Neoloy Geocells Increase Stiffness Using Marginal Infill Soil

Neoloy® Geocells provide more confinement, more stiffness and a higher modulus improvement factor than geogrids

The 3D Neoloy Geocells reinforced mattress with a beam effect gives a much higher reinforcement factor than 2D geocells, while using locally available granular infill. This results in higher performance pavements, while reducing construction and long-term maintenance costs.

Comparison Table

Resistance and Dimensional Stability

Resistance-deformationHighly elastic behavior (resistance) before reaching high deformationSmall resistance at small deformation
Durability under cyclic dynamic loadsVertical loads are translated to radial hoop stress in geocell walls with very high tensile strengthHigh level of deformation
Resistance zoneResistance is achieved in a the three-dimensional “plane”The resistance is limited to a thin plane, in one or two directions
Bending moment resistanceDepth of layer provides an increased bending moment resistance effective above the height of cell walls.Geogrids require a minimum of two layers to create a planer composite before gaining minor Bending Moment Resistance
Vertical soil interface frictionLarge interface area of highly textured and perforated cell wallsSmall height of active area
Lateral deformationLateral stresses are confined by stiff cell walls, while adjacent cells provides passive resistance. The result is a stiff beam effect with high bearing capacity.The limitation of the lateral expansion is restricted to a very small section (unless the Geogrid can be used in a “wrap-around” fashion).
Stress and settlement Neoloy distributes the surface load though the 3D beam or semi-rigid slab as a unit, reducing subgrade stresses by 50%. The more uniformly distributed stress greatly reduces total and differential settlements.Geogrids respond to loading within a small effective radius. The load is distributed over a smaller area, which increases the possibility of total or differential settlements

Infill Soil Types, Soil Retention, Drainage

Reinforced/retained soilsAccepts a wide variety of soils, even inferior or poorly graded granular materialsRequires specific quality (and higher cost) aggregate fill type
Retained soil improvementImproves the apparent cohesion of the soil, which significantly increases its resistance to imposed loading.The improved area has a limited vertical range
Soil confinement3D internal confinement reduces aggregate movement, abrasion and attritionReduces attrition only if used with specific granular and graded soil
Drainage performanceRetains soil particles in a multi-axial range, thus allowing the natural passage of liquid in any direction while preventing those flows from leaching away retained soil particles.Retains soil particles in only thin layer consistent with its planer dimension. Liquid flows can easily leach soil particles away in all other directions.



A key difference between the Neoloy Geocell and geogrid reinforcement in road construction is the thickness of the confined layer. The Neoloy 3D vertical zones of influence (full confinement) is at least 20 mm, whereas the geogrid reinforcement zone (interlock, not full confinement) is limited to 1-2 times the size of the granular material. Neoloy Geocell 3D confinement also minimizes lateral movement of soil better than geogrids.

Moreover, geogrid road reinforcement require specific and relatively expensive granular materials (ballast, crushed stone and gravel). They cannot reinforce fine grain “inferior” non-cohesive materials as there is no interlocking. Neoloy 3D confinement transforms the modulus of inferior (fine grained) fill to that of higher quality granular fill, such that they can be used for structural infill. This includes lower cost native soil, quarry waste, sand, and recycled construction waste.

Neoloy Geocells also create a reinforced mattress with a beam effect with unbounded base material. Comparative tests of Neoloy vs. geogrids in road construction demonstrated that the Neoloy Geocell improvement factor was higher than any of the seven leading geogrids tested.

Neoloy’s dramatic impact on the thickness of structural pavements was demonstrated in field trials conducted by KOAC–NPC (Netherlands). Neoloy was the only geocell tested against 7 leading geogrids and the only product tested with inferior aggregate infill.¹


Benefits of Neoloy Geocells vs. Geogrid Reinforcement

  • 3D larger fully and partially confined zones of influence – more reinforcement
  • External confinement better minimizes movement of soil in 3 directions
  • Neoloy creates a beam effect that greatly increases bearing capacity
  • Enables use of inferior / recycled infill
  • Save infill costs by utilizing less-expensive, available granular infill
  • More sustainable solution than geogrids

¹ In the KOAC–NPC test, the mean road-base thickness reduction factor (CBR =1.5) for Neoloy was 0.73, using the CROW design methodology (see chart). This value exceeded all previously known values for geogrid reinforcement. Even after truncating the test limits to 0.5 (the highest known values for geogrids) Neoloy achieved the highest reduction factors of all tested geogrids.

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