Bridge Abutments & Why They Require Scour Protection

Hydraulic scour destabilizing bridge abutments is a leading cause of bridge failure in the U.S. and around the world. Combating this common form of erosion is both imperative and challenging, given the naturally dynamic bankside and shoreline environments and the frequently unconsolidated or otherwise unstable sediments where bridges are needed.

Fortunately, HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete offers versatile, customizable, and long-lasting bridge-scour protection. Read on to learn more about the issue, and how our products help tackle it!

Hydraulic Scour Around Bridge Abutments

Bridge scour refers to the removal by hydraulic forces of sediment around abutments and piers. It results from the interaction of flowing water and these man-made obstructions, though it can be instigated or enhanced by natural processes such as riverbank undercutting by meandering rivers, erosion of tributary channels, and coastal erosion from breaking waves.

Flowing water, whether a river or tidal current, forms eddies and vortices downstream of a bridge abutment as well as a bridge pier. This can cause localized scour directly around these structures. Water passing through a constriction, as formed by the chokepoint of bridge abutments along a riverway, speeds up, gaining erosive power and generating vortices to produce contraction scour.

These and other forms of scour can create scour holes on the downstream side of abutments as well as gnaw away at riverbanks or coastal bluffs. Such hydraulic scour and erosion destabilizes bed and embankment surfaces, causing abutments to lower, lean, or even collapse. Given the critical support bridge abutments provide at either end of bridge spans, it doesn’t take much deep thought to recognize the perilous impact hydraulic scour can have: resulting, at best, in costly repairs, and at worst in all-out bridge collapse and loss of life.

Combatting Bridge Scour With HYDROTEX Fabric-Formed Concrete

Armoring is the leading countermeasure when it comes to bridge-scour mitigation. From matrix and grouted riprap to gabion baskets and retaining walls, bridge-abutment armoring can take a wide variety of forms.

But such mass-manufactured installations often leave much to be desired, if they can even be effectively installed in the first place. HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete provides the better solution in many contexts.

Because it can be produced exactly to specifications (width, length and thickness), and laid out unfilled to precisely conform to abutment structures before being pumped with fine aggregate concrete in situ, our fabriforms provide a truly custom solution with exceptional, long-lasting scour protection.

Compared to mass-produced and pre-cast alternatives, our HYDROTEX fabriforms offer low-cost transport and can be efficiently installed without heavy machinery or a large, specialized work crew. The ease with which HYDROTEX can be installed extends to underwater and low-head clearance applications. Many times, no excavation is required to put in our fabriforms, and they can be installed in low-clearance and other logistically tricky sites. And they can be effectively used for any number of kinds of bridges—highway bridges, railroad bridges, etc.—and in a multitude of settings and scales.

HYDROTEX Products Ideal for Bridge Scour Protection

The number-one go-to HYDROTEX product for bridge-scour prevention is our Articulating Block Fabric Form. These cast-in-place concrete mattresses come reinforced with internal revetment cables (either steel or polyester cables) to provide rock-solid but flexible scour protection that stands up with minimal maintenance for the long haul. Pumped with fine aggregate concrete in situ, our articulated block mattresses provide a superior armoring solution for bridge abutments regardless of design style or location.

Along with our top-quality articulated block mats, you might also choose our HYDROTEX Grout Bags for bridge-scour repair. These cast-in-place concrete bags can fill up scour holes and prop abutments back up to level. These fabriform concrete bags can be produced to exact-specification height and width to deliver custom bridge-scour protection solutions for any kind of bridge abutment.

And in many cases, both articulating block and grout bags can be used in coordination with each other.  Between our articulated block mattresses and concrete bags, you’ll be able to address any bridge-scour issue head-on!

The Synthetex Solution for Bridge Abutment Scour

The Synthetex approach gives you more than just a (fabulous and first-rate) solution for bridge scour protection and bridge scour repair. We’re with you every step of the way, from helping plan out the exact custom design and specifications to meet your needs to providing contractor bidding as well as on-site technical support and planning consultation for contractors. We’re not just a materials supplier here at Synthetex: We’re your partner on the project!

Turn to Synthetex HYDROTEX Fabric-Formed Concrete to Combat Bridge Abutment Scour

Whether you’re addressing bridge scour already underway or trying to prevent it in the first place, look no further than HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete! Our 100% customizable articulated concrete mattresses and erosion-control bags provide easy-to-install, highly cost-effective, and top-performing solutions.

