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Durability of Geosynthetics for Highway Applications

Jeffrey Havelin, P.E.

Course Outline

Various aspects of geosynthetic durability are addressed in this (one-hour) course in order to develop procedures that could be used to predict long-term strength losses of geosynthetics used in highway applications. This information is essential to designers for allowing tensile capacity for geosynthetics used primarily in mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining walls, reinforced soil slopes, and foundation stabilization.

The study was conducted in stages, each stage building on the knowledge previously gained. The main objectives addressed were to: (1) develop testing protocols necessary to quantify any strength reduction due to aging or stress (stress cracking only) mechanisms for polymeric reinforcement materials (geosynthetics), and (2) develop testing protocols for confined stress-strain testing, which could more accurately characterize key engineering properties. The results of the experimental tasks are discussed on the following pages.

This course is based entirely on publication FHWA-RD-01-050 Durability of Geosynthetics for Highway Applications, on a summary of four previously published reports on this topic. This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials. You will be quizzed on the attached document in its entirety.

Learning Objective

This course will review the various design aspects of geosynthetic durability used in highway applications.

Intended Audience

This course is intended for engineers who our involved with geosynthetics for highway, and possibly other applications of geosynthetics.

Benefit for Attendee

Attendee of this course will be learning about properties of geosynthetics for highway applications.

Course Content

This course is based entirely on the FHWA-RD-01-050 Durability of Geosynthetics for Highway Applications.

The link to the course materials is as follows:

FHWA-RD-01-050 Durability of Geosynthetics for Highway Applications

You need to open or download above document to study this course.

Course Summary

Engineers completing this course will have a good understanding about the testing procedures used to evaluate the geosynthetic materials under various phases of testing, in additional to the new properties and conclusions that were determined during the various tests.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.