Geocomposites – Drainage, Filtration, Drainage, Reinforcement and Protection in One

Geocomposites – Drainage, Filtration, Drainage, Reinforcement and Protection in One

Geocomposites are easy-to-install, factory-assured replacements for conventional granular layers. They perform several functions, including separation, filtration, drainage and reinforcement.

These products combine geosynthetic materials such as geogrids, geotextiles, geonets, or geomembranes with a variety of other materials. This helps improve their performance in areas like filtration, drainage, separation and erosion control.


Drainage is one of the five primary geosynthetic functions that can be performed by composite materials. They are combinations of products that perform separation, filtration, drainage, reinforcement and protection in a single product. AGRU America offers a number of different geocomposite drainage solutions. These include large sheets of drains that consist of a sandwiched preformed HDPE core between two non-woven geotextile filters. These are typically referred to as panel drains, sheet drains or strip filter drains. These are commonly used in foundation or retaining wall construction to mitigate hydrostatic pressures.

Laboratory testing has shown that these drainage geocomposites are not subject to biological clogging and retain their long-term transmissivity when installed under the normal load conditions. This is a significant advantage over more traditional granular drainage material that can be susceptible to clogging and sedimentation.

Water flow in these geocomposites is measured by a standard test method that evaluates the in-plane flow volume and velocity of the water under specified hydraulic gradients. These tests are usually conducted using a pressure meter and provide a good indication of the drainage capacity of the composite under the actual application conditions.


Separation is a very important function for geosynthetic products since it prevents the different layers of granular materials from mixing during mechanical stress. This is essential for roadway construction, for example, where it prevents the pavement from spreading under traffic and deteriorating. Separation also works well for erosion control applications, where it helps maintain the structure of slopes and retaining walls.

A key property of separation is transmissivity, which determines how quickly water or other fluids can flow through the material. This can be measured with standardized test procedures.

Some geocomposites combine separation, filtration, drainage and reinforcement to perform multiple functions in one product. For example, drainage composites consist of a layer of geosynthetic fabric that combines separating and filtration capabilities with a drainage membrane that provides drainage. This type of geocomposite is commonly used in landfills and road construction to provide effective drainage systems. Other examples include geotextile-geonets, geotextile-geomembranes, and geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs). These types of Geocomposites materials are typically used in landfill liners and caps, pond liners, and mining applications. They also work well in gas venting and collection systems.


Geocomposites combine different geosynthetic materials to perform multiple functions at the same time. These functions include separation, filtration, drainage and reinforcement. They are often used in civil engineering projects to enhance the performance of geotechnical construction materials and mitigate construction costs.

Geotextiles in geocomposite provide tensile strength to soils, increasing their stability and load-bearing capacity. They are also used to separate dissimilar soil layers, and they can protect against erosion caused by water flow or wave action.

Woven geocomposites are created by interlacing continuous filaments or yarns to create a strong fabric-like material. Nonwoven geocomposites are made by bonding or needle punching synthetic fibers together to form a felt-like material. Both woven and nonwoven geocomposites can be impregnated with rubber-bitumen or polymeric mixtures to serve as moisture barriers.

Geocomposites with geogrids and geocells are frequently used in pavement systems to improve the separation between the subgrade and base, control fines intrusion and control cracking and rutting. They are also used in coastal and marine engineering projects to mitigate erosion, stabilize coastlines and maintain marine ecosystems.


Geocomposites with impermeable components like geomembranes or geosynthetic clay liners are used for containment applications such as landfill liners and pond lining. These materials create barriers that prevent the migration of liquids or gases, thereby protecting soil and groundwater from contamination.

Erosion Control

Geocomposites with geogrids are often used for erosion control on slopes and riverbanks. They provide a protective barrier against erosion caused by water flow or wave action, allowing vegetation to establish and stabilize the soil.


Geocomposites with a drainage core accelerate the drainage process behind retaining walls, reinforced earth slopes and roadway subbases. They also help prevent soil particles from clogging the drainage system.

Cellular confinement systems, which are built with geotextiles or geonets, serve as pathways for the venting and collection of gases (such as methane or radon) from landfills, brownfield sites or underground structures. These systems are used for waste management and groundwater remediation, among others. They are effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality and mitigating long-term maintenance costs. They are also cost-effective and can contribute to construction efficiency.


Geocomposites offer protection to underlying materials and structures, preventing punctures and abrasions. This function is especially important in areas like landfill liners, where it prevents contaminants from being released into the surrounding environment.


Geocomposite geotextiles can incorporate drainage cores in the manufacturing process, allowing them to serve gabion mesh supplier multiple soil-related functions in a single product. This allows engineers to optimize designs for specific applications and reduce construction costs by eliminating the need for multiple individual products.

Erosion Control

Geocomposites are utilized in erosion control applications such as riverbanks and coastal areas to help stabilize slopes and prevent sedimentation. This is achieved by providing a protective barrier against water flow and wave action while allowing vegetation to establish and grow.