Welcome to a new Geosynthetica series on manufacturing and innovation! We begin with the first of a few looks at how geosynthetic companies are engineering greener products. HUESKER’s EcoLine is the subject of this first installment.
SEARCHING FOR PERFORMANCE IN SUSTAINABILITY
It’s been said that the field of geosynthetics was created by manufacturers. There’s a lot of truth in that. Manufacturers put forth many of the central ideas, funded the early research, supported pilot projects, advanced manufacturing processes, generated technical reports, committed to standardization, and so forth.
The market participants and researchers have greatly expanded over the past half century and commoditization pressures have challenged most material groups; but manufacturers continue to play their vital role in advancing the field of geosynthetics. They remain major innovators through advanced R&D processes. They continue to fund independent research and pilot programs. They work with machine manufacturers to modify equipment for more efficient or more sustainable production. The cycle repeats.
One of the big movements that geosynthetic manufacturers are propelling is to enhance the green engineering properties of product lines without sacrificing performance. As with other engineered product industries, it hasn’t been an easy path.
How can we modify the essential raw materials in production for the purposes of sustainability and still achieve high performance? That’s been an uncomfortable question for many, but HUESKER is one of the innovators providing a strong answer.
The company’s EcoLine products were first teased in social media in early 2019. By the middle of the year, website and brochure collateral emerged. Uniquely, the series uses 100% recycled polyester (PET) in its fibers while providing the same performance strength as the same-product fibers created from virgin PET.
To achieve virgin fiber quality from PET bottle granulate is a welcomed innovation in the field.
Where is HUESKER putting this to use? The immediate application has been in asphalt reinforcement grid products. Notably, EcoLine fibers are part of a new HaTelit C 40/17 eco reinforcement product.
HaTelit is an internationally used geogrid. The HaTelit C 40/17 series was traditionally made with a high-modulus polyester yarn with a lightweight nonwoven backing. A 40-year record of asphalt reinforcement projects stands behind it.
With the eco option, users can now select the same product but with the recycled PET fibers used in the production. The new material provides the same performance in mitigating reflective cracking, resisting installation damage, retaining strength even in moisture, and withstanding long-term dynamic traffic loads.
Also of note, the HaTelit C EcoLine product can be reused in a milled mix during roadway dismantling.
Providing a solution to the durability question in a reinforcement product with 100% recycled material in the fibers is an achievement worth applauding.
HUESKER notes that more EcoLine product announcements are forthcoming. The company also invites inquiries and thoughts about the sustainable solutions you’d like to see in the geosynthetic marketplace. Learn more at www.huesker.com.
Have a product or company you’d like to see in this series? Contact us.