Geosynthetics provide social, economic and environmental benefits to construction projects. Scientific studies confirm that geosynthetics protect and preserve the environment. They reduce mining and transportation of natural resources, which saves fuel and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. They are tough, durable and affordable. Geosynthetics have helped revolutionize geotechnical, environmental, transportation and hydraulic engineering and we rely on them every day.

Industrial fabrics provide benefits and added value in specific applications and processes by increased performance, lower waste, improved quality and or better protection.

Want to learn more about the world of geosynthetics and industrial fabrics? Explore the fundamentals below.

The fundamentals

Geosynthetics are generally polymeric products used to solve civil engineering problems.

Geosynthetics have a wide range of applications and are currently used in many civil, geotechnical, transportation, geo-environmental, hydraulic, and private development applications including roads, airfields, railroads, embankments, retaining structures, reservoirs, canals, dams, erosion control, sediment control, landfill liners, landfill covers and mining.

Geosynthetics are generally designed for a particular application by considering the primary function that can be provided. Typical functions are: separation, filtration, reinforcement, drainage and containment.

The main product categories are: geotextiles, geogrids, geonets, geomembranes, geosynthetic clay liners, geofoam, geocells and geo-composites.

Experience the use of our geosynthetics by exploring our case studies around the world:

The manufactured quality control of geosynthetics in a controlled factory environment is a great advantage over outdoor soil and rock construction. World-class geosynthetics production facilities are ISO 9001 certified and comply with all general, environmental and industry rules and regulations.

The low thickness of geosynthetics, as compared to their natural soil counterparts, is an advantage insofar as light weight on the subgrade, less airspace used, and avoidance of quarried sand, gravel, and clay soil materials.

The ease of geosynthetic installation is significant in comparison to thick soil layers (sands, gravels, or clays) requiring large earthmoving equipment.

Published standards (test methods, guides, and specifications) are well advanced in standards-setting organizations like ISO, ASTM, CEN and GSI.

Design methods are currently available from many publication sources as well as universities which teach stand-alone courses in geosynthetics or have integrated geosynthetics in traditional geotechnical, geo-environmental, and hydraulic engineering courses.

When comparing geosynthetic designs to alternative natural soil designs there are usually cost advantages and sustainability (lower CO2 footprint) advantages.

Compared to traditional methods, Geosynthetics offers lower CO2 footprint advantages through less aggregate being quarried and transported to site and use of locally won materials.

Geosynthetics help to prevent or control water or wind erosion in land development, coastal areas, inland waterways and site construction.

Geosynthetics are used in various coastal protection applications such as filters in dykes and dams, for foundations under groynes and breakwaters, as well as by using geotextile containers as structural elements in groynes, seawalls, breakers or for bed and embankment stabilization.

Geotextile container technology helps to dewater and contain contaminated sediments in rivers, bays, harbors, marinas, ports, dock facilities, hydro basins and other waterways. In many cases, these sediments pose significant environmental hazards, and remediation is a difficult and expensive task.

The protection of groundwater and surface water is of the highest priority in the design of waste containment facilities in many countries. Geosynthetics play an important role in this protective task because of their versatility, cost-effectiveness, ease of installation, and good characterization of their mechanical and hydraulic properties.

TenCate Geosynthetics has develop an aquatextile that can remove hydrocarbons from runoff water. Please visit for more information.

Geosynthetics offer solutions for climate change, population growth, urbanizations and sustainability in general by offering materials for filtering, stabilization, reinforcement, protection. Products that lower the need for aggregate resulting in a lower CO2 footprint.

In geosynthetic constructions, microplastics can merely develop when materials start degrading by e.g. sunlight (uv radiation) and or temperature. When designed, installed and maintained correctly the materials should not get into a stage of degrading during its designed life. When materials are being exposed due to e.g. a storm or flooding, project owners are advised to cover and or reinstall the geosynthetic material as soon as possible.

Geosynthetics have a proven track record for their economic, social and ecological added value. When designed, installed and maintained in a correct manner the material does not present a threat to the environment in any form.

More information on the environmental benefit and impact of geosynthetics can be found at the following research institutes and industry associations:

TenCate Industrial Fabrics is a separate commercial division. Please visit for more information.

Important notice:

The information in the fundamentals is of a general nature for general use. It is not personal or professional advice and cannot be considered as such. No rights can be derived from the information provided.

Although we draft content with due care we cannot exclude that some information is copyright protected or may become obsolete, is incomplete or incorrect. Please contact us should you notice an error in the information provided.