CuTex - Copper Composite Root Barrier

CuTex is a permeable geocomposite root barrier consisting of a copper sheet mechanically encapsulated between a woven polypropylene geotextile and a high strength nonwoven polypropylene geotextile. Cutex functions not only as a physical barrier, but also as a chemical barrier.

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Copper Composite Root Barrier for the control of invasive plant species

CuTex is a permeable geocomposite root barrier system consisting of a specially formulated copper sheet mechanically encapsulated between two high strength geotextiles. CuTex acts by safely releasing Cu2+ ions to inhibit root growth. The copper ions create a localised zone of inhibition which when approached by root tips causes them to undergo a progressive collapse.

The copper acts as a signal layer that all plants avert their growth from. CuTex only releases minute quantities of the copper ion and is a safe, yet effective root growth blocking material.

CuTex can provide direct protection from invasive weeds and plants. Particularly the risk posed by Japanese Knotweed to environments such as utilities’ infrastructures and foundations, across a wide range of industries including construction, highways, rail and water.

CuTex functions not only as a physical barrier, incorporating strong and durable geotextiles, but also as a chemical barrier. It acts by releasing Cu2+ ions into solution. Confocal laserscanning microscopy and differential contrast interference microscopy was used to analyse the morphology of root tips grown in the presence and absence of CuTex. The results demonstrated that when root tips approach the zone of inhibition they undergo a progressive collapse. The dividing cells at the very tip of the root (the meristem) die off and the cells above the meristem differentiate.

The localised copper toxicology only affects the root exposed to the zone of inhibition making CuTex a safe and effective material for blocking root growth. Over time CuTex releases Cu2+ ions into the soil creating an effective chemical barrier.

Cutex has been independently tested by The Centre for Plant Science at the University of Leeds; the research verified Cutex as a safe and effective barrier for Japanese Knotweed and other invasive species.

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