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16th meeting of ISO/TC 221 ‘Geosynthetics’ and WGs 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6: Beijing, China 20 – 22 November 2019

The International technical standardization committee on Geosynthetics (ISO/TC 221) organised its annual meeting this year in Beijing, at the Regent hotel, on kind invitation of the Standardization Administration of China (SAC).

The plenary meeting on 22 November 2019, chaired by Peter Atchison (UK), was attended by 25 delegates from 12 countries and 4 continents. This plenary session was preceded on 20 – 21 November 2019 by meetings of all the working groups, with a numerous participation also from Chinese and Korean delegates.

Highlights from the meetings of the working groups were:

  • WG 2, Terminology, identification and sampling, Convenor Erol Güler (Turkey).

Four new definitions (Geosynthetic container (GCT), Prefabricated strip drain (PSD), Geosynthetic cementitious composite (GCC) and Drainage geocomposite (DG) had been worked on in the WG2 meeting. It was noted that the proposed definition for Drainage geocomposite (DG) in the slide was incorrect and should read ‘Three-dimensional structure in the form of a sheet consisting of a geotextile for filtration and either several discrete draining elements or at least one geospacer’. A revision of the existing definition for geogrid had also been proposed. The meeting supported the request for a new work item for a 2nd amendment to ISO 10318-1:2015 + A1:2018. The SR results for EN ISO 9862:2005 and 9864:2005 were reviewed and it was agreed that both standards should be revised under the VA with a CEN lead. CEN/TC189/WG2 had decided to withdraw EN ISO 9863-2:1996 after evaluating the standard during their meeting on 26 June 2019 after concluding that it is completely outdated and not being used in the industry at all. The matter had now been similarly discussed in ISO/TC 221/WG2. The meeting agreed to propose an ISO/TC 221 resolution to start the procedure of withdrawing the standard. WG2 decided to assign Mr. Robert Lozano (United States) as the Deputy Chair of the WG2.

  • WG 3, Mechanical properties, Convenor Daniele Cazzuffi (Italy).

ISO/DIS 22182: All the comments had been adjudicated in the WG3 meeting and the finalised draft was now ready to proceed to the FDIS ballot. ISO/CD 25619-1: All the comments had been adjudicated so the PL, Piergiorgio Recalcati, would now prepare and submit the DIS draft to the Committee Manager for the Enquiry. A new proposal from Korea/KATS ‘Geosynthetics – Test method for the determination of fracture cracking resistance for geosynthetic used for reinforcement of asphalt concrete’ had been discussed. The title had been tweaked. Five countries were ready to support the project. The meeting agreed that the NWIP proposal was now ready to proceed to ballot.

  • WG 4, Hydraulic properties, Convenor Véronique Heili (France).

There had been eight Zoom meetings in WG4 during the past year and very good progress had been made in moving projects to publication. There had been discussion about a possible NWIP on in-plane air-flow.

  • WG 5, Durability, Convenor Sam Allen (United States)

ISO/TS 13434:2008 rev. The DTS ballot result ‘approval to publish’ closed on 2019-11-15 (P-Members voting: 16 in favour out of 17 = 94 %). Comments submitted on the DTS ballot had been reviewed through the lens of editorial improvement. The updated draft would be submitted to the Committee Manager for publication. Project ‘ISO/TR 20432:2007 + Corr 1:2008 (revision), already approved as a new work item, was discussed. WG5’s recommendation that a TS deliverable would be more appropriate than an IS was supported by the meeting. There are additional technical updates to be made e.g. geocells. ISO/TR 18198: The DTR ballot has been approved, however the commenting shows that there is a need for several technical improvements. Also the document is now looking more like a TS than a TR so there is a desire for an immediate transition to a Technical Specification. The initial discussions on a biodegradability test proposal have been ‘paused’ while technical issues are resolved.

  • WG 6, Design using geosynthetics, Convenor Derek Smith (UK).

A ten-part standard ISO/TR 18228 (in the initial deliverable format Technical Report but at the earliest opportunity to revise and upgrade to TS deliverables) is progressing well. It has been a busy year of Project Group and WG6 meetings. ISO/TR 18228-1 & -2 were accepted for publication on 2019-11-19. ISO/TR 18228-3, -4, -7 & -9: Following successful DTR ballots the meeting approved proceeding to publication after minor edits by the WG6 Convenor. ISO/TR 18228-5: Ongoing activity. Still some contentious points. Conference call to be arranged in December to complete review of current list of comments. ISO/TR 18228-6: Ongoing activity. Updated document to be completed by end of 2019. PG6 to review in early 2020. ISO/TR 18228-8: Has been through the editing process. Minor changes required. To be completed by end of 2019. Completed document to be circulated within WG6 for final round of comments prior to CIB. ISO/TR 18228-10: Ongoing activity. PG10 planning to meet in January 2020 to finalise the document.

The next meeting will be held in the Montreal area, Canada, during mid-October 2020.

Delegates were invited by the International nonwovens association EDANA and the China Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) to a fantastic reception dinner on Tuesday 19 November, at the end of the very successful EurAsian Geosynthetics Symposium, held on 18-19 November in the same location of the Regent hotel in Beijing.

Moreover, CNITA organised a city tour for interested delegates on Saturday 23 November, following the plenary meeting.

The meeting facilities and hospitality were excellent and appreciated by all. A special vote of thanks was therefore addressed to the Chinese delegate Eric Zhang.

Reported by David Hyde, Committee Manager of ISO TC 221