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DOI 10.1007/s00603-012-0224-3

ORIGINAL PAPER

Tunnel Excavation

Kai Zhao Michele Janutolo Giovanni Barla

Received: 20 October 2011 / Accepted: 4 February 2012 / Published online: 9 March 2012

Springer-Verlag 2012

Abstract For long deep tunnels as currently under construction through the Alps, mechanized excavation using

tunnel boring machines (TBMs) contributes significantly to

savings in construction time and costs. Questions are,

however, posed due to the severe ground conditions which

are in cases anticipated or encountered along the main

tunnel alignment. A major geological hazard is the

squeezing of weak rocks, but also brittle failure can represent a significant problem. For the design of mechanized

tunnelling in such conditions, the complex interaction

between the rock mass, the tunnel machine, its system

components, and the tunnel support need to be analysed in

detail and this can be carried out by three-dimensional (3D)

models including all these components. However, the stateof-the-art shows that very few fully 3D models for

mechanical deep tunnel excavation in rock have been

developed so far. A completely three-dimensional simulator of mechanised tunnel excavation is presented in this

paper. The TBM of reference is a technologically advanced

double shield TBM designed to cope with both conditions.

Design analyses with reference to spalling hazard along the

Brenner and squeezing along the LyonTurin Base Tunnel

are discussed.

apeak

ares

B

c

Cc

CI

D

E

f

F

fck

Spalling Squeezing 3D modelling Alpine Base Tunnels

Ks

Ksn

List of Symbols

A

Surface area

Kst

Ff

FN

FR

G

g

K

K

Kn

Kns

Knt

Kt

Ktn

K. Zhao M. Janutolo (&) G. Barla

Department of Structural and Geotechnical Engineering,

Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy

e-mail: michele.janutolobarlet@polito.it

URL: http://www.polito.it\rockmech

Kts

mdil

Residual curvature exponent (HoekBrown)

Strain displacement matrix

Cohesion (MohrCoulomb)

Cutting coefficient

Crack initiation threshold

Excavation diameter

Youngs modulus

Yield function

Total thrust force

Characteristic compressive cylinder strength of

concrete

Thrust force to overcome friction

Cutterhead thrust force

Cutterhead rolling force

Shear modulus

Plastic potential function

Elastic stiffness matrix of the interface element

Bulk modulus

Elastic normal stiffness of the interface element

Off-diagonal term of the stiffness matrix of the

interface element

Off-diagonal term of the stiffness matrix of the

interface element

Elastic shear stiffness of the interface element

Off-diagonal term of the stiffness matrix of the

interface element

Off-diagonal term of the stiffness matrix of the

interface element

Elastic shear stiffness of the interface element

Off-diagonal term of the stiffness matrix of the

interface element

Off-diagonal term of the stiffness matrix of the

interface element

Dilation parameter (HoekBrown)

123

476

mpeak

mres

N

N

n

Ni

P

p

p

r

R

RPM

speak

sres

t

T

Ttot

Tf

Tr

fug

u

ucrown

uf

ufin

uinvert

un

us

ut

UCS

fvg

fvgtop

fvgbot

DD

Dg

Dr

Dzmin

c

di

dei

dpi

{d}

ds

dt

dn

ep

epi

epl

k

K. Zhao et al.

Residual HoekBrown slope constant

Number of elements in the shield surface

Matrix of shape function

Number of cutters

Shape functions

Cutting power

Ground pressure

Cutterhead pressure

Shield radius

Excavation radius

Cutterhead rotational speed

Peak intercept constant (HoekBrown)

Residual intercept constant (HoekBrown)

Time

Tensile strength

Total torque

Torque to overcome friction

Torque due to the rolling forces

Vector of displacements at the element faces

Total radial displacement

Radial displacement at the crown

Displacement at the face

Final radial displacement

Radial displacement at the invert

Normal displacement at the element faces

Tangential displacement at the element faces

Tangential displacement at the element faces

Uniaxial compressive strength

Vector of nodal displacements at the element

faces

Vector of nodal displacements at the top element

face

Vector of nodal displacements at the bottom

element face

Overexcavation

Gap between the shields and the rock mass

Conicity

Smallest width of an adjoining zone in the normal

direction

Unit weight

Total slip displacement

Elastic slip displacement

Plastic slip displacement

Vector of relative displacements at the interface

Tangential relative displacement at the interface

Tangential relative displacement at the interface

Normal relative displacement at the interface

Hardening/softening parameter

Principal plastic strain

Equivalent plastic strain

Scalar multiplier for plastic strain

123

l

m

r

r1

r3

rh

rv

s

u

w

Friction coefficient

Poissons ratio

Stress

Maximum principal stress

Minimum principal stress

Horizontal stress

Vertical stress

Shear stress

Friction angle (MohrCoulomb)

Dilation angle (MohrCoulomb)

1 Introduction

Today, almost all rock mass conditions can be bored by

modern TBMs with tunnel diameter varying from less than

3 m to more than 15 m. Long deep tunnels such as Alpine

Tunnels are excavated mainly by mechanised tunnelling, as

TBMs contribute significantly to savings in construction

time and costs. TBMs have already been used in the

Lotschberg and the Gotthard Base Tunnel and will be

employed in future tunnels to be excavated through the

Alps such as the Brenner and LyonTurin Base Tunnels.

However, open issues remain when dealing with critical

hazards encountered in these tunnels relating mainly to

stress-induced brittle failure of hard rocks (spalling, rock

bursting), squeezing ground behaviour, structurally controlled failures and water inflows, also in view of identifying the possible countermeasures to be applied (Loew

et al. 2010). Use of TBMs in very severe ground conditions

is yet under discussion due to some negative experiences

which resulted in very low rates of advancement and even

in standstill, as in the case of the YacambuQuibor Tunnel

(Hoek and Guevara 2009) or in the Headrace Tunnel of the

Gilgel Gibe II Hydroelectric Project (Barla 2010).

For the design of mechanised tunnelling in such conditions, the complex interaction between the rock mass, the

tunnel machine, its system components, and the tunnel

support has to be analysed in detail and three-dimensional

models including all these components are suitable to

correctly simulate this interplay and avoid the errors

introduced by assumption of plane strain conditions

(Cantieni and Anagnostou 2009). This is even more so in

the case of the double shield universal TBM (DSU TBM),

which is indeed a more complex machine than the gripper

or the single shield TBM.

