TERRAM Solution Spotlight: GEOCELLS

TERRAM Solution Spotlight: GEOCELLS

TERRAM Solution Spotlight: GEOCELLS

TERRAM Solution Spotlight: GEOCELLS

TERRAM Solution Spotlight: GEOCELLS

TERRAM Solution Spotlight: GEOCELLS

Technical advice and reassurance is a key part of the TERRAM offer. Here, Solution Sales Manager and engineering expert Pete Stevens explains more about our GEOCELLS.

Pete, can you explain what GEOCELLS are, and what can they be used for?

TERRAM GEOCELLS are connected, honeycomb-like structures that can be filled with sand, soil or other site material for use in a number of applications including erosion control, soil stabilisation, tree root protection and retaining structures.”

Where are GEOCELLS used?

“The majority are for reinforcement projects, ranging from simple short-term erosion protection on a newly formed slope to stabilisation of a ballast layer beneath a high speed train track. Example projects include erosion control in the widening of the M25, tree root protection near listed properties and safeguarding the local environment around Milford Haven Oil Refinery.”

What is the most common use of GEOCELLS?

“The most common enquiry we receive is for stabilisation of topsoil on steep slopes up to a gradient of 1:1 (45 degrees). This is because GEOCELLS ensure a permanent, totally permeable, geosynthetic cellular reinforcement network throughout the topsoil layer. This provides both erosion protection and prevents soil slumping. In fact, recent geotechnical analysis has demonstrated that a TERRAM GEOCELL system contributes to the overall stability of the slope as well as providing long-term erosion protection for the top soil.”

Who typically speaks to you about TERRAM GEOCELLS?

“Landscape architects, geotechnical, civil and structural consulting engineers often contact us for advice on the use of TERRAM GEOCELLS on steep slopes. Our products have helped stabilise slopes on numerous infrastructure projects for nearly two decades. It’s tried and tested geosynthetic technology that really works.” 

What other applications are typical?

“In addition to slope stabilisation and erosion control, GEOCELLS can be used to stabilise road sub-base layers and piling platforms in weak ground, confinement of rounded open graded aggregate for permeable paving Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS), retaining structures for temporary works, ‘no-dig’ tree root protection from vehicle trafficking and even emergency flood defence barriers.” 

How do you support GEOCELL buyers?

“We provide a range of design support for GEOCELLS including specifications, installation guidance, preliminary designs, full professional indemnified designs from independent geotechnical consultants, and onsite product installation guidance. We’re there to support our customers every step of the way.” 

What are the key considerations for GEOCELL use? 

“Our GEOCELLS provide a three-dimensional array of individual compartments which can contain a variety of soil types ranging from topsoil to open graded rounded pea-shingle gravel. The combined result of these individual cells or compartments stiffens the soil layer and improves the overall bearing capacity. For road and rail sub-base applications this can mean a reduction in the thickness of the aggregate layers and an improved performance resulting in a longer design life. For erosion protection applications, the cellular confinement effect stops long-term soil slumping, local surface slips and in the short-term, rivulets of run-off water forming in the topsoil on newly-formed slopes.”

Why would anyone choose TERRAM GEOCELLS over competitor products?

“TERRAM GEOCELLS are produced by one of the largest nonwoven geotextile manufacturers in the world in state-of-the art facilities based in the UK. Although TERRAM exports globally, we are able to respond rapidly to our UK customers, offering much shorter delivery times than our non-UK based competitors. GEOCELLS are manufactured from TERRAM standard nonwoven geotextiles, which have set the standard for geotextiles for the UK construction industry for nearly 50 years. Unlike other geocellular confinement products, GEOCELLS are manufactured from totally permeable nonwoven geotextile, allowing water to flow freely between cells providing better irrigation for vegetation and reducing the erosion effects of water run-off.” 

Are there any market misconceptions about GEOCELLS? 

“Yes. Not everyone realises that GEOCELLS are manufactured from standard TERRAM nonwoven geotextile. They are highly permeable, have high puncture resistance yet achieve their high tensile strength under low-elongation (strain), unlike other nonwoven geotextiles.” 

How do TERRAM manufacturing methods add value?

“TERRAM nonwoven geotextiles are manufactured in a unique two-stage process in the UK consisting of primary needle punching followed by a secondary heat calendaring process to bond the filaments. Most competitor GEOCELL systems are manufactured from impermeable HDPE membranes that do not allow water to flow through them. TERRAM manufacturing methods are high-quality, with modern machinery and a well-trained professional team. TERRAM is also able to amend the depth and size of the cells meaning we can tailor them to our individual customer needs.”

Where can people find more information on GEOCELLS?

“There are plenty of resources on the TERRAM website, but I am always available for anyone interested in GEOCELLS. Email pete.stevens@terram.com in the first instance.”

Geocells from Terram provide slope erosion control and embankment stabilisation
Terram geocell used in an access road application
Flood Protection Geocell System from Terram
Geocell used to raise driveways for tree root protection
Geocell load platform for a permeable paving applications
Pete Stevens - TERRAM Geocell Solutions Manager


Typical GEOCELL Applications:

Slope Erosion ControlSlope Erosion Control
Slope Stabilisation, Embankment and Retaining WallsSlope Stabilisation, Embankment and Retaining Walls
Load Platforms and Tree Root ProtectionLoad Platforms and Tree Root Protection