Erosion control blankets provide immediate soil surface stabilisation and protection from raindrop impact and surface erosion while vegetation establishes. They increase infiltration, decrease compaction and soil crusting, and conserve soil moisture.
Erosion control blankets are used on slopes and disturbed soils where hydroseeding mulch and other materials such as tackifers are neither feasible nor adequate. Generally slopes steeper than 2:1, and/or slopes where erosion hazard is high will require the use of erosion control blankets. Their use is especially appropriate for critical slopes adjacent to sensitive areas, such as streams and wetlands, and disturbed soil areas, where planting is likely to be slow in providing adequate protective cover. Establishing vegetation in channels or on slopes may require additional measures beyond seeding.
Components of Erosion Control Blankets:
Erosion control blankets are generally machine-produced mats made up of natural fibre netting, biodegradable mulch such as straw, curled wood fibre (excelsior), coconut fibre or a combination thereof.
The knitted synthetic fibres and filaments can either be biodegradable (6 months), photodegradable (6 months), or UV protected (typically 3-5 years).
Uses of Erosion Control Blankets:
- Temporarily stabilise and protect disturbed soil from raindrop impact and surface erosion.
- Increase infiltration.
- Decrease compaction and soil crusting.
- Conserve soil moisture.
- Slope stabilisation.
- Soil erosion control.
- Roadside protection.
- Stream bank stabilisation.
- Erosion protection of drainage slopes.
Erosion Control Blankets are also referred to as:
- Protective blankets.
- Seed protection.
- Soil stabilisation mats.
- Turf reinforcement mats.
Benefits of using Erosion Control Blankets:
- Better water absorption.
- Prevents seed/soil loss.
- Moderates moisture and increases microbial activity.
- Creates micro-climate for faster seed germination.
- Resists wind and rain shear force.
- High tensile strength and lignin content.
- Decomposition of fibres, if biodegradable blankets are used.
- Environmentally sustainable.
- The slopes must be uniform and relatively smooth before installation to ensure complete contact with the soil.
- The associated labour cost may be higher.