Going Further with Geogrids
Titan Environmental lays the foundation for innovation
Innovation is the bond that keeps Canada’s construction industry on its feet. And since Titan Environmental Containment expanded into Ontario in the summer of 2021, the renowned geosynthetics company has earned a reputation for introducing cutting-edge geogrids to the field.
“Many years ago, a mentor of mine said the best thing I can do is spend as much time on the job site learning about the industry and each material, how they work, and how they can be made better,” says Garry McFarlane, Titan Product Development Manager. “Today, that advice is ingrained in Titan, where we’re always combining our industry experience and technical expertise to improve and innovate our products.”
These innovations can be found throughout Titan’s product portfolio, which today includes high-quality geosynthetics, containment systems, and specialty civil construction products for clients of every stripe. Of note, however, are three trademarked geogrids designed and produced by the company that is strengthening civil construction projects across Canada.
A composite geogrid product designed to reinforce weak swampy subgrades (e.g., saturated soils), Titan’s Swamp Grid™ is made by heat-bonding Titan’s Earth Grid™ to a long-fiber non-woven geotextile. The result is soil reinforcement that goes above and beyond by preventing the migration of aggregate base into the subgrade soil while facilitating subgrade drainage and enabling higher aggregate compaction. It essentially allows construction on soils that would otherwise not be strong enough to sustain any infrastructure.
“We developed Swamp Grid™ to provide the best of both qualities of two existing products in terms of strength, flexibility, and durability,” explains Sam Bhat, Titan’s CTO of Geosynthetics. “It also takes advantage of our non-woven geotextile’s hydraulic properties, making it more efficient in terms of organizing the drainage, filtration, and separation.”
Swamp Grid™ has successfully reduced the amount of aggregate required for the jobs by 30-40%, providing significant cost savings on projects while also reducing soil excavation and backfilling. This helps earthwork contractors do their job faster and move on to the next project sooner which allows for more jobs in a season. Its ease of use, quality, and resilience to Canada’s freeze/thaw cycle has made it an ideal material for haul roads, remote access routes, high-traffic sites, and similar challenging environments across the country.
“Sam and our design team are always designing materials for uniform long-term settlement – something that’s going to keep poor subgrade in place for years,” says McFarlane.
Tensile strength is another differentiating factor, adds Sam. By placing the Swamp Grid™ over a very weak saturated subgrade, it can minimize the differential soil settlement and facilitate uniform long-term settlement. This is due to its higher tensile modulus (in the 2-5% strain range) and higher flexural stiffness and torsional rigidity.”
Spartan Road Grid™ 11EPM
Designed for optimal asphalt reinforcement, Spartan Road Grid™ 11EPM is a bi-axial fiberglass geogrid coated in polymer and bonded to an engineered polymeric membrane (EPM) on one side. It was developed as an advanced alternative to Titan’s Spartan Road Grid™ 10 and uses the EPM material to create stronger adhesion to asphalt layers when the grid is placed over a light tack‐coated surface. This polymer coating optimizes the chemical compatibility between the grid and the pavement overlay to ensure ultimate bonding between the two. This allows the product to do a superior job at reinforcing the pavement and prolonging the life of the road.
The benefits of Spartan Road Grid™ are well documented on projects throughout Titan’s project portfolio. According to Bhat, the material is a ‘go-to’ choice for Road Engineers based on its high modulus and heat resistance, minimal shrinkage at high temperatures, effective self-adhesive feature, and high chemical and physical durability.
“We didn’t want to reinvent the wheel with our Spartan Road Grid™ 11EPM; we wanted to take a geogrid that was already working and create a stronger bond through this flexible, high-temperature resistant polymer coating and added ‘EPM’ to further increase the bonding, which has the added benefits of providing pavement enhancement,” says Bhat.
Titan’s Pyramid Grid™ is a uniaxial geogrid designed specifically for soil wall and slope reinforcement applications.
“It’s a reliable PET geogrid with robust PVC coating, that reinforces the earth used to build tall embankments or steep slopes and retaining walls,” says Bhat. “And even though Pyramid Grid™ is primarily for these applications, it can be used for a number of other environmental applications such as veneer reinforcement over a liner system and more.”
The highlight of Pyramid Grid™, he adds, is its low creep and higher durability, which contributes to achieving higher long-term design strength (LTDS ): “This geogrid provides an economy of scale with a 120-year design life of the structure while achieving up to 60% in material and time savings compared to other traditional product solutions.“
Beyond the products
Innovation may be among Titan’s assets, but it is only one of the firm’s strengths. With every new product or upgrade it introduces to the job site, Titan’s team endeavors to work alongside its clients to support their selection, installation, and maintenance process.
“It’s a team approach,” says Bhat, adding, “with my interdisciplinary engineering background and expertise in geosynthetics for the past 30 years, I bring the material design, technology testing, and R&D innovations to the table, while McFarlane and other industry specialists bring their experience to help select products for specific sites and provide site-specific installation support.
“It takes a high degree of attentiveness to get these construction jobs right, starting with ensuring the right products are being used, all the way to proper installation. As a company, we offer a full line of geosynthetics complemented by civil construction products, but what we pride ourselves on the most is not being just a supplier. We have a team of people that have a lot of industry experience and really know their stuff. We consistently apply our expertise to offer a total solution whenever we’re called,” McFarlane adds.
Titan Environmental Containment specializes in the supply, fabrication, and installation of high-quality geosynthetics and civil construction products that support critical infrastructure while helping to protect the environment.