GEOHEX proves to be perfect solution for rural driveway

The problem of water pooling after heavy rainfall had been a huge issue for a 1km stretch of rural driveway in Jamberoo, NSW.

The owners required a product that could provide almost 100% water permeability to permit the safe and trouble-free passage of heavy vehicles and livestock.

GEOHEX Erosion Control System has been the ideal solution. Easy to install and made from 100% recycled plastic, GEOHEX has ensured the days of soil subsidence are long gone.

Why soil stabilisation technology is important for the mining industry

Australia’s mine sites are busy places with vehicles, heavy equipment and workers constantly moving from one place to another. This continuous traffic on paths, roads and access ways has an adverse effect on both soil integrity and ground stability of these important carriageways.

This constant load can result in the soil structure becoming degraded over time leading to issues such as an increase in dust creation, rutting and formation of potholes, soil erosion, waterlogged areas and uncaptured run-off.

Any one of these factors alone can lead to uneven, increasingly unusable surfaces on these important mine thoroughfares resulting in potential safety hazards and the need for costly rectification.

To counter this degradation to important mine infrastructure A Plus Plastics has launched a new soil stabilisation technology for the mining industry that is engineered to prevent soil subsidence, promote ground stabilisation, enable the maximum use of land, assist surface water runoff and increase road and walkway safety.

Known as the GEOHEX™ erosion control system, this lightweight, long lasting and innovative soil stabilisation system comprises a unique hexagonal reinforced polymer matrix that provides sub-surface soil support and retention.

Able to be laid in any weather with minimum ground preparation and with virtually no training the GEOHEX™ erosion control system can withstand a maximum load bearing capacity of 1200 tonnes per m² when filled with soil.

This makes it ideal to be used in a range of mining applications including stabilisation of roads on mining sites, drainage stabilisation in hardstands, haul roads and truck parking areas.

The GEOHEX™ erosion control system can also be used in the stabilisation of mine site embankments, drains, equipment parking areas and airstrips.

With just two lightweight pieces required to make one square metre, the GEOHEX™ erosion control system provides very strong ground reinforcement and is easy and quick to install.

According to Matthew Holloway, A Plus Plastics Managing Director, the GEOHEX™ erosion control system is one of the most innovative Australian-made soil mine site stabilisation technologies currently on the market.

“We developed the GEOHEX™ erosion control system specifically to be used for a variety of Australian conditions, so as a mine site soil stabilisation technology, we believe we have come up with a market-leading design.”

One additional benefit of using the GEOHEX™ system is the promotion of turf and vegetation growth, which also has a net positive effect on the stability of soils.

“If you need soil, turf or substrate stabilisation at your mine site, then you need the GEOHEX™ erosion control system,” said Mr. Holloway.

How does mechanical soil stabilisation technology help mining?

Soil stabilisation is the process of eliminating voids, cracks and uneven soil and embankment levels where erosion, settlement or extreme wear may occur.

These conditions can be further accentuated by the various on-site operational activities which can lead to fluctuating soil conditions and configurations that can then have undesirable implications to both man and machine on the mine site

From a geohydrological point of view, the aim of soil stabilisation is to improve the weight bearing capabilities and performance of soils, sands, and other ground conditions.

On mine sites this requirement typically relates to the strengthening of road surfaces and access-ways where mining machinery and equipment is being regularly transported and/or stored.

Across Australia’s many and diverse mining environments, the main ground stability issues revolve around subsidence and stability, which are of particular concern when we are talking about soft soils.

The primary aim of soft soil strengthening in and around mine sites is designed to lead to:

• An increase in the stability of embankments
• An increase in the load bearing capacity of the soil
• A reduction in the active load stresses on retaining walls
• The prevention of liquefaction and other geohydrological problems
• An improvement in the deformation properties of the soft soil in order to reduce settlement, reduce the time for settlements, and to reduce horizontal displacement

Soil stabilisation also leads to an increase in the dynamic stiffness of the soft soil, which in turn reduces the vibrations to the surroundings and improves the dynamic performance of the substrate under normal geological conditions.

For other applications such as mine rehabilitation, the use of soil stabilisation technology helps overall ground remediation by creating an environmental barrier, stabilising the contaminated ground and creating an effective geohydrological barrier.

A number of stabilisation technologies and methods have been used over the last two decades, however in more recent years a number of companies have developed polymer cell matrix structures that provide direct mechanical stabilisation of the soil.

One new example is the GEOHEX™ erosion control system, which is engineered to prevent soil subsidence, promote ground and turf stabilisation, enabling maximum use of land, reduce surface water runoff and increased water conservation by the use of direct mechanical soil stabilisation.

