Sustainable retaining structures from steep slopes to bridge abutments with reinforced soil
HUESKER Synthetics Fortrac Systems now combines all system formats with Fortrac reinforced soil under one roof: Fortrac Nature, Fortrac Gabion, Fortrac Block und Fortrac Panel.
Fortrac Systems comprise of earthworks in the form retaining structures or walls made of geosynthetic (Fortrac) reinforced soil. Compared with traditionally constructed retaining structures, they often prove to be a more efficient and sustainable by using local soils and generating lower CO2 emissions. Shorter construction times, lower material and transport costs, and reduced machine deployment have a positive effect on the overall costs. Fortrac reinforced soil systems are even usable by difficult soil conditions and fulfil highest requirements to the structural stability.
The core element of every reinforced soil system is a soil block, reinforced with Fortrac geogrid layers, which absorb tensile forces and improve the mechanical properties of the composite material. They are not only characterized by good elongation stiffness and tensile strength, but due to the specific flexibility of Fortrac grids, they closely interact with surrounding soil mass (interaction flexibility). In comparison to rigid geogrids, they are therefore much easier, faster and cheaper to install.
The modular installation of Fortrac Systems means that four front solutions (facings) are available: Fortrac Nature, Fortrac Block, Fortrac Panel and Fortrac Gabion. The facings are not only cosmetic, but also provide protective or structural supporting functions.
A variety of application fields can be offered. In addition to retaining and gravity walls, such as bridge abutments and slope stabilization, they are also used in steep slopes and earth pressure reliefs applications, such as overhanging embankments or retaining walls in water.
The vegetated facing, Fortrac Nature, blends particularly well into the landscape and offers protection to small birds and insects. It is very cost-effective and can even be used in temporary construction applications. The Fortrac Gabion face design, is particularly suitable to projects where increased noise control (sound absorbing up to noise control category A 3) must be met. The system is low maintenance and resistant to external influences such as fire, UV-radiation and vandalism. For those who prefer traditional walls, Fortrac Block can be used to create architectural finishes from a classic to a rustic look. The system is particularly effective on tiered walls and curved lines. By using high-quality PVA geogrids, the system can be installed directly in water containing sulphate and in alkaline, cohesive soils. Fortrac Panel is mainly used where short construction times and alternatives to traditional insitu concrete walls are required. By eliminating the need for complicated foundations, incorporating simple reinforced soil solution and use of precast concrete units, the system is quickly constructed. For example, many bridge abutments have already been built, around the world, quickly, and with high cost savings.
Geosynthetic-Soil-Systems are not only modern and cost effective but also offer resource- and climate-efficient alternatives. They enable savings of up to 85 percent in CO2 emissions and a reduction of up to 75 percent in energy consumption compared to concrete structures.
The HUESKER Group offers more detailed information on the subject of geosynthetic reinforced soil on its corporate website, in its Fortrac Systems brochure and in a free, interactive Augmented Reality App, available from the Google Play and Apple App Store.