Proposed ASTM geocells standard supports soil stability in road projects


By Dan Bergels

A proposed ASTM International standard will provide guidance for using geocells – open-celled geosynthetics that help hold soils and rocks in place – in roadway projects. Geocells are commonly used in road construction, earth retention, and other construction projects.

According to ASTM International member Eli Cuelho, there is currently no standard for using geocells in geotechnical and roadway projects. “The proposed standard will bring a more unified understanding of the most efficient and appropriate ways to use this type of ground-improvement technology to a variety of geotechnical applications.” Geocells support slope stability, erosion control, retaining walls, channel protection, pavement load support, and subgrade improvement, he says. The proposed standard will give engineers and owners information on key design principles, properties, and methodologies for using geocells.

ASTM International’s geosynthetics committee is developing the proposed standard (WK61159). Cuelho says this effort relates to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #9 on industry, innovation, and infrastructure. ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards; you can become a member at

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