This paper is intended to describe an advanced 3D

model which has been recently developed for the detailed

simulation of the DSU TBM, with specific problems in

mind as in the case of excavation of deep tunnels through

rock masses which exhibit either spalling or squeezing

given by Barla et al. (2011).

More comprehensive description of the relevant features

which characterise the 3D model developed so far is given

taking into account the recent improvements which have

been introduced with reference to the simulation of the

rock massTBM interaction. First, the state-of-the-art in

numerical modelling of TBM excavation is briefly

reviewed. Then, the latest improvements in TBM technology are presented and the features of a TBM of reference for this paper are defined. Then, the numerical model

is described in detail. Finally, the case studies of the

Brenner and the LyonTurin Base Tunnel are considered in

order to illustrate the model.

477

2006) and Nagel et al. (2008). The model includes the soil,

the shield machine, the hydraulic jacks, the tunnel lining

and the tail void grout as separate components. The

advancement is simulated by a step-by-step procedure. It

should be noted, however, that excavation with closed

system shield TBMs in shallow soil tunnels is rather different with respect to rock TBMs such as double shield

TBMs, especially if attention is paid to the ground

behaviour, to the interplay between the ground, the TBM

and the support components (e.g., absence of grippers,

different cutterhead pressures, different methods of annulus

grouting) and to the design objectives (e.g., surface

settlements).

2 Modelling of TBMRock Mass Interaction

3.1 TBM Technology

For modelling the TBM excavation in rock masses,

including the analysis of TBMrock mass interaction, two

main methods have been employed in the literature: the

axisymmetric models and the fully 3D ones.

The most relevant axisymmetric simulations have been

proposed by Ramoni and Anagnostou (2006, 2010, 2011),

who have studied the case of squeezing ground using a

steady-state method. The numerical model has been formulated in a frame of reference that is fixed to the

advancing heading, alike a furrow moving along a ship

(Nguyen-Minh and Corbetta 1992). The one-step solution

method corresponds to the limiting case of a step-by-step

model with zero round length (Cantieni and Anagnostou

2009) and for this reason is well suited to reproduce TBM

excavation, which is a continuous process.

3D models of deep tunnel excavation in rock masses

have been proposed by Cobreros et al. (2005) and by Simic

(2005) for the Guadarrama Tunnel (Spain) and by Graziani

et al. (2007) for the Brenner Base Tunnel. Both refer to

double shield TBM excavation in squeezing rocks and both

are finite difference models. The TBM is modelled as a

cylinder using solid elements with variable thickness, while

shell elements represent the precast lining. A large displacement approach as well as special interface elements

was applied in order to simulate the progressive closure of

the gap between the shield and the excavation wall. Similar

interface elements were used between the segmental lining

and the rock surface in order to represent the effect of a

compressible backfilling material. A step-by-step method

was adopted.

Many models have been instead developed for the

simulation of shallow tunnel excavation in soil by closed

system TBMs such as Earth pressure balance (EPB) and

slurry shield (SS) machines. The most remarkable model

presently available is due to Kasper and Meschke (2004,

A worldwide trend towards the increased use of segmentally lined tunnels (Asche et al. 2011), excavated by single

or double shield TBMs, is to be noted. Today, single shield

TBMs are mainly used in soils or soft and weak rocks.

Double shield TBMs have come into common use as they

can cope with hard rocks as well as weak and unstable

rocks. As shown in Fig. 1, they consist of the front shield

with a cutterhead, main bearing and drive and a gripper

shield with clamping unit (gripper plates), tail shield and

auxiliary thrust cylinders. Both parts are connected by a

section (the telescopic shield) with telescopic thrust cylinders, which operate as the main thrust cylinders. The

basic principle (conventional mode) is that the machine is

clamped radially to the tunnel wall through the grippers

and the excavation and installation of the segmental lining

are performed at the same time.

Where the rock is weak and it is not possible to clamp

radially through the grippers, the necessary thrust forces

can either be provided by the telescopic cylinders or by the

auxiliary thrust cylinders. In the first mode with the telescopic cylinders, the auxiliary cylinders only transfer the

thrust forces to the segmental lining. In the second mode,

which is also called single shield mode, the front and

gripper shield form a stiff unit and the auxiliary cylinders

produce the necessary forward thrust (Maidl et al. 2008).

Recently, the range of application has been extended:

(a) downwards, even more in the direction of incompetent and squeezing rock formations as well as

(b) upwards, even more in the direction of very competent and extremely hard rock formations. In case

(a) there is an extended cutter head torque and thrust force

required whereas in case (b) an extended cutterhead thrust

capacity would be necessary in order to achieve appropriate penetration rates.

123

478

K. Zhao et al.

improved with the introduction of the double shield universal (DSU) TBM. With respect to the traditional double

shield TBM, DSU TBMs have a shorter shield length.

Shorter shield length (of about 1 tunnel diameter) means

that the redistribution of the stresses is not yet developed

completely and consequently the possible squeezing forces

on the shield (and the risk of getting trapped) will be lower.

Another development is the stepwise reduction of the rear

shield (standing for inner telescopic, gripper and tail shield)

diameter, also called conicity (Fig. 2). Traditional

machines have, in fact, a decrease of the diameter of the

telescopic shield, but a further increase in the gripper

shield, so that the latter has a very similar diameter to the

front shield. Single shield machines have instead a similar

stepwise reduction (e.g., the Lake Mead Intake No. 3 TBM;

Anagnostou et al. 2010). This offset could lead to an

accumulation of material (slabs of rocks in case of spalling

or fracturing due to joints) or to an interlocking of

squeezing rock resulting in a hindrance of the advance (as

the rear shield can be blocked) or even in a stoppage of the

TBM. Furthermore, this stepwise reduction of the diameter

provides more space for deformations, reducing the risk of

shield jamming.

