Many geocell products look identical at first glance, but there can be major differences between them structurally. A primary difference is the cell size. A residential slope stabilization geocell will typically have a larger cell size than a load support geocell.
Below we are going to look at the difference between Load Support Grids and Slope Grids made by Cell-Tek. Each of these products has a particular use and on the surface this is not immediately evident.
See attached Data Sheets on each product and notice the diagram of cell dimensions on each page.
LSG geocells have a smaller aperture size than those of Slope Grid and mainly function as load-bearing structural base supports for applications like driveways, parking lots, or parking pads
SLP geocells look nearly identical to the structural geocells, but they have larger aperture size cells than those of the smaller LSG units and are used for applications such as: erosion control on hillsides.
There is a whole science behind geosynthetics and geocells. It is this science that tells us that “the smaller the cell, the greater the load support”. This relates to the mass inside a cell is stronger when the space is smaller.
It only matters in a load support application. Geocells are made up of long strips of material that are welded together to create WALLS. By confining the aggregates within the cell walls the aggregates themselves are much stronger.
For slope applications relating to slope protection and/or erosion control, these are not meant for load support applications because nobody is really walking or driving on these areas. For example, you could occasionally walk over an embankment but it’s not a normal route for pedestrian or vehicular traffic. Since the application isn’t load support, you technically don’t need a smaller cell. A larger cell works just fine!
Answer: it costs less money per square foot to make Slope Grid because it has larger holes which means less material per square foot. I say it’s like swiss cheese with big holes – the more holes you have, the less cheese! By making the cells larger we have a lower cost per sf product for those applications when load support isn’t necessary.
You could use the LSG for the same purpose as the Slope Grid; it would not hurt to have a smaller cell, but it would unnecessarily increase the cost.
If somebody has a sloped driveway they should use LSG because the main purpose is that of a driveway – a load support application – so you want the smaller cell size of the LSG series.
If somebody has extra LSG left over and want to use it on a slope project for erosion control – no problem!
Again, if somebody has a slope protection /erosion control project and they don’t plan to walk on it often or drive on it, then Slope Grid is the right option.