Get in touch with Synthetex today to find out more about how our HYDROTEX fabric formworks can address bridge abutment scour on your project. For a free consultation and project estimates, call us at 1-800-253-0561 or 770-399-5051 or touch base via our online contact form.

How HYDROTEX Products Help With Contaminated Sediment

The containment of contaminated sediment ranks among the most pressing concerns in industrialized shoreline environments. For the integrity of aquatic ecosystems and for human health and safety alike, sealing off contamination—which very often stems from past industrial activities subject to laxxer environmental standards—must be a top priority.

Advanced HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete provides a geotextile solution for sediment capping and remediation, offering a product that can be used as a standalone cover or in combination with other capping methods.

Contaminated Sediment Remediation With HYDROTEX Fabriform Concrete Mattresses

The aim of sediment capping is to stabilize contaminated sediment and to isolate it from both a physical and chemical standpoint, thereby minimizing exposure of aquatic ecosystems—including pathways directly affecting local human populations—to potentially harmful industrial chemicals and byproducts.

A wide variety of capping materials and designs may be employed. Sand, gravel, silt, and clay are commonly used alone or in combination, depending on whether a permeable, semi-permeable, or impermeable overlay is desired. Often, amendments of one kind or another, such as organophilic clays, activated carbon, biopolymers, and zero-valent iron, are added either to the contaminated sediment or to the overlying cap or within hybrid products geotextiles that entrap these amendments. These may be used not only to reinforce physical containment but also, for example, to sequester heavy metals, prevent certain contaminants from becoming bioavailable in the environment, or ward against chemical degradation that can lead to pollution.

Installations of sediment caps, amended or otherwise, often employ the use of geotextiles. These can not only boost the performance of an overlayer as a physical barrier, but also secure or sandwich other capping material (such as amendments) and protect them from the ravages of erosion and scour or physical damage from boats, tug wash or anchors. HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete, which are cast in situ, offer huge advantages for geotextile sediment-remediation systems.

Using HYDROTEX Fabriforms in Sediment Capping & Erosion Protection

HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete mattresses are ideal for containing contaminated sediment and protecting other capping layers and filtration media from damage and degradation. The ability to lay these fabriforms in place (above or below water) and then pump them with fine aggregate concrete, to manufacture them in varying thicknesses, and to select mostly impermeable or highly permeable HYDROTEX installations gives you a fully customizable solution.

From rivers, harbors and ports to wastewater facilities and landfills, HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete helps enclose and isolate contaminated sediment while also shielding the sand, clay, organoclays or other capping layers. These fabriforms create an armor over sediment caps resilient in the face of surging currents, pounding breakers, battering debris, and ship anchors.

Whether used alone or in conjunction with other capping materials, HYDROTEX fabriforms can be your best friend when it comes to protecting the environment from contaminated sediment!  And as a soft install of pumping in place, there is minimal disturbance to the underlying sediments.

HYDROTEX Solutions for Sediment Capping

A variety of HYDROTEX products are ideal for sediment-remediation projects. They include our Articulating Block Mats, which allows you to install a cable-reinforced concrete block mattress that can stand up to strong wave or current action while tightly hugging the subgrade.  These solutions also allow vertical drainage in combination with the properties of the underlying sediment cap.  Along with sediment capping, they provide long-lasting, low-maintenance embankment protection—another critical aim in many industrial-shoreline settings.

Another of our top sediment control products, HYDROTEX Uniform Section Concrete Linings can be efficiently employed to prevent the escape of chemicals and industrial waste in open channels and basins. Highly chemical-resistant, these Uniform Section Concrete Linings can also protect geosynthetic liners such as GCLs (geosynthetic clay liners) or RCM (reactive core mats) from a variety of damage, from mechanical impact and freeze-thaw to UV degradation.

Often it’s desirable to boost the ecological value of a sediment-capping system by incorporating living vegetation on top. Our HYDROTEX Enviromat Concrete Linings are ideal for this, manifesting as a fabriform mattress with both concrete-filled and unfilled sections that can be seeded or planted or naturally allowed to grow plantlife.

