Mining and Road Construction – Two Promising Revenue Streams for the Geosynthetics Market

The global geosynthetics market is on firm footing and is expected to see massive opportunities for growth in the near future thanks essentially to numerous innovative applications. Geosynthetics will constitute a US$20.8-bn market by 2023, rising steadily from the market’s 2014 valuation of US$9.57 bn. Going by these numbers, there is much to suggest that the demand for geosynthetics will continue to show an upward growth graph over the next seven or eight years.

While nearly every industry can benefit from the use of geosynthetics, the mining and road construction sectors look especially lucrative for companies in the geosynthetics market. The term geosynthetics is used to refer collectively to materials such as geotextiles, geomembranes, geogrids, drainage composites, and others.

Where will the Road Construction Industry Lead the Geosynthetics Market?

With their attributes of stabilizing and reinforcing terrain, geosynthetics are helping engineers develop roads that not only endure increasing traffic volumes but also last longer. There is much to suggest that geosynthetics can bring in a positive change to the way roads are constructed and perform. Case in point: TenCate Geosynthetics, a Dutch company, is working on developing geosynthetics materials that can help save road works departments about US$36,000/mile on a total cost of $1 mn/mile.

In the road construction industry, the use of geosynthetics is not confined to any one area. From separation and filtration to drainage and confinement, geosynthetics have helped solve many issues associated with road development and maintenance.

Despite these advantages, however, the industry’s expectations from geosynthetics continue to rise. Conventionally, each of the functions mentioned above have been carried out by a specific type of geosynthetics. However, there is now a burgeoning demand for multi-functional geosynthetics. The development of such geosynthetics for the road construction industry could open new avenues for the market to expand.

However, the growth of the geosynthetics market is not without its share of challenges. In many emerging countries, engineers prefer to substitute geosynthetics with indigenously-made low-cost synthetic materials. Companies thus need to focus on developing products that are high on functionality yet aggressively priced.

Geosynthetics could Unearth New Possibilities for Mining Industry
The mining industry is characterized by harsh environments, rugged terrain, and the use of vitriolic chemicals – all this in unpredictable weather conditions. For an industry that has to brave the odds and still remain profitable, even the smallest innovation can result in massive cost savings. Geosynthetics could be one such solution. In the wake of recent mining-related disasters, such as the one at the Mount Polley Mine in British Columbia, the mining industry is now considering heap leaching to be the best possible solution. This is also in view of the waste disposal and environment protection mandates that have been brought into force in recent years.

If heap leaching does become more widely accepted, the use of geosynthetics in the mining industry will see a dramatic uptick. While many of the products currently available on the market can address the needs of the mining industry, the development of bespoke geosynthetics for the mining industry does hold immense promise.

Besides mining and road construction, the use of geosynthetics in constructing walls and roofs in green buildings is worth exploring for market players.


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