Saturday, August 11, 2012

Using Coir Geotextiles for soil erosion control

One of the most effective and yet natural soil erosion prevention techniques is the use of Coir Geotextiles fabrics ( Woven Geotextiles). Used extensively to prevent environmental degradation Geotextiles have no synthetic material but is instead made out of an organic fiber, coir, which is extracted from the husk of a coconut. It is strong, durable, water proof and is one of the few natural fibers that is salt water resistant. The coir fiber is spun or woven into mesh generating products such as coir netting, coir matting, geotextiles, geo blankets, coir beds, coir pots, coir discs and so on. These products are used widely for many purposes such as stream and river bank protection, slope stabilization in railways cuttings and embankments, Sediment control, reinforcement of rural unpaved roads, railways and storage areas, filtration in road drains, waste protections and greening forestry re-vegetation, UV protection for under earth crops, roof top greening and landscaping, protection from wind erosion, Soil erosion control and wetland environment, concrete column curing and as a sound barrier and mine site reclamation.

The use of Geotextiles goes back to a thousand years. Its fabric is designed and chosen according to the application most suited as they are available in different qualities and mesh sizes. The lighter varieties of coir woven Geotextiles are used for immediate soil erosion and ordinary soil conditions while the heavier coir Geotextiles are used for embankments, slopes or vegetation. Coir Geotextiles protect the soil until the vegetation permanently covers its mesh. It gives the plants adequate room to grow and decomposes naturally into humus which will enrich and nourish the soil. Lasting between two to five years the coir fiber, compared to other natural fibers such as jute that is also used to control soil erosion, has several unique features. Known to be a good water absorbent the Geotextiles has the ability to retain water three times more than its actual weight preventing the need to frequently water the plants. However at the same time with its adequate space within the mesh it drains the excess water easily preventing water from logging. With an easy installing method the coir Geotextiles needs no chemical treatment as it lets in the right amount of air and light for a deeper rooted plant. It can also endure animal and human movements that would generally lead to more environmental decay.

Studies conducted have proven that coir Geotextiles are a much more effective, inexpensive and the most environmentally friendly Geotextiles. In one study conducted in 1998 on coir Geo textiles, Schurholz found out that coir retained 20% of its strength one year later in an incubator test with soil and 90% humidity whereas jute biodegraded fully after eight weeks. In another study conducted in Kerala, India with a farmer community in 2005 found out that coir combined with local grass is more effective to prevent soil erosion. The degradation of fiber contributed to the vegetation and the geo textiles were more cost effective.
Soil erosion is an inevitable environmental hazard anywhere in the world. So why not use a product that is effective, easy to use, affordable and environmentally friendly? Coir Geotextiles proves to be the best choice providing better results and productivity eliminating slippery slopes for good.

For more information on Coir Geotextiles or other erosion control products, visit CoirGreen website on

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