All the shields have the same axis with an offset with

respect to the cutter head axis. Another offset of the lining

axis results in a clearance for the convergences of nominal

185 mm (e.g.) on top in the case of the Abdalajis Tunnel

(Gutter and Romualdi 2003). However, severe squeezing

conditions may lead to deformations that are much greater

than the gap deriving only by the overcut and the conicity,

so that nearly the totality of the shield surface would be in

contact with the rock mass. In order to allow the technical

feasibility of the TBM drive, some countermeasures are

123

shield TBMs: a classic design and b modified DSU design

(Ramoni and Anagnostou 2010)

(e.g., by grouting or drainage) or pre-support of the ground

(e.g., by pipe umbrella), overboring (increase of boring

diameter), installation of higher thrust force and torque and

reduction of the shield skin friction (lubrication of the

surface). Several overboring systems are technologically

feasible, limited to a maximum of 30 cm (in diameter),

even if several difficulties in using this technology exist

(Ramoni and Anagnostou 2010). The maximum (i.e.,

auxiliary) thrust force for double shield TBMs in the last

years has increased up to 150 MN and the maximum torque up to 30 MNm.

3.2 Main Features of a DSU TBM for Alpine Base

Tunnels

In Base Tunnels under the Alps, double shield universal

TBMs can be very suitable to deal with the very different

rock conditions which are expected to be encountered

within a short distance, including squeezing and spalling

problems. Also, this might help in preventing as much as

possible the switch to conventional excavation in the case

of squeezing rock.

diameter has been fixed to be 8.1 m, due to the train size,

considering the minimum cross section in order to reduce

the resistance to the advancement of the high-speed trains

and the space for the equipment. The thickness of the

segmental lining ranges in general from 30 to 50 cm. The

load on the lining is only due to the rock mass, while water

pressure is disregarded, as in zones with high water pressure durable drainage systems need be adopted (Gutter and

Romualdi 2003).

The concrete classes for the lining range in general from

C20 (fck = 20 MPa) to C45 (fck = 45 MPa) and the related

elastic moduli (according to the Eurocode 2) from 30 to

36 GPa. Higher classes can be used, but less frequently.

These two classes (C20 and C45) may conveniently be

chosen, respectively, for the competent rock and for the

squeezing rock. In intermediate rock mass behaviour,

intermediate concrete classes can be used. Therefore,

according to the geological and geotechnical conditions

anticipated, the tunnel has to be divided into sections (e.g.,

4 or 5) corresponding to different types of segments. Only

the thickness of the precast segment is maintained constant

(e.g., 45 cm) all along the excavation due to the machine

configuration and to maintain the same internal diameter.

In the conventional mode, the main thrust force is provided through the grippers. In general, two large area shoes

are used to ensure surface contact and low pressure against

the rock wall (max 4 MPa), so that the TBM can advance in

the conventional mode also in poor ground conditions

(except the very severe squeezing ground). The re-gripping

length is equal to the stroke and it is generally between 1 and

2 m.

The maximum cutterhead thrust has been set to 17 MN, in

order to achieve the necessary penetration rates for hard rock.

64 conventional 17-inch diameter cutters (with a single load

of 267 kN) can be used. Five additional 17-inch diameter

cutters are provided for the max radial overboring of 70 mm.

Table 1 shows the main features of the TBM to be

considered in the following, whereas Fig. 3 gives the

schematic view of the assumed TBM arrangement in the

case of competent rock (hard rock) and Fig. 4 in the case

of squeezing rock (weak rock).

479

Table 1 TBM main features (assumed)

Description

Unit

Lining

Inner diameter

mm

8,100

Thickness

mm

450

Outer diameter

mm

9,000

GPa

3036

Cutterhead

Excavation diameter

mm

9,300

MN

17 (18.3 if

overboring)

MW

4.9

Overboring

mm

140

mm

9,440

No.

64 (?5 for

overboring)

MN

50

00

Machine

Maximum main thrust

Maximum auxiliary thrust

MN

80

Weight

kN

13,000

Pads dimensions H, B

Maximum pressure

mm

MPa

6,600, 2,000

4

Re-gripping

mm

2,000

mm

9,230

mm

9,230

mm

9,170

Gripper shield

mm

9,170

Grippers

Shield

Tail shield

mm

9,170

mm

5,000

telescopic ? gripper ? tail shield)

mm

6,000

and weak rock conditions have been reproduced,

according to the TBM arrangements shown in Figs. 3 and

4. The presence of water pressure and consolidation

problems is not taken into account. The focus is on the

mechanical behaviour of the rock mass and on the interaction between the rock mass and the TBM and the support

components.

4 Modelling Approach

4.2 FEM Model

4.1 Foreword

4.2.1 Modelling the Rock Mass

In this paper, a simulator of TBM excavation of deep

tunnels has been developed using 3D FEM modelling and

the midas GTS (Geotechnical and Tunnel analysis System)

computer code (TNO DIANABV). This simulator is intended to be more general than the previous 3D models

vertical plane through the tunnel axis, only half of the

entire domain is modelled. A cylindrical domain is used

(Fig. 5) in order to: (1) decrease the total number of

123

480

K. Zhao et al.

arrangement in hard rock

(nominal layout)

arrangement in squeezing rock

(with maximum overboring)

stage (only rock mass elements

are shown) with detail

elements; (2) obtain a mesh size with only one variation (in

the transversal plane, i.e., perpendicular to the tunnel axis);

and (3) improve the mesh geometric quality, that is, the

internal angles are close to 90o, the aspect ratios close to 1,

also by choosing an appropriate grading (in the transversal

123

as appropriate.

The mesh size should be large enough so that the

external boundary can represent an infinitely extended

medium. Otherwise, the presence of the artificial

strain field around the tunnel. A rule-of-thumb is that the

mesh in the transversal plane is built by an expansion factor

of 10 in relation to the tunnel diameter D (Eberhardt 2001;

Graziani et al. 2007). In hard rock this value can be

reduced as the extent of the failure zones is rather small

and a value of approximately 6D is considered as satisfactory. On the contrary, for squeezing conditions, this

factor is to be increased and a value of 15D is used. In all

cases, parametric studies are necessary to evaluate the

appropriate size for every specific case.

In the longitudinal direction, Graziani et al. (2007) (weak

rock) suggested a total length of 20D, while Eberhardt

(2001) (hard rock) a length of the excavation steps of 10D:

this value depends on the construction length, as described in

Sect. 4.3, as well on a sufficient distance between the rear

boundary and the last excavation face (depending on the

plastic zone extension). The mesh discretisation is chosen to

be equal to the excavation length (1 m); then, ahead of the

final face position, it is gradually increased.

