A new approach

A new approach

Mechanical stabilisation

Tensar knew that their geogrid products did more than just reinforce aggregates, that they actually improve their properties by mechanical stabilisation. They had the evidence but no direct way of characterising or measuring this effect. This meant it could not be represented accurately in FEA models in spite of the increasing use of these advanced analysis tools in design.

A large triaxial compression test procedure was developed to measure the composite properties of aggregate and stabilising geogrid. This provided an enhanced shear strength that could be represented in FEA models giving more accurate predictions of performance. 


  • Study of Tensar's existing R&D and literature review to establish the state of the art regarding mechanical stabilisation.

  • Design and construction of large triaxial testing rig with new test procedure to measure mechanical stabilsiation of aggregates.

  • Establish peer-reviewed procedure to characterise mechanical stabilisation in FEA models.

  • Use the new FEA procedure to gain insights into Tensar applications and propose improvements to design methods.