This lightweight, long lasting and innovative soil retention system has been specifically engineered to be laid in any weather with minimum ground preparation and with virtually no training whatsoever.

Laboratory tested to withstand a maximum load bearing capacity of 720 tonnes per square metre when filled with soil, the GEOHEX™ erosion control system can be used in a range of mining applications including those that require the stabilisation of roads on mining sites as well as drainage stabilisation in hardstands, haul roads and truck parking areas.

According to the makers of the GEOHEX™ erosion control system, A Plus Plastics, when laid flat, two lightweight pieces are required to make one square metre and with its hexagonal cell-like design, the GEOHEX™ erosion control system is engineered to provide a very strong ground reinforcement system.

Due to its soft soil binding capabilities, the GEOHEX™ erosion control system also provides a number of other advantages including dust suppression – an important benefit in country like Australia, where mining sites invariably also contain of fine, clay-like particles on the top soil.

According to the company, “While the GEOHEX™ erosion control system is engineered to have a range of ubiquitous soil stabilisation applications, its inherent high load bearing capacity and strong and rigid cell like structure means it has a variety of mining applications across the country.”

New soil stabilisation technology designed to promote irrigation rates

According to R.S. Murray and C.D. Grant (School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide, July 2007) “…good soil structure is an essential element of healthy and sustainable agro-ecosystems. It promotes the development of extensive plant root systems and efficient use of water and nutrients and, in doing so, buffers plants against drought and other adversity…”

Furthermore noted the study, “…In the long term, however, there seems little doubt that plant roots present the best opportunity to the continuous creation and maintenance of soil structure at depth so that they should form an integral part of any strategy to reclaim and improve structurally damaged soil.

As noted in the excerpts from the University of Adelaide study, irrigation rates and water retention can be promoted with an increase in the integrity of soil structure and an increase in the growth of plant and grass-like vegetation. In other words, irrigation rates can be both promoted and optimised by the use of a variety of soil stabilisation and soil erosion mitigation technologies.

To help increase soil integrity and plant growth, APlus Plastics has launched a new surface and soil stabilisation technology that is engineered to prevent soil subsidence, promote soil integrity and turf stabilisation, reducing surface water runoff and increasing overall water absorption.

Known as the GEOHEX™ erosion control system, this lightweight, long lasting, innovative soil retention and anti-erosion system designed in a plastic matting or paver configuration can be laid in any weather with minimum ground preparation and with virtually no training whatsoever.

The GEOHEX™ erosion control system is Australian-made and designed to handle a variety of loads thanks to its maximum load bearing capacity of 720 tonnes per m².

This allows the GEOHEX™ erosion control system to be used anywhere there is human, animal or vehicle traffic and where soil and erosion control is required.

The GEOHEX™ erosion control system can provide very strong ground reinforcement and thanks to its open cell structure, it is easy and quick to install.

According to Matthew Holloway, APlus Plastics Managing Director, the GEOHEX™ erosion control system is one of the most innovative Australian-made soil stabilisation technologies currently on the market.

“The GEOHEX™ erosion control system is light, strong, easy to install and has one of the highest tested maximum load bearing capacities of any comparable product – it is designed to save money and time and can be used in just about any application you can think of.”

“If you need to get the most out of your irrigation rates, you may also need soil, turf or substrate stabilisation, which can be provided by the GEOHEX™ erosion control system,” said Mr. Holloway.

Recreational – Golf Courses

CLIENT:

Kiama Golf Course

LOCATION:

2nd Green Oxley Ave, Kiama Downs NSW 2533

THE BRIEF:

Our client wanted a level compacted surface for golf buggies to drive on, but one their tyres wouldn’t erode the surface of. They also wanted to grow turf to maintain a green natural Look.

DESIGN REQUIREMENTS:

Whilst the surface needed to maintain uniformity, be Level and safe to use, the product used needed to be flexible enough to maintain the natural contours of the area around the 2nd green. There was also a necessity to grow turf through the product – rather than go with the traditional Laying of GEOHEX with turf installed on top, the client chose to grow the turf from below GEOHEX to ensure a greener finish on top. This was a first for the product with results having not yet been proven by installation using this method. The turf in this particular area had been previously destroyed over time by use and wintry weather. By adding a retaining wall, the area’s width was also increased by 2.5 metres.

THE SOLUTION:

Scrape, Scrape, fill and Level with the turf underlay before laying the turf. Lay GEOHEX panels in a herringbone design, anchor the panels into the ground – a necessity as the product would be Left unfilled as the turf will grow through GEOHEX allowing the turf to ‘crown’ above the product and fill out.

