESH FABRICS DURING ROAD CONSTRUCTION
As previously advised, one of the advantages of strengthening geomesh fabrics is that they are so easy to install. Following is a description of the geomesh installation process during road construction:
- Land preparation
In order to ensure a successful geomesh installation, you must ensure that the surface is dry and free from loose materials to guarantee the bonding between the different asphalt layers. Larger cracks must be treated and sealed with a bituminous compound. However, cracks under 3mm wide do not need to be treated.
- How to spray and break the emulsion
Surfaces must be sprayed uniformly with a minimum of 0.5l of rapid acting 70% cationic bitumen emulsion per square metre. This should be increased by n additional 0.1l per square metre if using a rapid acting 60% cationic bitumen emulsion instead. Further increase the above dose by 20% in the event of reclaimed or rugged surfaces.
Allow the emulsion to break before installing the geomesh. When this happens, the emulsion’s colour will change from brown to black.
- How to extend and install the geomesh. Overlaps.
To ensure a correct geomesh installation, the key is to place it in a flat manner ensuring that there are no creases. Attach the geomesh edge to the ground using nails and washers. Nails shall be placed at a distance of 20cm from the edge of the fabric. Geomesh membranes shall be placed ensuring that the geotextile fabric remains facing downwards and in contact with the surface. Please ensure that the fabric is not lifted from the ground as it is unrolled. Rolls may also be unrolled manually or by mechanical means. Do not allow regular traffic to run on top of the geomesh until the new layer has been poured. In addition, both lorries and concrete spreaders must be driven very slowly on top of the strengthening geomesh in order to prevent sudden changes in speed and direction. Lengthwise overlap must be 25cm. Once the roll has been completely extended, place the start of new roll underneath so that lorries and concrete spreaders may lift the geomesh up. Crosswise overlap must be 15cm. Please ensure that all lengthwise and crosswise overlaps do not coincide in the same area. Likewise, we must prevent creating creases and deformations during this stage.
- How to extend the asphalt layer over the geomesh.
When it comes to extending the asphalt over the geomesh layer, it is crucial to observe current regulations. You must ensure that the layer covering the geomesh fabric is at least 5cm thick. Asphalt joints must never coincide with geomesh joints. Initial compaction of the new layer must be done with medium or lightweight concrete spreaders. Likewise, strong rollers must be reserved for later. Please note that vibration rollers may produce negative effects in layers under 8mm in width. Compaction levels for the new layer must be achieved by following the usual procedures. Lastly, we recommend that lorries are driven independently rather than pushed by the concrete spreader.
CV-355 ROAD RESURFACING IN THE SECTION BETWEEN ARAS DE LOS OLMOS AND LOSILLA (VALENCIA)
Another good example of the application of geomesh fabrics during road construction was the case of the CV-335 resurfacing works in the section between Aras de los Olmos and Losilla (Valencia). This road was subject to the consequences of wear and tear, in addition to withstanding constant high speed loads. For that reason, a resurfacing project was carried out with the purpose of providing it with additional safety, resistance and expanding its useful life.
Our ALVAGRID FV G GEOMESH was applied to strengthen the asphalt layers and preventing deformations, while increasing the capacity of dynamic loads by distributing the tensions produced and preventing cracking, resulting in a longer asphalt useful life.
Cracks and potholes arising from normal wear and tear and continued road use are not only an issue for drivers and couriers, but also for the fitness for purpose of the entire road network as a whole. Maintaining roads in good state of repair is essential to prevent accidents while ensuring an efficient, safe traffic flow and, for that reason, using geomesh fabric for strengthening purposes during road construction shall remain a good option.