When considering a nonwoven geotextile fabric for your next project there are a number of elements as a customer you should be considering before you buy. The following will help give you peace of mind that your purchase meets your expectations and will save you time and money. These questions are published here courtesy of Geofabrics Australasia.
CAN YOU PROVE IT PERFORMS?
To ensure your geotextiles perform as required, you should insist on minimum average roll values (MARV) for the desired parameters. Suppliers often publish “typical” or “guiding” values, which are invariably median or average figures. If the consequences of failure are severe and you wish to manage your risk, don’t let suppliers use this ploy to mask poor quality and variable geotextiles. The values represent a coin toss, roll by roll as to whether the product will achieve the published value.
DOES THE LABEL MATCH THE PRODUCT INSIDE?
Insist the fabric itself is branded and not just the wrapping. It is easy for suppliers to wrap non-descript imported rolls and label them as something else. This passes risk to you. To avoid this you can source products from suppliers who not only provide detailed roll labelling (including traceable individual rolls numbers) but who also mark the geotextile fabric directly.
CAN YOU MATCH MY EXACT REQUIREMENTS?
Geotextiles are often defined in a consultant’s specification. Suppliers who simply distribute can’t influence the nature of the products they sell. Hence they try and make your specification fit their geotextile, rather than the other way round. Again this carries risk for you. Good suppliers provide R&D, technical support and in challenging cases, bespoke products tailored to your needs.
IS THE PRODUCT READILY AVAILABLE?
Geotextiles usually get installed in the early stages of a project. If they are held up, this can have severe knock on effects to larger components of the job. In these lean times suppliers are inclined to over promise to win your order. Geotextiles are also bulky, so insist you source from suppliers with large local capacity, reputation and financial stability to hold stock and satisfy your needs promptly.
CAN YOU SUPPORT ME TO DELIVER THE PROJECT?
Geosynthetics are technical in nature. Good suppliers go beyond simple supply and assist you in liaising with all the project stakeholders including specifiers, auditors, contractors and asset owners. They should provide a site presence and a detailed solution above the physical product. All with the aim of a timely, cost effective and safe project conclusion for you the customer.
More information on geotextiles and other geosynthetics, from manufacture, design, costing, testing, and installation perspectives, can be found on the Geofabrics Australasia website: www.geofabrics.co. A version of this article previously appeared in the company’s website News & Views section.