Professional use of geosynthetic materials in road construction has reached 80-90%. But there are a number of problems.
Road construction is the main area of consumption of geosynthetic materials: it uses a quarter of all production. That’s why producers and consumers annually hold a special conference where they discuss the state of affairs in the industry, review the previous year and draw up plans for the current year. http://www.rcmm.ru/news/16100.html
The third conference of specialists in the use of geosynthetic materials in road construction has taken place in Moscow.
Taking the floor at the forum, Kirill Demin, one of the foremost experts, summarized the state of the market in 2014 and spoke on the prospects of the two main types of geosynthetic materials, geononwoven and geoweb, which are mainly used in road construction.
According to the expert, the prediction made by many analysts of financial reduction didn’t occur in 2014. In fact, additional money was allocated from the federal budget for geosynthetics purchasing. This measure meant the market didn’t shrink. So, by preliminary assessment, the use of geotextiles in road construction increased by 9%. The growth of geoweb usage was slightly lower.
Now we can say that the professional use of geosynthetic materials in road construction, according to the assessments of a number of experts, has reached 80-90%. They have become an obligatory part of road construction projects in the framework of corresponding engineering solutions. As the participants of the forum stressed, the demand for geosynthetics is growing. Thus, in 2014 the total volume of composites and geosynthetics in construction and reconstruction of automobile roads and engineering structures was 700,000 m3. More than 782 mln rubles was allocated to Rosavtodor. More often, geosynthetic materials were used in the North-Western Federal District. Their use is growing in Central Russia, Siberia and the Urals.
You must have a document…
Though the statistics are impressive, there are still problems in this segment. The main one is imperfect regulations that don’t allow a definition of quality of delivered materials in time.
— We want the quality of the delivered materials to correspond to the quality claimed by the producers, said the Deputy Head of Rosavtodor, Igor Astakhov. He added: Our company is very much interested in high quality geosynthetics, and we are looking for optimal means of cooperation between producers and consumers of this product.
The Deputy Director General of GC “Avtodor-Engineering”, Vladimir Martinson, spoke of the measures which are to be taken for controlling the exact quality characteristics of delivered geosynthetics.
— The main task of construction control is not to allow work fulfilled with requirements violations, claimed Mr. Martinson. – And if we don’t have the requirements themselves, the documents defining them, the task of construction control is meaningless, because it is impossible to understand whether material is good or bad.
“This problem was raised at the previous conference but still it has not been solved yet. The existing regulatory base is not enough - the documents on the design solution for an object contain specifications regarding a given producer and the name of the material. And that is all,” stressed Vladimir Martinson with indignation. As he pointed out, such specifications do not allow the proper assessment of the quality of a delivered material.
Another problem for geosynthetics quality assessment is the executive documentation supplied by the contractor. Different factors are an issue here. The worst is the document pertaining to the material’s correspondence with the document of the producer. In fact, only technological properties rather than the material’s properties in the construction are noted, and there is no reference to existing methods.
To solve this problem, the customer must get only high quality material for delivery and the material’s properties must be pointed out in the working documentation assessment with reference to corresponding regulatory documents. The approval of working documentation must be carried out with this requirement. According to the experts’ opinion, this is one of the crucial points which will allow both construction control and customers’ use of the materials included in the design project, and it is very necessary for capital construction or maintenance.
The quality and the quantity of the geosynthetic materials used depend on the solution of this “paper” problem. Moreover, there have been cases when the contractor refused to work with geosynthetics as he couldn’t check its properties and quality, said Vladimir Martinson.
There won’t be a fall
Another significant problem is the lack of qualified personnel, said the Director General of GC “Avtodor - Engineering”, Nickolai Bystrov.
— I must admit that there is some progress in training personnel to work with geosynthetics. Programs for skills upgrading are being developed, but still there is a lack of higher educational programs in this sphere. Training must be carried out by highly trained professionals, stressed the participants of the conference.
However, the medium- and long-term forecast for the development of the geosynthetics market, despite the above-mentioned problems, is quite optimistic. Experts do not expect market failure in 2015-2017; on the contrary, stabilization is forecast, and in the future, starting in 2017, the market will start growing again if the aforementioned problems are gradually solved.