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A comparative study on the performance of geocells with synthetic and natural fibres

Geocells are three-dimensional, expandable panels made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polyester or other polymer material. Cellular confinement systems improve the structural and functional behavior of soils and aggregate infill materials. Coir is abundantly available in Kerala. Coir has got an acceptance as a geotextile material in civil engineering even though it biodegrades. The perfor-mance evaluation of natural (coir) and synthetic geocell reinforcement placed over soft clay beds has been studied by small-scale model tests in the laboratory. The test beds were subjected to monotonic loading by a rigid square footing. The influence of natural and synthetic geocell mattress of different cell dimen-sions on the overall performance of the system has been systematically studied. The fill material used for all these tests are fine to medium sand. The results indicate that the performance improvement is better in synthetic geocell reinforced system compared to natural fibre geocell. The cell size and height of geocell have much influence in bearing pressure. Comparison of the performance of synthetic and coir geocell were made in terms of bearing capacity influence factor. For 10 cm high geocell, the average increas in bearing capacity of synthetic geocell is 1.73 times more than that of coir geocell of similar size and shape. In the case of 20 cm high geocell, the average increase in bearing capacity of synthetic geocell is 2.29 times that of coir. The provision geocell reduced the heaving of the clay layer or prevented the occurrence of heave.