Part of the great appeal of HYDROTEX products are their equal application in above- and below-water settings. The incredible ease with which they can be installed and their ability to conform precisely to a wide variety of structures and subgrades—including unconventional footprints and hard-to-access areas—makes them the perfect choice for a wide variety of sediment-remediation efforts.

Contact Synthetex for More Information on How HYDROTEX Can Be Used for Erosion & Sediment Control

It’s imperative to select the right materials and design for any sediment-remediation effort based on the site environment and the nature of the contaminated sediment. The supreme customizability and wide-ranging product thickness of the in-situ fabric-formed concrete installations we offer here at Synthetex means there’s almost assuredly the perfect HYDROTEX solution for your needs.

Interested in how HYDROTEX can help with contaminated sediment remediation? Get in touch for a free consultation, project estimates, and other information by calling us at 1-800-253-0561 or 770-399-5051 or our online contact form

Shoreline Stabilization Techniques to Control Erosion

Whether it’s the storm surf or the more subtle but relentless bite of breaking waves, propeller wash, and tidal action, shorelines take a continuous beating at the interface of land and water. This is an inevitable process, of course, and part of the natural sculpting of these dynamic margins. But when the shorelines in question edge valuable property or critical infrastructure, this erosion can be costly—even outright catastrophic.

There are many engineering solutions available for shoreline erosion control and stabilization, but not all of them are made equal. When it comes to cost-effectiveness, ease of installation, customizability, and ecological integrity, it’s hard to beat HYDROTEX fabric formworks, especially our our Articulating Block Mats, which can be combined with our Enviromat Concrete Lining.

Approximating a “Living Shoreline”: Synthetex’s HYDROTEX Enviromat Concrete Lining

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) advocates for wider use of “living shorelines” to buffer and stabilize many coastal environments and structures. These are shorelines that incorporate vegetation and other natural “soft” elements with rock, wood, and other harder material, typically utilized along more sheltered shores of bays, inlets, and the like. Living shorelines contrast with entirely hard shoreline installations such as seawalls.

“Living shorelines connect the land and water to stabilize the shoreline, reduce erosion, and provide ecosystem services, like valuable habitat, that enhances coastal resilience,” the agency notes.

Part of the great appeal of our Enviromat Concrete Linings (along with the same completely customized, site-specific arrangement, as we’ll get into) is the ability to vegetate a fabriform-stabilized shoreline. These Enviromat Concrete Linings consist of HYDROTEX geotextile fabric formworks pumped in situ with fine aggregate concrete, but the design integrates unfilled sections among the concrete-filled elements. Once the pumped concrete has set, workers can cut into the fabric at the unfilled spots and either directly plant them or install topsoil and then seed them, or allow natural vegetation to take over if time permits..

In no time at all, the Enviromat fabric-formed concrete linings support living greenery, further stabilizing the structure, softening and enhancing its aesthetic effect, and providing a rich suite of on-site ecological benefits, including waterfront habitat and photosynthesis activity.

As such, HYDROTEX Enviromat Concrete Linings from Synthetex can provide a version of a living shoreline for lakeshores, bayfronts, riversides, reservoir embankments, channel walls, and other settings.

Another Solution for Shoreline Stabilization & Erosion Control: HYDROTEX Articulating Block Mats

Among our other HYDROTEX products, Synthetex Articulating Block Mats provide another excellent choice for stabilizing shorelines and combating erosion and scour. These consist of concrete block mattresses strung through with grout ducts and anchored by ultra-strong revetment cables.

With pumped-in concrete forming pillow-shaped blocks, these mattresses achieve articulation courtesy of the interwoven perimeter hinges and the embedded cables. The end result is an extremely durable revetment offering superior shoreline stabilization and erosion resistance.

Furthermore, as with our Enviromat Concrete Linings and Articulating Block Mats, vegetation can be incorporated into the fabric areas designed within the mats.

The Advantages of HYDROTEX Enviromat Concrete Block Linings & Articulating Block Mats Over Precast Concrete Shoreline Stabilization Solutions

The fabric-formed concrete we offer here at Synthetex for shoreline stabilization and erosion/scour control offers a host of advantages over traditional precast alternatives. Transported as they are in space-efficient, unfilled condition, these fabriforms require significantly less freight costs, and they can be installed without requiring heavy equipment such as crane and large work crews.

