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Separation Fabric 101

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by JimmyStew, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    Looking for some clarification as to what exactly separation fabric does, how it does it and why. Simple right!

    I understand the basic principles of what the fabric does, preventing migration and shifting of the base materials and I think I have a general grasp of how it does this but...

    The last patio that I put in (just last week) I decided to go all in and bought a roll of Mirafi 500X separation fabric from my paver dealer. A gigantic 5400 square foot roll that weighed 210 pounds. This stuff looked very similar to the Lumite product (http://lumiteinc.com/Product Lines.html) that i had been using on my previous patios when needed. The only differences that I can really see are, the Mirafi product feels a bit heavier, but not by much. The big advantage to the Lumite product - it comes in much more manageable rolls. It is sold as a weed barrier/ground cover product and comes in rolls from 3' to 20' wide. Is there a structural difference between these products that makes the Lumite unacceptable, or do they just choose not to market the product in the same way Tencate does?
  2. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367


    No one wants to weigh in?
  3. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 458

    Without getting to technical.

    Its just that. Seperation fabric, and yes it prevents migration of the fines from one medium to another. It can also decrease linear migration thus reducing the total lateral pressure soil or any menium its used in.

    As for specifications and capabilities of a particular product, your probably best researching at the manufacturers level, if not the suppliers level. You will get more accurate answers from the manufacturer/rep of course.
  4. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    I've compared the specs for the two products and basically, Lumite is the exact same type of material, but not as "strong":

    tensile strength = 175 x 115
    burst psi = 315
    puncture resist = 70lbs
    permeability = 15 gals/min/sq.ft
    thickness = 15 mils

    tensile strength = 200 x 200
    burst psi = 400
    puncture resist = 90lbs
    permiability = 5 gals/min/sq.ft
    thickness = 20 mils

    So I guess my question is, how important are these different characteristics? What are the numbers I should be looking for. I've skimmed through the ICPI specs (haven't taken the course yet) and didn't see anything listed for what specs a fabric should meet, just that I should be using it, although I may not be looking in the right place, or hard enough.
  5. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,649

    are you always that tech.
  6. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    I don't know? To be perfectly honest with you, those numbers don't really mean much to me so I don't know if the differences are significant?

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