As far as mesh grading in the transversal plane, the

accuracy of the results is of course improved when this is

refined, especially for the severe mesh-dependent cases like

overstressed rock mass conditions (with squeezing and

spalling phenomena). In 3D modelling, a trade-off with the

high computational time and restriction of hardware

resources has to be found. In plastically strained regions

(squeezing rock), a high level of mesh refinement is

desirable to capture high strain gradients, as the accuracy

of the simulation depends on the ability of the mesh layout

to represent such gradients. In failure localization cases

(spalling rocks), the use of fine meshes near the excavation

boundary is recommended (Diederichs 2007), in order to

capture the shape and the extent of the failure zones.

Therefore, in this study, a very refined region around the

tunnel contour and a coarser zone away from it has been

used as shown in Fig. 5. Element size of 30 cm 9 30 cm

near the tunnel boundary has been used.

Once the 3D model is created, the following boundary

conditions are imposed:

vertical (Y) and the horizontal direction (X) are

prevented;

in the vertical outer boundary, corresponding to the

plane of symmetry, displacements along the horizontal

direction (X) are prevented;

in the front and in the rear outer faces, displacements

along the excavation advance direction (Z) are prevented.

stress is applied as a uniform initial stress without consideration of the free ground surface and of the stress

gradient due to the gravity. The three principal stresses can

481

advantages of a 3D model.

4.2.2 Modelling the Main TBM Components

The following TBM components are considered:

elements applied at the excavation boundary and with

the stiffness properties of steel;

cutterhead, which is modelled with plate elements

(with the stiffness properties of steel) at the current

excavation face and where a pressure is applied (Sect.

4.5.3);

backfilling, which is modelled with solid elements; the

material filling the gap ranges from pea gravel to

cement grout and is given specific properties as desired

(Sect. 4.5.4);

lining, which is modelled with plate elements (with the

stiffness properties of concrete); no joints are introduced and the lining is considered to be continuous;

grippers, which are modelled with plate elements at the

excavation boundary (with the stiffness properties of

steel); they are positioned at a certain distance from the

face and a given pressure is applied on them;

jack pressure, which is applied, in the form of an edge

pressure, on the last lining ring installed (as in

Castellanza et al. 2008), if the rock is weak, in place

of the grippers.

elastic isotropic law. For plate elements, four-node quadrilateral elements are used. The self-weight is applied to all

these components.

4.3 TBM Advancement and Simulation Procedure

The model simulates the ongoing TBM excavation by a

step-by-step method. This is characterized by the excavation length and construction stages. The excavation length

is taken to be equal to 1 m in order to:

of TBM excavation (Vlachopoulos and Diederichs

2009);

improve the convergence of the elastic plastic solution;

trade-off accuracy and computational time.

be performed depend on the geometry of the excavation,

the TBM type, and the rock mass, as:

representative steady-state condition to be reached, also

considering the boundary effects (the first few metres of

123

482

K. Zhao et al.

from the results);

the operation modes of the double shield universal

TBMs, which are different for hard rock and weak

rock.

Cutterhead

simulate a succession of standstills and not a continuous

process. Computations take around 1 week using the processor One Intel Xeon W3680 (3.33 GHz, 6.4GT/s,

12 MB, 6C-Memory runs at 1,333 MHz).

Front shieldInvert

Gripper

Backfilling

In hard rock, the TBM operates using the grippers (basic

functional principle). This is valid not only for very competent, but also for medium to low quality rock masses.

The construction stages are defined as follows:

the in situ stress field;

in the second step, the TBM enters the model (the

cutterhead elements are activated) and the first slice is

excavated;

in the third step, the first slice of the front shield invert

is activated;

in each step thereafter the TBM progresses into the

model;

in the tenth step, the grippers and the applied pressure

become active for the first time. The position of the

grippers is changed every 2 m, in order to simulate

the re-gripping of the machine, with a distance from the

face between 6 and 7 m. The re-gripping operation

phase (in which the cutterhead does not excavate and

the clamping of the grippers is released) is not

simulated as a stand-alone step but it is associated with

the further excavation step;

in the fifteenth step, the lining is activated as well as

backfilling;

the stages proceed until a steady-state condition is

reached.

Lining

Fig. 6 3D model in a typical case of TBM excavation in hard rock

typical case is shown in Fig. 6. The shield invert in contact

with the rock mass (according to Sect. 4.5.2) is also shown.

The thrust force generated in the auxiliary hydraulic jacks

(the so-called jack pressure) is applied on the segmental

lining. The construction stages are defined as follows:

123

in the second step, the TBM enters the model and the

cutterhead is activated;

in the third step, the first slice of the shield is activated;

in the thirteenth step, the grouting with a softening

phase, the relevant pressure, the lining and the jack

pressure are activated. The excavation and the placing

of the rings are simulated in the same phase, assuming a

stroke of 1 m;

since the fifteenth step, the properties of the grouting

are changed into the hardening phase;

the stages proceed until a steady-state condition is

reached.

simulation process. The parts of the shields in contact

with the rock mass (according to Sect. 4.5.2) are also

shown.

483

Rear shield

Cutterhead

Front shield

(a) 12 th step

The rock mass is considered to be continuous, homogeneous and isotropic. Any constitutive law based on these

assumptions for rock masses can be implemented in the

model. In this paper, the problems in mind are the spalling

and squeezing phenomena; therefore, two constitutive

models for reproducing them in a consistent and simple

way are illustrated in the following.

4.4.1 Brittle Behaviour (Spalling)

Lining

Groutingsoftening phase

Auxiliary thrust force

(b) 13 th step

X

Z

Groutinghardening phase

Fig. 7 3D model in a typical case of TBM excavation in weak rock.

The two gradations of blue differentiate the parts of the shield in

contact with the rock mass (dark blue) with the parts which are not in

contact (light blue)

spalling around underground openings, as the fracturing

process of hard rocks is very complex and fracture

mechanics theory is not sufficient to characterise the entire

macroscopic fracture process. These models consider the

rock mass either as a continuum or as a discontinuum or as

a hybrid continuum/discontinuum.

Among the continuum approaches, a reliable simulation

of the failure zones can be obtained through the criterion

developed by Diederichs (2007), based on an elastic perfectly brittle plastic model. The composite strength envelope for brittle materials (Diederichs 2010), resulting from

studies and observations on the mechanisms leading to

spalling, can be implemented in numerical codes through

the use of the generalised HoekBrown criterion (Fig. 8).

