In construction of roads and railways, the installation of geosynthetic products is very common. In roads, for instance, separation geotextiles divide off the coarse-grain embankment material or protective layer from the fine-grained subgrade soil preventing their subsequent mixing that might otherwise occur during the compaction process or regular traffic. As a result, the individual layers maintain their designed properties in the long-term. Apart from separation, the geotextiles the function of filtration as well.
In Europe, there is a number of national systems and norms which specify the required product properties as far as the installation of geotextiles into constructions is concerned. Some of these systems have a long tradition and rely on extensive testing experience carried out both on-site and in laboratories under defined boundary conditions. Over the years, the individual systems have been reviewed and synchronised with EU regulations in line with the European construction products harmonisation efforts. This mainly concerns the testing standards.
The production of geotextiles designed for application in roads is regulated by the harmonised European standard EN 13249. For application in railway constructions, the geotextiles are produced in compliance with the harmonised European standard EN 13250.
For geotextiles (or generally for construction products) the principle of free movement of goods and mutual approval of products in EU countries (European harmonised standards) must be distinguished from national systems and norms for the installation of products into particular constructions (e.g. national systems in Germany, Scandinavia or Austria).