By first installing the unfilled geotextile linings or mattresses in the exact dimensions and then pumping them with concrete, you have a revetment product that completely conforms to the shape of the shoreline structure in question, providing the most thorough protection as well as the most cost-efficient installation. Our HYDROTEX Enviromat Concrete Linings and Articulated Block Mats can be customized for complicated geometries or configurations and installed in limited-clearance environments.

The perfect site-specific matching, exceptional durability, and extremely low maintenance of Synthetex’s Enviromat Concrete Linings and Articulated Block Mats, plus the ability to vegetate these fabric-formed concrete installations, makes them homerun choices for a wide variety of shoreline-stabilization and erosion/scour-control applications.

Our Synthetex engineers can provide consulting throughout the entire process, including technical assistance in the field.

Choose Synthetex HYDROTEX Fabric-Formed Concrete to Stabilize Shorelines

We hope you’ll consider HYDROTEX Enviromat Concrete Linings or Articulating Block Mats for your shoreline stabilization needs! Again, these 100% customizable HYDROTEX fabric formworks offer a slew of advantages over traditional precast concrete structures, and come backed up by the rock-solid counseling and technical support of the Synthetex team.

To discuss how Enviromat Concrete Linings, Articulating Block Mats, or any other of our HYDROTEX fabriform shoreline erosion control products could work for your project, reach out to Synthetex and take advantage of our free consultations! You can get in touch by calling 1-800-253-0561 or 770-399-5051, or by emailing us at info@synthetex.com. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

How to Combat Erosion & Scour Using Articulating Concrete Block Mats

Moving water—the flow of a river current, the surge of an ocean wave, even simply ephemeral runoff, sheetwash, and rilling during an intense cloudburst—is the Earth’s signature erosive agent. Hydraulic action, when it gnaws away at river, lake, or seabed material or channel embankments, performs a particular sort of erosion commonly described as “scour.” Needless to say, this can be a major concern from a structural and geotechnical engineering perspective.

Fortunately, the fabric-formed concrete HYDROTEX Articulating Block Mats from Synthetex tackle the scour issue head-on, offering premier solutions for engineers, city planners, contractors, and anyone else concerned about the structural integrity of bridge pilings, piers, embankments, pipelines, offshore oil & gas assets and wind farm assets, and others such as marine terminals, ports, quay wall protection, shoreline and underwater installations exposed to this pernicious and powerful force of erosion.

HYDROTEX Articulating Block Mats

Agents & Effects of Hydrodynamic Scour

The gnawing force of a river current is easy enough to visualize. Scour can also come about from wave action, including wind waves, caused by airflow over water, and swells, which are longer-wavelength, farther-traveling waves that can travel great distances from their generating area (which may be a storm hundreds, even thousands of miles away). Of course, human action may create water movements that translate to scour, as in the case of propeller wash from props, bow thrusters, and tugs, or simply the wakes of large ships.

Whether slamming as surf or river current into piers, breakwaters, and shorelines or, via the vortices induced through water flow around obstacles, drilling out holes on one side of a piling or bridge abutment, hydrodynamic scour can be a big-time problem. Its effects may manifest subtly over years on end, or abruptly through the catastrophic failure of a support structure on account of a scour hole.

How HYDROTEX Articulating Block Mats Are Used for Scour Remediation

Receiving and breaking up the hydraulic power of moving water, whatever its ultimate origin, is the ultimate purpose of HYDROTEX Articulating Block Concrete Linings used to combat scour and erosion. These articulated concrete mattresses can protect any number of structures exposed to the scouring effect of water on the move, from bridge pilings and submarine conduits, to pipelines, the banks and shorelines of rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs, and even offshore wind farms, oil & gas drilling platforms, subsea pipeline span corrections, and within the ports and marine terminals around the world.

The fabric forms of our Articulating Block Mats come segmented in compartments anchored together by interwoven filter perimeters with grout ducts and high-strength revetment cables. The incredibly durable and articulated structure provides the perfect protection for those structures pummeled by wave or current action, not to mention spillways or landfill caps, down chutes, collector channels, and any other installations subject to potential scour or erosion.