Peak and residual yield functions are defined by damage

threshold and spalling limit, respectively. Shear at high

confinement is not correctly simulated in this model so the

use is limited to near-excavation analysis.

The procedure for determining the input parameters for

the generalized HoekBrown criterion is the following

(Diederichs 2010):

Fig. 8 Constitutive law for brittle behaviour: Diederichs (2007) criterion and stressstrain relationship. The intact rock criterion is shown for

comparison

123

484

K. Zhao et al.

uniaxial compression tests as shown in Fig. 9;

set apeak to 0.25;

obtain a reliable estimate of uniaxial compressive

strength, UCS and tensile strength, T (from laboratory

tests);

calculate the appropriate s and m from:

speak CI/UCS

1

apeak

1

2

confinement shear (spalling limit), set ares = 0.75, sres = 0

or 10-6 (for numerical stability) and mres = 5 to 9.

The equivalent MohrCoulomb parameters can also be

used and the equivalent cohesion, friction and tensile

strength parameters can be varied according to the plastic

strain (Cohesion SofteningFriction Hardening approach,

CSFH; Diederichs 2007).

The process of fracturing generates dilation; nevertheless, an accurate reproduction of bulking and of the

resulting displacements with continuum models in spalling

rock is still an open issue, as actually the process is discontinuous after yield. According to Diederichs (2007), a

near-maximum dilation can be used for supported tunnels,

while a near zero dilation for unsupported conditions, as

there is free fallout of spalls of rock.

Zhao and Cai (2010) have proposed an expression for the

dilation angle w depending on the confining stress and on

the plastic strain. This approach has been implemented in

the FLAC computer code with the cohesion-weakening and

model. They have also shown that a constant angle w u2res

(ures is the residual friction angle according to the Mohr

Coulomb and the CWFS model) can be used to accurately

capture the spalling geometry in unsupported conditions.

4.4.2 Squeezing Behaviour

The rock mass behaviour in squeezing conditions is characterized by a time-dependent response of the tunnel,

deformations of the same cross section during standstill, a

large extent of the zone of influence of the excavation, and a

long lasting tendency to undergo deformations (Barla 2001).

The complexity of the problem and the difficulties to account

for time dependence through elasto-viscous plastic models

(Debernardi and Barla 2009) lead at the design stage to the

adoption of simplified models where the rock mass is linearly

elastic perfectly plastic, with strength and deformability

properties estimated in short-term and long-term conditions (Loew et al. 2010; Hoek and Guevara 2009).

Given that the interest of this paper is to study the

interaction between the rock mass, the TBM and the support system near the face and during excavation, the use of

short-term parameters can be acceptable. The gradual

increase of ground pressure and of ground deformations in

the longitudinal direction are therefore considered to be

only due to the spatial stress redistribution that is associated with the progressive advance of the working face

(Lombardi 1973).

The rock mass behaviour can be simulated with a Mohr

Coulomb criterion (Fig. 10) and a non-associated flow rule,

with the dilation angle w taken as a function of the angle of

internal friction u, as proposed by Vermeer and De Borst

(1984):

1

for u 20

w

3

u 20

for u [ 20

This assumption for friction angles in the range of u

20 25 has been verified to be reasonable in laboratory

tests of squeezing rock (Vogelhuber 2007).

4.5 Modelling the Interaction Between the Machine

Components and the Rock Mass

4.5.1 Interface Theory

determine the crack thresholds (Diederichs 2010)

123

attention to the discontinuous behaviour at the following

interfaces: (1) rock massshield and (2) backfillinglining.

This behaviour involves frictional sliding, possible closure

of the gap between the shield and the rock mass, and

possible contact/surface separation due to the self-weight

of the structural components.

485

Fig. 10 Constitutive law for squeezing behaviour: MohrCoulomb criterion and stressstrain relationship

simulate the desired behaviour, which can satisfy the

compatibility conditions and allow differential movements

of the rock mass and the support. The frictional slipping

occurs usually at shear levels that are significantly lower

than the shear strength of the adjacent rock mass or

backfilling.

4 ? 4 plane quadrilateral isoparametric interface elements are adopted (Fig. 11). Zero thickness is assigned as

initially the nodes of the external elements (the rock mass

and backfilling elements) have the same coordinates as the

nodes of the internal elements (shields and lining elements,

respectively). The vector of relative displacements fdg

between two homologous points can be obtained from the

displacements associated to the elements faces (top and

bottom):

8 9 8 9

8 9

>

>

= >

=

=

< ds >

< us >

< us >

ut

4

fdg dt ut

>

>

; >

;

;

: >

: >

: >

dn

un top

un bot

where s and t represent the tangential directions and n the

normal direction.

The relation between the continuous displacement field

and the nodal displacements is given by:

fug N fvg

nodal displacements.

Hence, the relation between nodal displacements and

relative displacements for the interface elements is written

as:

h

i

6

fug N fdg N fvgtop fvgbot Bfvg

where

fugT f us1

ut1

B N1

N2

un1

. . . us8

N3

N4

ut8

un8 gT

N1

N2

N3

7

N4

8

displacement matrix used in the formulation of continuum

elements except that it does not involve differential

operators applied to shape functions since the strain of

the interface element is defined as the relative

displacement.

Then, after variation of the total potential energy with

respect to the nodal displacement vector, the stiffness

matrix of the interface element with zero thickness is

obtained:

Z

K BT DBdA

9

A

describes the constitutive behaviour of the interface

element:

2

3

Ks Kst Ksn

D 4 Kts Kt Ktn 5

10

Kns Knt Kn

where Kn is the elastic normal stiffness and Ks and Kt the

shear stiffnesses.

The matrix in (10) should be defined by considering two

aspects. Firstly, it is appropriate to take Kst = Kts =

Ksn = Kns = Ktn = Knt = 0, so that changes of stress in

the tangential and normal directions are unrelated to

changes of elastic deformation in the normal and tangential

directions, respectively. The normal and shear relationships

are assumed to be independent when the stresses are within

the elastic region. Secondly, since no-overlapping occurs

123

486

K. Zhao et al.

un

us

ut

Fig. 11 Interface topology

between the rock mass and the support elements near the

interface and no slip before yielding of the interface is

assumed (Fakharian and Evgin 2000; Cai and Ugai 2000),

the stiffnesses are actually penalty numbers that approximately enforce contact-surface compatibility consisting of

impenetrability and pre-sliding stick constraints. The normal and shear stiffnesses are therefore set to be much

greater than the stiffness of the softer neighbouring zone.

