Spring 2010

TenCate GeoDetect® for intelligent dyke monitoring

After Europe, TenCate Geosynthetics is now focusing on the market introduction and sale of TenCate GeoDetect® in North America. An international team is responsible for coordinating marketing efforts and further development of the system. The monitoring system, based on the world’s first ‘intelligent’ geotextile, is being sold directly to decision-makers.

TenCate Geodetect® is a system for monitoring earth structures like embankments and dykes for deformation. It incorporates a geotextile fabric, fibre optics, special instrumentation equipment and software. This provides an early warning indication of the slightest ground deformation and of any changes in temperature and strain, making it possible to take measures for example to prevent a breach. The system has been tested in existing dyke bodies and is used during the construction of roads and railways and the building of retaining walls, tunnels, underground structures and pipelines.

System solutions
The introduction of TenCate Geodetect® in the US has enabled worldwide marketing efforts in geotechnology to be coordinated. Further development of the system will also be intensified, and to this end an international team has been formed, headed by Wilson Harvie, who is responsible for Global Business Development for TenCate GeoDetect® within TenCate Geosynthetics. Initially, the team will concentrate on commercialization in North America, South America, Europe and the Middle East. The key areas of focus are roads and railways, retaining walls and dykes, canals and basins as well as waste dumps. ‘By combining proven fibre optic sensing technology with the performance of geotextiles, TenCate Geosynthetics has been able to introduce the most accurate, customizable and cost-effective monitoring system that is currently available’, explains Wilson Harvie. ‘It is an example of the commitment of TenCate Geosynthetics to provide the complete system solution to complex geotechnical challenges.


Testing ground
TenCate GeoDetect® was developed in Europe and has been used in experimental projects. TenCate Geosynthetics has been involved in the  de IJkdijk project in the Netherlands since the beginning in 2005. The IJkdijk is an international testing ground for new inspection and monitoring techniques for water retaining structures. Monitoring with the use of integrated sensors provides our fabrics, composites and synthetic turf with a new functionality. The synthetic turf pitch in the Polman Stadium in Almelo (NL) for example is equipped with sensors. These register the number of hours played, the load at specific areas of the pitch and differences in temperature, as well as processing maintenance data.

Wilson Harvie firmly believes that over time all geotextiles used in critical earth structures will have a sensoring requirement. Being the first company to offer this technology will be a significant advantage to TenCate Geosynthetics and will facilitate sales of existing geotextiles in the current project. To date, other companies have attempted to integrate fibre optics into geotextile fabrics, but have not been successful. ‘For the time being this remains a trade secret between our partner and TenCate Geosynthetics.’


The TenCate GeoDetect® team: John Lostumbo, Olivier Artières, Wilson Harvie and Gerrit Dortland. Support is provided in Asia by Loke Kean Hooi.


Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)