Irstea (National Institute for Research in Environmental and Agricultural Science and Technology) carries out tests on geomembranes, bentonite geosynthetics and related products in the geosynthetics laboratory.
Identification and performance tests are carried out as part of certification programmes or on behalf of producers or users. These tests may be the fruit of work conducted by the teams as part of research projects
Irstea includes several members of the French Geosynthetics Committee (CFG) and is actively involved in the work of standardisation commissions (AFNOR, the French Standardisation Association, CEN, the European Committee for Standardisation and ISO, the International Organisation for Standardisation). Irstea also carries out technical expertise interventions.
The work of the geosynthetics laboratory is divided into 3 main lines:
The geosynthetics technical support centre at Antony carries out identification tests, as well as hydraulic and mechanical tests on geosynthetics. The laboratory is COFRAC-accredited for 90% of the tests it carries out. All of the laboratory's research on geosynthetics also profits from its recognised metrological expertise in the field of standardised tests.
The laboratory also has an inclined plane for determining the friction angles of geosynthetic interfaces under standard weak stresses, and a test bench for determining the anchorage capacity of geosynthetics in ditches at the head of slopes.
Irstea runs technical expertise facilities enabling it to monitor the performance of geosynthetic materials on structures and the general performance of structures that include geosynthetics. Recent examples of its work include monitoring dams waterproofed with geomembranes, taking samples to assess ageing.
Samples of bentonite geosynthetics are also taken from waste storage installation covers and dams to assess the durability of these materials.
Irstea runs research to determine how geosynthetics perform. Geomembranes, bentonite geosynthetics, geotextiles and related products are subjected to in situ experiments, in real conditions of use and in laboratory conditions, to study how the materials perform more closely.
Irstea's areas of intervention cover a wide range of geosynthetics applications:
- assessment of durability of geosynthetics,
- measuring and analysing leakage flow in waterproofing,
- describing diffuse transfers in betonite geosynthetics and geomembranes,
- determining stability on a slope of devices waterproofed with geosynthetics (DEG),
- Long-term compressive creep of geosynthetics and changes in their in-plane flow capacity.
The research is carried out at Antony with many public and private partners: ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency), BRGM (France's leading public institution in Earth science applications), VEOLIA propreté, SUEZ Environnement, INSA Lyon (national engineering school), LCPC/LRPC, LTHE, LNEC (Portugal), Queen's University (Canada).
Participation in colloquiums
- Geoamericas 2, 2nd Pan-American Geosynthetics Conference, Lima, Peru, May 2012
- Eurogeo 5, 5th European Geosynthetics Conference, Valence, Spain, September 2012
- Geosynthetics Meeting, 22-24 March 2011 in Tours
8th French-speaking geotextiles, geomembranes and related products colloquium organised by the French Geosynthetics Committee (CFG). The members of the scientific committee are attached to CNAM, LTHE and Irstea.
- Geo-Frontiers 2011, 13-16 March 2011 in Dallas (USA).
The key events in the field of geotechnical engineering took place at one location: Geosynthetics 2011 – Geo-Institute Annual Congress – biennial conference of the North American Geosynthetics Society – GRI24 Conference.
Nathalie Touze-Foltz -Geosynthetics research
|Scientists||Guillaume Stoltz -Geosynthetics research|
|Camille Barral - Geosynthetics research|
|Roland Gallo - Geosynthetics tests|
|Didier Croissant - Geosynthetics tests|
|Technicians||Alain Thomas - Geosynthetics tests|
|Elodie Lohéas - Geosynthetics tests|
The laboratory is COFRAC-accredited, a national accreditation authority.
Quality control scientist: Jacques Méry.