Geotextiles are polymer fabrics used in the construction of roads, drains, harbour works, and breakwaters, and for land reclamation and many other civil engineering purposes (Fig. 30.2).

The geotextiles market requires bulk quantities of material. Warp-knitted weft-insertion geotextiles offer the following advantages when compared to woven geotextiles:

1 Strength-for-strength, they are lighter than woven geotextiles using the same yarn. This makes for easier handling and laying on site; thus transport and labour costs are less in real terms.

2 Knitted geotextiles have exceptional tear strength. Additional strength can be designed and built-in to the weft direction such that a bi-axial high tensile, high strength warp/weft geotextile becomes a reality; e.g. 500 kNm warp and 500 k Nm weft.

3 Knitted geotextiles can incorporate an additional fabric to form a true composite geotextile, the fabric being simply knitted-in.

4 The individual yarns in the warp knitted weft-insertion geotextile are straight when incorporated, so they are able to take-up the strain immediately on loading. Those in woven geotextiles are interlaced [5,6].

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