Engineers Benefit from Geotube Stacking Technology & Analysis

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Courtesy of TenCate Geosynthetics Netherlands bv

Stacking Geobag units makes projects previously thought impossible, possible.

Since 1962, Geotube  technology has protected countless shorelines and provided low cost, high volume dewatering solutions to companies all over the world. Starting off as a single layer unit designed for shoreline erosion protection, Geotube structures have been developed and improved for more than 40 years to help engineers tackle previously unsolvable projects. One of the most prominent advancements is the TenCate Geotube stacking technology.

TenCate develops and produces materials that function to increase performance, reduce cost, and deliver measurable results by working with our customers to provide advanced solutions.

Stacking History

In the 1990s, Geotube technology was routinely being used for marine structure and shoreline erosion protection, and TenCate was developing ways to put Geotube units to work for containment and dewatering projects. Around the same time, shorelines started to require higher and higher erosion structures, and many dewatering applications faced limited on-site workspace with greater volumes of materials to be dewatered. Both application technologies required that the Geotube units be stacked to achieve a proper design and maximize capabilities.

TenCate began designing and installing projects with multiple layers of Geotube units. One of the first Geotube dewatering stacking installations was the Badger Army Ammunition cleanup of Gruber Bay in Wisconsin. With a limited dewatering cell, more than 100 GT500 woven polypropylene Geotube containers were stacked three layers high, effectively containing and dewatering contaminant sediment.

Technology and Analyses

Based on the success of Gruber Bay and other initial stacking projects, TenCate embarked on a systematic program developing multiple analytical tools to aid in the design of stacked Geotube  structures. The company conducted many tests and studied the best stacking methods. This effort generated four proprietary software programs to better insure the safety, stability, and durability of the Geotube structures.

The first program, the Geotube Simulator, produces a scale dimensional cross-section image for each combination of circumference and height. It determines the material volume and calculates the stresses that will be exerted on the textile, ports, and seams of the Geotube design.

The Geotube9 Bearing Capacity and Settlement Analysis calculates the stacked Geotube structure's force that is exerted on the surface upon which it is built. It also determines if there will be any settlement during and after the installation on soft soils.

The third program is the Stacked Geotube Stability Analysis. It conducts a number of side slope analyses including rotational, two-part, transitional, and three-part wedge analysis. This program predicts the stability and soundness of the planned Geotube structure.

The final program, the Geotube Installation Illustrator, demonstrates the stacked layers of a project within a defined project footprint The software calculates the quantity of Geotube units required, the number of stacked layers, the quantity of filtration fabric, the amount of impermeable liner material, and the area required to dewater any volume of material.

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