These Synthetex Articulating Block Mats are one form of our advanced, supremely versatile HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete solutions. Our articulated concrete mattress fabric forms (sometimes generically referred to as fabriform or fabricform) can be sized (in length, width, and thickness) exactly to the specifications of a particular site, positioned in the easy-to-maneuver unfilled state they’re delivered in customized panel sizes, then pumped full of high-strength fine aggregate concrete to provide a customized, modular, articulated mattress armor  

Pumped in Place Articulating Concrete Block Mats

Additionally, we have the advantage of being able to pump the concrete below water to create a concrete mattress in-place.  In cases where a lift and place articulating concrete block mat (ACB or ACBM)  installation is needed, Synthetex has a solution.  Our Articulating Block (AB) mats can be delivered as a fabricform of customized dimensions, pumped on-site or on a barge, then lifted and placed.  Our Hydrotex AB solution offers tremendous freight savings and logistical simplification because we are shipping lightweight formworks.  And we can provide our AB mats to customized widths, lengths, and thicknesses.   (See photo)  The product is available in a wide range of thicknesses:  3” (75 mm), 4” (100 mm), 6” (150 mm), 8” (200 mm), 10” (250 mm), 12” (300 mm), and beyond.  This allows us to help design the most efficient Articulating Block revetment solution for your project.

Pumped in Place (Underwater) Articulating Concrete Block Mats

Lift and Place Articulating Concrete Block Mats

From retention ponds and dams to bridges, harbors and ports, our HYDROTEX Articulating Block Mats are suitable for a vast range of settings and applications.

Advantages of HYDROTEX Articulated Concrete Mattresses in the Shipping & Installation Phases

Because our Synthetex HYDROTEX Articulating Block Concrete Linings are shipped in unfilled, incredibly space-efficient geotextile form, they require far less space and thus shipping expenses as compared to precast concrete alternatives. They’re exactly laid out and adjusted before the concrete fills them in, which makes for an efficient installation (without the many hands and heavy machinery alternatives require). And they’re incredibly low-maintenance and durable for long term performance.

Given their design and fabrication advantages, our Synthetex HYDROTEX Articulating Concrete Block Mats deliver a 100% customizable solution for combating the destructive and often disastrous impacts of hydrodynamic erosion and scour. Virtually any sort of offshore, marine, or onshore infrastructure can benefit from the erosion and scour armorment rendered by our Articulating Concrete Block Mats.

The benefits don’t end with the premier geotextile fabric-formed concrete product itself. Our Synthetex engineers are also available to provide engineering design support and consultation for the entire process, including on-site installation assistance.  Learn more about what our HYDROTEX Articulating Concrete Block Mats offer—including drilled-down product specifications and case studies—right here!

Find Out How Synthetex HYDROTEX Articulating Concrete Block Linings Can Work For You

Drop us a line here at Synthetex for a free consultation and more information about how our cutting-edge Articulating Block Mats can protect your structures and installations from hydrodynamic scour and erosion. We’re just a phone call away at 1-800-253-0561 or 770-399-5051! You can also get in touch with us via contact form. We look forward to hearing from you, and helping to address your scour vulnerability!

Say Goodbye to Grouted Rip Rap

Rip rap refers to angular stones or boulders installed by hand or machine to buffer against wave action and river scouring and dissipate and resist hydraulic energy. To get around the logistical challenges of sourcing, transporting, and installing the larger rock rip rap required for stronger currents and waves, engineers often install grouted or partially grouted (aka matrix) rip rap, composed of smaller pieces of rock cemented together.

As it happens, grouted or matrix rip rap has its definite drawbacks, making HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete from Synthetex an attractive alternative.

Grouted & Matrix Rip Rap vs. HYDROTEX Fabric-Formed Concrete

Grouted and partially grouted riprap can be difficult to procure, difficult to install, a challenge to control uniformity, especially underwater; it also requires significant manpower. Additionally, it’s often easier said than done to arrange rip rap so that it provides the most comprehensive and site-specific protection against erosion, scour, and hydraulic pressure and holds up over years of current-gnawing and wave-battering.

By comparison, HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete offers an incredibly cost-effective, easily obtainable, customizable, and low-maintenance alternative to permanently protecting bridge piles, piers, and abutments as well as basins, dams, locks, port and terminal facilities, and other structures from erosion and scour.

fabric formed concrete erosion protection for basin

The Advantages of HYDROTEX Fabric-Formed Concrete Over Grouted Riprap & Other Traditional Methods

HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete provides an excellent alternative to grouted and partially grouted rip rap, rip rap bags, and rip rap concrete, not to mention precast articulating concrete blocks (ACBs), gabions and numerous other erosion- and scour-buffering technologies.