It is noted that too high values of Kn, Ks and Kt may

produce numerical errors related to the computer precision.

The values should be less than 100 times the stiffness of the

adjacent element according to Day and Potts (1994). A

rule-of-thumb is suggested in the FLAC manual (Itasca

2006), where the normal and shear stiffness can be set

equal to ten times the equivalent stiffness of the softer

neighbouring zone, which is given by:

K 4=3G

DZmin

11

and Dzmin is the smallest width of an adjoining zone in the

normal direction.

Since plasticity and friction share the main features

(Drucker 1954), the classical plasticity theory is used to

characterize the incremental slip deformations by:

d_ i

d_ ei

d_ pi 0

d_ pi

12

if f \0 or f_\0

og

d_ pi k_

ori

if f f_ 0

13

14

and k a positive scalar.

In this model, the Coulomb friction law defines f and g

as:

f jsj r tan u c

15

g jsj r tan w

16

respectively, whereas c is the cohesion.

It is considered that the contact surfaces between the

rock mass and the shield (steel) and between the backfilling

123

continuous. u is taken as constant, c is equal to zero and w

is also zero for the interface between the rock mass and the

shield. Since both the backfilling and the concrete are

frictional materials (according to Chen 1994), the dilation

angle is set to be 1 for the interface between the backfilling and the lining according to Vermeer and de Borst

(1984). This leads to the use of a non-associated flow rule

(f 6 g).

According to Gehring (1996) and Ramoni and Anagnostou (2011), the skin friction coefficient l of the rock

mass on the shield is taken as l = 0.150.30 for the kinetic

coefficient during the ongoing excavation and l = 0.25

0.45 for the static coefficient used for restart after a

standstill. The coefficient of the rock mass on the lining is

usually taken as l = 0.300.40 for static conditions (ACI

318 2002). Therefore, for simplicity, the value of 0.3 may

be adopted for all the interfaces.

Since the numerical formulation used in this paper is

based on the small-strain/displacement assumption, the

shields have been modelled right on the tunnel boundary

even if there is a gap in between. Specifically, in order to

simulate the gap between the rock mass and the shield, a

special interface element has been used in which the elastic

stiffnesses are set to zero, i.e., Kn = Ks = Kt = 0. From

the previous equations, it is seen that no stress can transfer

from the rock mass elements to the shield elements. The

stiffness of the shield is unrelated to the deformations of

the rock masses. Thus, the gap is correctly simulated since

the presence of the shield has no confinement effect on the

tunnel boundary.

4.5.2 ShieldRock Mass Interaction

The accurate simulation of the interaction between the

shield and the rock mass has to take into account both (1)

the geometry update in order to consider the deformation

ahead of the face and (2) the gap due to the overexcavation

(sum of the overcut and the overboring) and the conicity of

the machine, as the closure of the gap determines the

amount of unloading of the tunnel boundary and allows the

following contact and slippage between the rock mass and

the shield.

In the double shield universal TBMs, the gap between

the shields and the rock mass assumes a finite value and,

furthermore, as shown in Figs. 12 and 13, its width Dg is

not uniform in the cross section and has a stepwise increase

due to the conicity Dr, as follows:

Dg

DD

DD 2Dr

for the rear shield

17

487

should not occur. The convergences are small in the elastic

zones and localized failure zones due to spalling; dilation is

followed by the fallout of rock slabs and the formation of a

notch (Read 1994). In these latter zones, it is assumed that the

gap is not closed because (1) during the re-gripping operation, the front shield sweeps and displaces the material

accumulated and (2) the crushed material cannot provide a

consistent support. Therefore, as illustrated in Fig. 12, only

the invert (i.e., the lower quarter of the tunnel circumference)

of the front shield is significantly in contact with the rock

mass, as the gap is really very small, and is to be modelled.

In the case of weak rock, a large convergence of the

bored profile takes place. The closure of the entire gap may

occur either along the front shield or along the rear shield

or along both of them. Associated with the step-by-step

simulation method used, the convergences can be easily

obtained by monitoring the longitudinal displacement

profiles (LDP) at the crown and at the invert after each

step. When the convergence is such that the gap is closed,

the shields start to support the excavation walls. Due to the

in situ state of stress and the large convergence which will

take place, it is necessary to consider the possible uplift of

the machine itself which may lead to a reduction of the free

gap at the crown.

For the front shield, the entire gap thus closes where the

sum of the radial displacement at the invert uinvert and at the

crown ucrown exceeds the gap size Dg as in the cross section

A shown in Fig. 13:

uinvert A ucrown A DD

18

Before the closure of the gap, only the invert of the front

shield is in contact with the rock mass as in the case of hard

rock, while the gap is simulated by the special interface

elements described in Sect. 4.5.1. Then, when the gap is

closed, the entire shield starts to support the rock mass. This

properties of the interface element of interest.

When the entire front shield is in contact with the rock

mass, the gap around the rear shield is uniform and only

due to the conicity. Because of the non-axisymmetric

geometry, the closures of the gap at the invert and at the

crown, however, occur in different cross sections such as C

and D shown in Fig. 13. It closes at the invert where the

relative radial displacement between the cross section C

and B exceeds the conicity Dr:

uinvert C uinvert B Dr

19

between the cross section D and B exceeds the conicity Dr:

ucrown D ucrown B Dr:

20

the invert, the contact point C at the invert of the rear shield

should satisfy the same condition as before:

uinvert C uinvert B Dr

21

hold true:

ucrown D uinvert D DD 2Dr

22

the displacement uf at the face is removed. To consider the

geometry update, the final radial displacement ufin of

Eqs. 1822 is ufin = u - uf, where u is the total radial

displacement. In order to find the exact positions where the

shields get into contact with the rock mass (which is

actually the nearest point in the 1 m discretisation), one is to

note that, at the first excavation steps, the presence of the

shield improves the behaviour of the ground by a

longitudinal arch effect. Hence, the LDPs have to be

checked at every step to find out where the shields get in

TBM at the front shield and the

rear shield and illustration of

rock mass-shield interaction for

hard rock

123

488

K. Zhao et al.

longitudinal section and

illustration of the rock massshield interaction in weak rock

changes from the previous step. However, after a few steps

(generally, 3 steps), such span reaches a constant value.

