REPORT: Comparison of Geosynthetic Rolled Erosion Control Product Properties between Laboratories


Geosynthetic rolled erosion control products (RECPs) are used extensively to minimize soil erosion and enhance the growth of vegetation on slopes and in channels. RECPs suitable for these applications come in a variety of different fiber and structure types, ranging from coir erosion control blankets (ECBs), jute open weave textiles (OWTs), to polyolefin turf reinforcement mats (TRMs). Although there is a wide variety of products available, engineers are often given little guidance on the selection of RECPs beyond maximum allowable slope, velocity, and shear stress. RECPs can vary significantly in basic index properties and overall field performance.

More than a decade ago, the Erosion Control Technology Council (ECTC), in conjunction with TRI/Environmental, Inc. (TRI), developed several index tests in an effort to compare and standardize RECPs. Although these tests are used extensively to characterize different RECPs, no studies have been conducted that evaluate the repeatability, reproducibility, or usefulness of these tests beyond those conducted at TRI. This paper presents the results of a comparative study of two index tests (light penetration and water absorption) for several different RECPs between Syracuse University and ECTC. These tests were selected for evaluation because the properties these tests measure have been identified by several researchers as being important to the performance of RECPs. Based on the results of the evaluation, a new test for evaluating the water absorptive behavior of RECPs is proposed.

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  1. Assistant Professor, Sustainable Construction Management and Engineering, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 205 Baker Laboratory, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 13210; PH (315) 470-6866; email:
  2. Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Syracuse University, 105 Link Hall, Syracuse, NY 13214; PH (315) 443-3352; email:
  3. TRI/Environmental, Inc., P.O. Box 9192, Greenville, SC 29604 ; PH (864) 242-2220; email:
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