The HYDROTEX geosynthetic fabric, equally suited to above- and below-water applications, can be woven and manufacturer-fabricated to fit the dimensions and shape of piers, piles, embankments, and other structures. Laid directly on the structure, the fabric is then pumped in-situ with high-strength fine aggregate concrete, uniquely conforming to the site’s contours.

HYDROTEX Fabric-Formed Concrete Used for Bridges, Locks, Dams, Ports, and Other Applications

This process allows for the creation of a durable, permanent armor for bridge piles, bridge abutments, piers, embankments, and breakwaters, plus spillway protection, scour aprons, tunnel closures, and other solutions for locks and dams. HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete panels armoring ports and harbors provide an effective safeguard against prop and thruster scour.

All of these uses are, of course, on top of any number of other HYDROTEX options for buffering against erosion and scour and providing liner protection, from underwater pipelines to channel beds, ditches, and slopes.

Examples of HYDROTEX Products That Function as Competitive Alternatives to Grouted Rip Rap, Rip Rap Concrete, and Rip Rap Bags

Among the HYDROTEX products providing a readymade alternative to grouted rip rap and related installations are the HYDROTEX Articulating Blocks, which can be formed into cable-tied, articulating fabric-formed concrete mattresses of varying thicknesses to conform to any subgrade or other surface; our easy-to-use and easy-to-install Grout Bags, which can be arranged side-by-side or stacked to create an incredibly versatile formwork; and our Pile Guards ideal for underwater bridge structures, including those of non-standard dimensions.

Less Shipping & Installation Costs Compared to Rip Rap

HYDROTEX fabrform

Given they’re delivered as unfilled geosynthetic fabric panels or bags and pumped with fine aggregate concrete in-situ, HYDROTEX products entail far lower shipping costs than standard alternatives. They also demand nothing like the manpower and heavy machinery (and thus the extra expense, time, and inevitable headaches) required to install grouted rip rap. By comparison, HYDROTEX formwork installation is straightforward and simple.

And, again, our fabric-formed concrete provides an entirely customizable erosion- and scour-protection solution designed around the exact dimensions and contours of the site, with none of the waste and inefficiency of purchasing rock riprap or precast concrete blocks in bulk.

Technical Consulting & On-site Assistance From Synthetex Engineers

Another plus? Our Synthetex team provides technical design assistance for engineers and training for contractors, as well as on-site consulting throughout the installation process. That helpful engineering support goes hand in hand with the exact sizing of the HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete products for your site to provide an absolutely unbeatable custom solution.

Turn to HYDROTEX Fabric-Formed Concrete as an Alternative to Grouted & Partially Grouted Rip Rap

Readily available, economical to transport, hassle-free to install, and producing a permanent, effectively maintenance-free armor in freshwater and marine environments alike, HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete makes an exceptional alternative to grouted rip rap. Learn more about our family of HYDROTEX formwork products and their ideal applications right here.

Get in touch with the Synthetex team for a project estimate and more information on how HYDROTEX formworks can meet all of your erosion- and scour-protection needs! You can touch base with us by calling 1-800-253-0561 or by filling out our online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you—and to reinforcing whatever structure you need protected from scour and erosion, from hydroelectric dams to breakwaters and jetties!

Thinking of Using a Gabion System for Erosion Control?

The HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete solutions we offer at Synthetex provide an easy-to-install, incredibly versatile, and completely customizable solution for permanent erosion and scour protection and prevention. It’s a highly efficient and cost-effective alternative to a variety of other technologies, including the long-used gabion.

Gabions & Reno Mattresses

Gabions refer to cages or boxes filled with soil, sand, stones, or broken concrete that are used to reinforce slopes and embankments, form retaining and other walls, line channels, and for a variety of other protective or bolstering engineering purposes. Reno mattresses are essentially thinner versions of the gabion commonly used in channel beds and slopes.

