Quantifying Water Removal Rate of a Wicking Geotextile under Controlled Temperature and Relative Humidity


Global warming and climate change have increased the frequency of heavy precipitation. Heavy rainfall results in a large amount of water entering roadways within a short time period. Water remains in the pavement system for a certain time period, reduces strengths and moduli of granular bases and subgrades, and induces pavement distresses. Geotextiles are commonly used in roadways for drainage purposes, which require soil saturation. However, soil saturation does not always exist in roadways to enable gravity drainage of water by conventional geotextiles. Wicking geotextile, a new type of woven geotextile, was recently introduced to the market to remove moisture from unsaturated soils. The wicking geotextile includes special hydrophilic and hygroscopic 4 deep groove fibers with multichannel cross sections, which can induce high capillary force to wick water out of moist soil without saturation of soil. The ability and rate of this geotextile to remove water from moist soil depends on several factors, including temperature and relative humidity. In this study, a series of laboratory tests under controlled temperature and relative humidity were conducted to quantify the water removal rate of the wicking geotextile. A half length of the wicking geotextile was submerged in water tanks, and the other half was hung outside of the tanks. The water wicked from the tank into the geotextile evaporated into the air. Such tests were conducted under 12 different test conditions (i.e., different temperatures and relative humidities). Test results demonstrated that the wicking geotextile could remove water from the water tank at a certain rate. Three commonly used methods available in the literature were adopted to quantify the water removal rate of the wicking geotextile based on vapor pressure, temperature, and relative humidity. A new concept of equivalent water evaporation length of a wicking geotextile is proposed in this study. It should be pointed out that the tests presented in this paper aimed to determine the maximum water removal capacity of the geotextile given sufficient water supply.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Atmospheric humidity; Climate change; Evaporation; Geotextiles; Global warming; Humidity control; Pavements; Rain; Soils; Tanks (containers); Temperature; Testing; Water; Water supply; Controlled temperature; Global warming and climate changes; Heavy precipitation; Pavement distress; Suction; Temperature and relative humidity; Water evaporation; Woven geotextiles; Water tanks; Evaporation; Geotextile; Pavement; Quantitative analysis; Relative humidity; Saturation; Soil; Suction; Temperature; Water content; Water

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Article - Journal

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© 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2017