Sand and extruded copolyester sheet combine for a flood wall that can go up more quickly and withstand water better than the hand-filled sand bags they're aiming to replace. Geocell Systems Inc.'s (San Francisco, CA) rapid-deployment flood wall (RDFW) uses interlocking sheets of a specially developed grade of copolyester from Eastman Chemical Co. (Kingsport, TN) to create an interlocking grid that can be filled rapidly with sand via loaders for flood barriers that offer speed in installation and strength in the face of natural disasters.
"In a flood fight, speed is of the essence," explains Gaylon White, director of design industry programs for Eastman. "You have to get whatever it is you're going to use out there and in place because things happen fast once the water arrives and starts to rise."
White and Eastman have worked with Geocell, and the RDFW's inventor, Al Arellanes, since work on the project started in earnest in 2000. Arellanes initially recognized the need for more efficient and effective means of flood containment when he worked as a Federal...