Perhaps you’re considering standard gabions or reno mattresses for a project. How do our HYDROTEX fabric formworks compare to these structures?

grout bags being installed in place of gabions

Introducing HYDROTEX Fabric-Formed Concrete

Elegant simplicity, across-the-board versatility, and outstanding performance define the best-kept-secret of HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete. Our geotextile fabric forms—which are functional from dry land to underwater applications—are laid upon or around the surfaces or structures requiring protection, then pumped with high-strength fine aggregate concrete to create permanent erosion control or scour protection.

Protecting runoff-prone slopes, lining channels and ditches, protecting submarine pipelines, capping contaminated sediment layers, protecting geomembranes at landfills and other sites, armoring shorelines and bridge piles against the pummeling of waves: The uses of HYDROTEX are many and varied. That’s reflected in the multiple specific HYDROTEX products we offer at Synthetex, ranging from Uniform Section Linings and Articulating Block Mats to Armor Units and Subsea Formworks.

Deciding Between Gabion Erosion Control & the HYDROTEX Fabriform Approach

While their design differs significantly, traditional-style gabions and HYDROTEX fabric formed concrete serve similar purposes, and you may find yourself trying to decide between one or the other for a given application.

There are a few situations where gabions are a better choice than HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete. An example might be reinforcing a vertical or near-vertical slope. But in most cases, HYDROTEX fabriforms make a fantastic low-cost and low-labor alternative to gabion installation on banks, slopes, pilings, and many other setups.

HYDROTEX being used in place of gabion for erosion control

HYDROTEX Formworks vs. Reno Mattresses in Channel Beds & Banks

The same goes for the reno mattresses commonly employed in drainageways. Our HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete liners are ideal for lining channels, canals, and ditches, warding against bank erosion, resisting hydrostatic pressure and waterlogging, and allowing for largely unimpeded flow. Depending on the needs of a particular project, HYDROTEX formworks such as our HYDROTEX Uniform Section Linings can prevent against the vegetation buildup that can clog channels, or—as in the case of our HYDROTEX Enviromat product—facilitate revegetation where that’s desired.

HYDROTEX Fabric-Formed Concrete: Economical to Transport, Easy to Install

Given the delivery of these fabric forms in a rolled-up, unpumped state, ready to be filled with concrete in-situ, HYDROTEX involves much lower freight costs, zero importing, staging and filling with rock, a lot of less manpower in terms of installation, and minimal maintenance over the long-term than many alternatives. HYDROTEX products are readily available, easy to transport, and extremely efficient and straightforward to lay out and fill up. You don’t need the scale of machinery and heavy equipment required to hoist prefabricated articulating concrete blocks (ACBs), rock rip rap, and large quantities of infill around.

HYDROTEX Fabric Form (Fabriform)
HYDROTEX Installation

Assistance From Synthetex Engineers on HYDROTEX Fabric-Formed Concrete Installation

There’s another major bonus to choosing HYDROTEX: Our Synthetex engineers provide project-specific engineering support to the design consultant, as well as training and other technical assistance to the contractors on the project.  We eagerly provide on-site installation techical assistance and all-around support services. We can also help make sure the right supplies and equipment are on hand to ensure proper installation of our fabric formed concrete products.

Choose HYDROTEX Fabric Formed Concrete for Permanent Erosion Prevention, Scour Protection, and Effective Lining

Whether you need to ensure a reliably free-flowing stormwater channel or irrigation ditch, protect a pier or seawall from coastal erosion, protect or ballast a landfill liner, or protect a slope from erosion and runoff scour, look no further than HYDROTEX fabric-formed concrete from Synthetex!

Our geotextile fabric forms and the high-strength fine aggregate concrete that fill them provide, in many cases, an all-around superior alternative to gabions and reno mattresses, not to mention rip rap, soil cement, brickwork, and other constructions. The cost-effective, labor-saving shipping, handling, and installation combined with the fine-tuned customization available given the unique technology set HYDROTEX formworks apart from the pack.

grout bags being installed as an alternative to gabions

Contact Synthetex for More Information on HYDROTEX Fabric-Formed Concrete

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Synthetex with any and all questions about what HYDROTEX mattresses, linings, grout bags, pile jackets, and other products can do for your needs. We’re happy to field questions as to whether our formworks are a good choice for a particular project.

You can obtain a project estimate and any other information by calling us at 1-800-253-0561 or by filling out our online contact form.