Advances of a New Wicking Geotextile with Lateral Drainage Capabilities in Roadway Applications

Water trapped in a roadway accelerates the deteriorations of the pavement structure under cyclic traffic loading. Excess water can reduce the resilient modulus of the unbounded base course and lead to rutting, heaving, and pavement failure. Conventional nonwoven geotextiles are often used as capillary barriers to control the water flow in unsaturated soils. However, capillary barriers rely on the hydraulic gradient to provide gravity-induced lateral drainage and can only drain the excess water under saturated or nearly saturated conditions. The capillary barrier will cause a measurable amount of water detained in the adjacent soil. Therefore, the lack of lateral drainage capability under unsaturated conditions is the major limitation of the conventional capillary barrier. An advanced woven geotextile with wicking fibers, which has the capability to laterally drain water under both saturated and unsaturated conditions, has been recently developed. Both laboratory and field tests validated its effectiveness in dehydrating road embankments. This paper aims at demonstrating the advances of the new wicking geotextile against the conventional non-wicking geotextiles in terms of water removal in roadway applications. Firstly, the unique characteristics and the working mechanism of the wicking fabric were introduced. Secondly, numerical model was established and calibrated to validate the accuracy of the model. Thirdly, based on the calibrated model, the drainage performance of the wicking fabric under different working conditions were simulated and evaluated. Finally, the drainage performance of the wicking fabric for a road embankment installed with the wicking fabric was assessed.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AFS70 Standing Committee on Geosynthetics.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Lin, Chuang
    • Zhang, Xiong
    • Galinmoghadam, Javad
    • Guo, Yipeng
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 24p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01697295
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-05162
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 7 2018 9:23AM