The Purpose and Functions Of Turf Reinforcement Mats
For a variety of industries and applications, erosion control is an essential concern. Sometimes soil reinforcement and erosion control can be carried out with temporary products like jute netting and erosion control blankets but in other instances, more permanent methods should be utilized. Turf reinforcement mats are an effective and permanent method to reinforce soil and vegetation. By strengthening soil and vegetation root systems, erosion can be greatly minimized.
What are Turf Reinforcement Mats?
So what exactly are turf reinforcement mats (TRM)? A TRM is a mat made of geosynthetic materials that are woven into various patterns that allow it to remain porous. Manufactured in different thicknesses and heights, TRMs create a reinforcing structure to hold seeds in place, create flat planes for vegetation to stand upon, and protect root systems from erosion. They are most commonly used on areas with high flow channels and on sloped land.
Types of Reinforcement Mats
It’s important to note that there are different types of TRMs that work better for certain applications. For example, there are LANDLOK® turf reinforcement mats, which are stitch-bonded polypropylene geotextiles used for long-term erosion protection. This TRM reinforces roots and stems as well as supports natural vegetation. LANDLOK® is an effective form of erosion control on moderate slopes as well as swales and low flow channels.
Then there are products like ARMORMAX®, which are High-Performance Turf Reinforcement Mats (HPTRMs). HPTRMs are manufactured from high-strength polypropylene fibers that are woven together to create a porous structure that can hold soil, seeds, and vegetation in place. When the root mass develops, the HPTRMs lock soil in place and protect against hydraulic stresses and shifts. ARMORMAX® is effective in protecting levees from storm surges and waves, preserving stream, river and canal banks from scour and erosion, protecting stormwater channels in arid and semi-arid environments, reinforcing vegetation, as well as stabilizing constructed slopes.
Supporting Natural Vegetation
Supporting and strengthening natural vegetation is an effective way of controlling erosion. The benefits of supporting natural vegetation include low upfront costs, simple installation, a greater visual appeal, as well as superior protection of surrounding water quality and wildlife habitats. However, it is more difficult to maintain natural vegetation on steep slopes or areas with heavy flows of water. Using TRMs combats these challenges and vastly increases the stress tolerance of vegetation, keeping it strong and intact.
Applications of Turf Reinforcement Mats
TRMs are used across industries like transportation, engineering, military, construction and more with several different applications. These include job sites on water channels, canals, inlets and outlets, shorelines and rivers, levees, dams, dikes as well as any area with a steep slope. Thinner mats are placed on top of seeded soil while thicker ones need to be anchored into the ground, seeded, and covered in more topsoil. Because there are several types of TRMs and applications, it’s imperative that their installation, use, anchoring, and maintenance is carried out exactly as directed by the manufacturer.
In order for TRMs to work properly, their installation must be carefully planned and executed. First, installation should take place while the soil is dry, so the weather should be taken into account. The area must be properly graded so that it is smooth and consistent – raking may also be necessary. The soil should be tested and adjusted to ensure the correct pH balance and fertility for the seeds being used. Next, all rocks, sticks, roots, tree branches and other debris must be removed from the surface.
Keeping in mind that there are different types of TRMs used for different purposes, installation procedures can vary. Some TRMs require you to apply the mat over bare, seeded ground while others will have you put the TRM down on bare ground before applying the seed and topsoil layer over it. Certain applications require the seeds to be mixed together with the soil before it is spread and others may require the use of an erosion control blanket to protect the seed and soil within the mat.
High-Performance Turf Reinforcement Mats
If you are in need of turf reinforcement mats, it’s important you go with the highest performance products available. IWT Cargo-Guard understands the importance of soil stabilization and erosion control. We offer a variety of high-performance turf reinforcement mats to protect and preserve your job site from erosion. Contact us today to discuss your project and how we can work together to get the job do