Whenever construction is carried out upon soft or unstable ground, there is the possibility of settlement: this can include geological effects caused by subsidence, sink holes as well as man-made effects, such as mining voids. On the other hand, when overburden on native ground is largely increased, there is the issue of differential settlement or collapse. Within mining works, stockpiled materials or heap leach pads impose great surcharges upon the ground.
Differential settlement can be controlled by the construction of a basal platform to spread the loading upon the ground. In extreme circumstances, this platform can also be supported upon piles, for example within embankments supporting infrastructure. The performance of this platform can be enhanced by the use of high strength geosynthetic geogrids, which absorb, spread, span or dissipate the vertical loads downwards into the ground or piles. One of our greatest success is Paralink®, with strengths up to 1,600 kN/m: high strengths enable the pile spacing to be increased, leading to cost-effective interventions.
Although the solutions seem straightforward, this is the beauty of good engineering; the design of such interventions requires experience and a deep understanding of the performance of geosynthetics. As a manufacturer, designer and supplier of these solutions, we are well positioned to understand and fulfil the technical needs of the client, optimising the solution, the design and the final product; it is the combination of products and the performance of the whole system that is of paramount importance.