4.5.3 CutterheadRock Mass Interaction

The cutterhead of the machine is a lattice steel plate and is

separated from the shield just to be allowed to rotate. The

cutterhead applies to the face the excavation force only

through the cutters, while the rest of the structure is kept

separated from the face, except in case of failure of the

rock at the face, leading to the formation of blocks or huge

core extrusion.

The real situation and breakage mechanism at the face,

associated with the movement of the cutterhead, are not

faithfully reproduced, as a realistic representation would be

almost impossible with the adopted finite element model and

step-by-step method. The cutterhead is modelled as a steel

plate of 3 cm thickness and is assumed for simplicity to be

always in contact with the face. The boring force at the face

applied through the cutters is represented in an equivalent

way by a distributed pressure at the face, given by the

maximum cutterhead thrust divided by the cross-sectional

area. In the longitudinal direction, the cutterhead is separated

from the shield. A void of 1 m (due to the mesh discretization) has been left between the cutterhead and the shield

elements. The torque has been disregarded in the model, as

also done by Nagel and Meschke (2011) in their simulations.

4.5.4 LiningRock Mass Interaction (Backfilling)

The load transfer between the rock mass and the lining

occurs through a backfilling layer, as described in detail by

Ramoni et al. (2011). In this paper, this interaction is

considered and simulated as follows.

When tunnelling in hard rock, the gap is filled, at the

invert, with dry mortar in order to support the ring. Along

123

the remaining surface pea gravel and later cement grout are

injected. It is important, in the case of spalling, to correctly

fill this gap which could even be bigger due to the stressinduced notches. The elastic modulus of the pea gravel

with mortar injection is taken to be equal to 1 GPa. The

backfilling is usually performed at a certain distance behind

the shield. Therefore, as shown in Fig. 14a, the backfilling

is modelled in only one stage. The pea gravel and the lining

are activated 2 m behind the shield.

When tunnelling through weak rock, a grout annulus is

injected via the shield tail with a very fast hardening mortar

and simultaneously with the shield advance. In this case, as

shown in Fig. 14b, the tail gap grouting is modelled in two

phases as follows:

1.

2.

grouting is simulated by activating solid elements with

a low modulus (0.5 GPa) and by the application of a

grouting pressure to the excavation boundary and to

the lining;

in the hardening phase, 2 m behind the shield (a very

fast hardening grout is considered), a higher modulus

(1 GPa) is activated in the grouting elements and the

grouting pressure is deactivated.

free space for ground deformation, the nominal thickness

of the gap grouting is not respected and the actual thickness

during construction depends on the LDP at the shield tail.

With reference to the shield uplift described in Sect. 4.5.2,

a uniform thickness of the gap grouting is assumed.

5 Applications

In order to illustrate in detail the 3D simulation model of

TBM excavation in brittle and squeezing rock conditions,

respectively, the case studies of the Brenner and the Lyon

489

segmental lining: a with pea

gravel and b with annulus

grouting via the shield tail

tubes of these main tunnels will be simulated.

A section of the Brenner Base Tunnel starting from the

Italian Portal in Fortezza is considered. The tunnel is to be

excavated in the Brixner granite complex, which is part

of the Southern Alps. This granite is a large homogeneous

Permian intrusion that underwent only brittle deformations

during the Alpine orogeny. Granite is medium to coarse

grained. The maximum overburden of the tunnel considered is 1,350 m.

The assumed rock mass parameters are shown in

Table 2 and are based on the data which became available

during the excavation of the Aica Exploratory Tunnel

(Barla et al. 2010), lying 10 m below the main tunnel.

Figure 15 illustrates the spalling model adopted (in 2D).

An associated flow rule has been used, which means that

mdil = mpeak, so that dilation is slightly lower than the

maximum value, given by mdil = mres/4; as with this criterion mres [ mpeak (in the equivalent CSFH model, the

maximum value for friction is the residual value).

In order to demonstrate the capability of the 3D model

to capture the spalling behaviour, the state of stress in the

rock mass has been assumed to be characterized by a stress

ratio rh (horizontal stress)/rv (vertical stress) equal to 2,

with rv = 24 MPa. It is noted that no data are available in

the tunnel to confirm such assumption.

Rock mass

25 GPa

0.25

UCS

130 MPa

8.1 MPa

CI

58.5 MPa

Generalised HoekBrown

apeak

0.25

speak

0.041

mpeak

0.656

ares

mres

0.75

9

sres

10-6

apeak

0.5

mpeak

1.4

sres

0.2

ares

0.5

mres

sres

10-6

The TBM simulation parameters are given in Table 3. The

thickness of the shield has been set as 3 cm, which is the

actual thickness of the steel elements composing the outer

part of the machine. An equivalent density value is

123

490

K. Zhao et al.

350

6 Results

300

prediction along the tunnel axis in intrinsic conditions (i.e.,

model with only the rock mass, without machine components), while Fig. 17 gives such a prediction with the

complete model (as described in Sect. 4). The degree of

spalling failure and overbreak is expressed through the

equivalent plastic strain, defined as:

r

2 2

ep1 e2p2 e2p3

epl

23

3

250

Intact rock

Brittle peak modified

1 [MPa]

200

brittle resid Diederichs

150

100

50

-10.0

0.0

10.0

20.0

30.0

40.0

3 [MPa]

model (based on the generalised HoekBrown criterion) and modified

model (based on the traditional HoekBrown criterion)

dividing the total weight of the machine by the apparent

volume of the shield. Also, the unit weight of the cutterhead has been increased with respect to the value for steel

in order to take account for its weight.

The lining concrete density value has been increased

(from the real value of concrete c = 25 kN/m3 to an

equivalent value c = 30 kN/m3), in order to consider the

back-up-trailer (Lambrughi 2008). An appropriate unit

weight has been assigned for the other components.

