Turf Reinforcement Mats vs Erosion Control Blankets: What to Know
Turf reinforcement mats and erosion control blankets are often essential in construction and civil engineering projects. They are employed in regions susceptible to erosion such as wetlands to reduce soil erosion, boost soil stability, and encourage lasting vegetation growth. Erosion control blankets (ECBs) and turf reinforcement mats (TRMs) each provide their own advantages and disadvantages. With that said, here is everything you need to know about turf reinforcement mats vs erosion control blankets.
What Are Turf Reinforcement Mats?
Turf reinforcement mats (TRMs) are synthetic geotextiles that provide a permanent solution for erosion control, soil stabilization, and vegetation growth. The permanent nature of TRMs makes them ideal for long-term deployments. Turf reinforcement mats function by serving as a robust anchorage for the soil, offering effective erosion control and soil stabilization. Additionally, they accelerate vegetation growth by acting as an artificial root system for seedlings and plantations. TRMs can be used for a wide range of protection applications including on:
Types of Turf Reinforcement Mats
There are two major types of TRMS: woven high-performance turf reinforcement mats (HPTRM) and stitch-bonded turf reinforcement mats. HPTRMs are constructed from high-strength UV-stabilized polypropylene fibers that are woven in a 3D matrix. They are stronger and more durable than traditional TRMs. This allows them to withstand the demands of various climates including steep slopes, high-low flow waterways, and stormwater channels. Stitch-bonded TRMs, on the other hand, are constructed from UV-stabilized polypropylene fibers that are stitched between two heavy-duty nets. They effectively capture water, soil, and seeds which enhances vegetation establishment while controlling erosion. Stitch-bonded TRMS are designed for moderate-low flow channels, shoreline protection, and roadside erosion.
What Are Erosion Control Blankets?
Erosion control blankets (ECBs) are manufactured from natural fibers, commonly coconut coir, wood excelsior, or straw. They are designed to prevent erosion by shielding soil from the effects of wind and water, which can otherwise displace soil particles rapidly. Moreover, their moisture-absorbing properties effectively keep the soil damp, creating an optimal environment for seedlings to thrive and vegetation to grow. In addition to their ability to reduce erosion and promote soil stability, erosion control blankets are biodegradable. This means they can aid vegetation growth as they degrade. Erosion control blankets can be used for various applications including:
- Bank and wetland restoration
- Channel filtration
- Slope stabilization
Turf Reinforcement Mats vs Erosion Control Blankets
When it comes to turf reinforcement mats VS erosion control blankets, the major difference lies in their longevity. Both provide erosion control and establish vegetation; however, TRMs offer a permanent solution while ECBs are temporary. Erosion control blankets can last anywhere between 12 and 26 months depending on soil and site conditions. Meanwhile, turf reinforcement mats provide permanent protection even in severe soil and site conditions.
Erosion control blankets are manufactured from natural fibers that are stitched to a photodegradable or biodegradable net. This means the durability of the material and strength of the net directly affects the erosion control blanket’s longevity. For this reason, they are generally not used in areas of significant concentration flow. Turf reinforcement mats, on the other hand, are manufactured from only synthetic fibers. This allows them to withstand greater shear stress and channel flow. As a result, TRMs trap more seed, soil, and water than traditional products such as erosion control blankets, yielding fuller vegetation at a faster pace.
Which Erosion Control Product Should You Choose?
Choosing between turf reinforcement mats vs erosion control blankets comes down to the nature of your construction or civil engineering project and your site conditions. If you’re working in an area with moderate to severe flow stormwater channels, steep slopes, or banks, then TRMs will provide you with the long-term solution you’re looking for. However, if you’re working on a site with less shear stress, you may go for the temporary solution of erosion control blankets.
After choosing the product you need, it’s time to find a supplier. Look no further than IWT Cargo-Guard. We have been providing erosion control products to protect our environment since 1991. From erosion control blankets to permanent turf reinforcement mats, we have what you need to get the job done. In addition, we supply geogrid and geotextile products with fast delivery to your job site. What are you waiting for? Contact IWT Cargo-Guard today to get started.