WHY GEOHEX:

GEO HEX was recommended by some of our members and we decided to go with it as it was easy to Lay as well as being an all Australian made product. GEOHEX ticked all the boxes. We are taking a risk by allowing the turf to grow through the product – as opposed to traditional installation where the turf is laid on top – but we believe the product is user friendly enough to prove this decision was a viable one.

CONCLUSION:

Although the project has only recently been completed, the client has received positive feedback from members about the installation and how much better it has made conditions on the 2nd green. The client is keen to monitor the area’s performance over the coming months to see how the turf grows and what sort of coverage they will get in that area. Our client is extremely happy with how easy it was to install the product and the end result.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND GEOHEX:

In short, YES! Our client mentioned members had made positive comments about GEOHEX and the improvement it has made. They are planning to install GEOHEX in other areas where they think it will work equally as well.

Rural – Driveways

CLIENT:

1km Rural Driveway

LOCATION:

Jamberoo Road, Jamberoo NSW

THE BRIEF:

The client had extreme problems with rutting and soil subsidence under heavy rainfall. The driveway was virtually unusable and the associated costs with ongoing maintenance had become a concern.

DESIGN REQUIREMENTS:

A product with virtually 100% water permeability was required to ensure the issue with water pooling would be eliminated. The product needed to be able to withstand heavy weight load rating as the driveway was often used by heavy machinery and trucks. It also had to be animal friendly to allow cattle to cross it safely. The client wanted a product that could handle the slopes and bends of the large driveway and something which would be able to stand the test of time – eliminating ongoing ‘over the top’ maintenance costs. The client had considered covering the road with asphalt and concrete, however decided against these options as the costs were far too high and they preferred a natural look over unsightly concrete. Concrete cracking and the associated maintenance costs were also a concern.

THE SOLUTION:

Scrape, fill, compact and level with gravel. Lay GEOHEX panels then fill with a minus 8 crushed rock mix. Compact the fill into the GEOHEX, ensuring all air pockets are filled.

WHY GEOHEX:

GEOHEX ticked all the boxes and stood out as the solution. There were other products on the market, however the price, weight capacity, and panel size of 1000mm x 500mm made GEOHEX much more attractive than others.

CONCLUSION:

A few months on, the driveway is holding up extremely well and the client has commented they are extremely happy with the result. Although they have had some heavy rain, the days of rutting and soil subsidence are long gone. They were also extremely surprised a recycled plastic product could have such an impact on such a large crucial application.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND GEOHEX:

Yes, they are now considering the use of GEOHEX in other areas of their property where soil subsidence has also become a problem over time, including around cattle feeding troughs and between vines at their winery. They see GEOHEX as a perfect solution for a number of applications and highly recommend it to others.

 

Rural – Feeding Troughs

CLIENT:

Dairy Farm with 300 cow feed pad

LOCATION:

Cameron Farm Orbost Victoria

THE BRIEF:

The client had concerns for their cattle in Winter and during floods. They wanted to give their cattle a solid platform to stand on (no bogging) while feeding and wanted to avoid tractor ruts when filling feed and drinking troughs.

DESIGN REQUIREMENTS:

To maximise the cattle feeding area to include ease of access in and out for cattle as well as eliminating further soil erosion as a result of heavy rainfall, and daily use from both machine and animal. They wanted to have the option to pick up and change the layout if required down the track. They had used concrete in the past and found this costly with a lot of down time whilst preparing and laying concrete only for it to have unsightly cracks later on – they also wanted a softer finish to concrete for aesthetic purposes and also for their cattle.

THE SOLUTION:

Scrape, fill, compact and level with gravel and lay Geohex panels then fill with compacted crusher dust.

WHY GEOHEX:

Should do the same job as concrete only better. More price effective and easier to install. Large 1000mm x 500mm x 42mm pavers making install a breeze – a softer feel for cattle than standing on concrete and no to low maintenance.

CONCLUSION:

The client has said that the feed pad has been used for about two months and is holding up well. They haven’t scraped the surface manure off yet, but once they do they will be in a better position to see if they need to apply more crusher dust. They are extremely happy with the outcome and will no doubt find other uses for Geohex on their property.

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND GEOHEX:

Yes, they already have had other farmers come and have a look and were impressed with the outcome. One of the farmers who inspected this site wanted to use Geohex as a substitute for concrete steel reinforcement to eliminate concrete cancer from occurring but it would also reduce the amount of concrete required to be used. They also said they would consider Geohex for some of their grassed area whereby they park motor vehicles and working machinery of a large weight capacity as they could maintain a soft feel of grass but have a solid base below it eliminating soil and grass erosion. Another said they have a long sloping, winding rural driveway where the soil is constantly being eroded by rainfall and tyre wear – they see Geohex as a perfect solution for this application.