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Hydraulic engineering

The term "hydraulic structures" in the present description includes dams and channels. Hydrotechnical structures interact with water, which is one of the largest destroyers of the environment. Often geosynthetics are used to limit the interaction between the structure and water. The use of geosynthetics can increase the stability of hydraulic structures.

In hydraulic engineering structures, geosynthetics materials can be used for:
  • Reducing or preventing water infiltration as a result of the use of geomembranes;
  • Reduction or prevention of coastal erosion by the use of geomembrane cladding;
  • Reliable drainage or filtration from geotextiles and different variety of geogrids;
  • Reinforcing foundations of buildings or structures themselves geogrids.

Geomembranes are practically impermeable to water and are commonly used to create a hydraulic barrier on the front of the dam.
Geomembranes can be installed without protection, or be protected by concrete panels or rock dumping.
The use of geomembrane during the renovation of old concrete dams are particularly effective. External exposure may reduce the service life of a geomembrane due to aging under the influence of ultraviolet rays, however, repair of unprotected membranes is much more accessible than protected ones.
Protected geomembranes are also susceptible to puncture-type destruction from underlying or covering materials. Geotextiles, often stacked to protect against punctures under the geomembrane and sometimes over it, act as a shock absorber, minimizing stress concentration.
Leaks through geomembranes occur mainly through defects and punched holes. In most cases, defects are minimized by implementing quality assurance and quality control programs during design and construction.
However, leaks are unavoidable, especially during the aging of geomembranes.
For the protection of structures under geomembranes install drainage from geogrids or geocomposites (geogrid / geotextiles). Flowing water is collected and removed downstream through a pipeline in the body of the dam or is returned back to the reservoir.
The geosynthetic system is mechanically attached to the front surface of the dam, usually with the help of anchor bolts and metal pressure bands.
Gaskets and sealants are used for waterproofing joints and assemblies.
Dams with complex geometry are more prone to the formation of defects in the seams and joints.