This definition comes from the most commonly used

expression for the softening/hardening parameter (based on

incremental plastic strain) which is (Vermeer and De Borst

1984):

r

Dep

2

p

e

e_ p1 e_ p1 e_ p2 e_ p2 e_ p3 e_ p3

24

3

Dt

It is noted that this softening parameter has not been

introduced in the constitutive law; the equivalent plastic

strain is thus only a variable describing the degree of

damage in the rock mass.

The spalling zones are shown to occur at the invert and at

the crown with a maximum depth of approximately 1 m (the

uncertainty in the assessment of the depth of failure prediction is half of the element size, i.e., 0.15 m). The v-shape is

less pronounced than in other cases, as the stress ratio is

rather small. In intrinsic conditions, failure zones start right

behind the face. Any failure zone occurs at the face.

Also, failure occurs at the sidewalls. This is a shear

failure (i.e., in the high confinement range) which develops

Cutterhead

Shield

Lining

Grippers

Pea gravel

Diameter

9.3 m

Diameter

9.3 m

Diameter

9m

Base

2m

Maximum

thickness

18.5 cm

Thickness

3 cm

Thickness

3 cm

Thickness

45 cm

Height

6.6 m

Minimum

thickness

11.5 cm

1 GPa

5m

Thickness

5 cm

6m

Regripping

2m

200 GPa

200 GPa

30 GPa

200 GPa

0.3

0.3

0.2

0.3

0.3

Density

312 kN/m3

Density front

shield elements

14,128 kN/m3

Density

30 kN/m3

Density

78 kN/m3

Density

24 kN/m3

Pressure at

the face

0.25 MPa

Pressure

4 MPa

Friction coefficient

rock-shield skin

123

0.3

Friction coefficient

backfilling-lining

0.3

491

plastic strain contours along the

tunnel in intrinsic conditions:

a upper half and b lower half

length and then propagates (as the failure is unrecoverable)

all along the excavation. It is related to stress paths above

the damage threshold but below the spalling limit (Diederichs 2007) and for this reason the plastic strain values are

lower than the values in the spalling zones. This type of

failure is a typically 3D effect and occurs as the TBM

excavation is continuous.

Figure 18a depicts the overbreak zones in a cross section in steady-state conditions when no interaction of the

TBM with the rock mass is present, while Fig. 18b illustrates the model when such interaction is activated. Figure 19 shows such overbreak with the complete model in a

cross section at the front shield. It is seen that the front

shield and its self-weight produce a confinement at the

invert, so that the plastic strain at the front shield invert is

reduced by 60%. This is consistent with the in situ observations, as for example observed during excavation of the

Niagara Tunnel in Canada (courtesy of Professor Diederichs 2010) or at the Canadian Underground Research

Laboratory (Read 1994).

whereas the support produces only a slight decrease of the

failure extent, as it is applied at a certain distance from

the face, where most of failure did already occur. As soon

as the front shield is passed and the invert walls are

exposed, the plastic strain increases, reaching, however, a

value in steady-state conditions which is lower than in the

intrinsic case (reduction of 14%). This means that the

crushing and subsequent fallout of rock at the crown and

at the invert will take place along the rear shield. It is

expected that the fallout will not damage the shield

components.

6.1 LyonTurin Base Tunnel

6.1.1 Rock Mass

Consideration is given to the LyonTurin Base Tunnel in

France, in a cross section where the excavation is to take

place in the productive Carboniferous Formation, Zone

Houille`re Brianconnaise-Unite des Encombres, which is

123

492

K. Zhao et al.

plastic strain contours along the

tunnel in the complete model:

a upper half and b lower half

(4050%), coal (5%), clay-like shales and cataclastic rocks.

The assumed rock mass parameters are shown in Table 4

and are based on back analysis and performance monitoring studies during excavation of the Saint Martin La Porte

access adit and when crossing this rock mass (Barla 2009).

The in situ state of stress is assumed to be isotropic and

equal to 26 MPa.

6.1.2 TBM Parameters

The value of the jack pressure is equal to the maximum

thrust provided by the auxiliary thrust system divided by

the circumference of the lining ring. As the auxiliary thrust

force required for excavation in such conditions is evaluated only through the results of the model, an estimated

value has been assumed. The other parameters have been

already described in Sect. 5.1.2. The simulation parameters

are given in Table 5.

123

7 Results

Figures 20 and 21 show the plastic strain contours and

compare the results for intrinsic conditions (a) and for the

complete model (b) when the interaction between the TBM

and ground is considered (again in terms of the equivalent

plastic strain given by Eq. 23 above). The plastic zones are

shown to be reduced in extent but are still all around the

excavation (the plastic radius is reduced from 12.9 m in

intrinsic conditions to 10 m for the complete model). It is

also noted that in the complete model the plastic strain at

the invert is smaller than that at the roof (there is a

reduction of 29% at the front shield invert). It is clear that

the presence of the shield invert (in this case, both front and

rear shield) before the gap is closed, associated with the

self-weight of the machine, provides an additional confinement near the tunnel face.

Figure 22 depicts the results in terms of LDP (a) and

contact pressure (b) on both the shields and the lining. The

493

section at the front shield (complete model)

Rock mass

condition: a intrinsic conditions and b complete model

closure of the entire gap between the front shield and the

ground is shown to occur 4 m behind the face. For the rear

shield this occurs at a distance of 9 m at the invert and

10 m at the crown, where complete closure takes place.

Given the value of the pressure acting on the shield, one is

in position to carry out the structural design of the shield

(and therefore of the machine). It is of interest to note that

the shape of the LDP and the contact pressure distribution

are very similar to those given by Ramoni and Anagnostou

(2011). Also to be noted is the greater pressure computed at

the shield invert with respect to the crown value, as shown

by Graziani et al. (2007).

When the grout reaches the hardening phase, the stresses

due to the excavation advancement are gradually

2 GPa

0.25

2 MPa

24

4

lining increases), while the rock mass does not experience

further plasticity (so-called past-yield zone, as described

by Ramoni and Anagnostou 2011). The so-called elastic

re-compression on the tunnel boundary occurs (Garber

2003) and finally, the steady-state condition is reached.

Figure 23 shows the history of the radial stress along the

tunnel boundary. It is noted that the rock mass experiences

three unloading processes during the excavation. Firstly, as

the tunnel walls remain unsupported, the tunnel boundary

experiences an unloading process. At the distance of 1 m

behind the face, the invert is confined by the shield and, as

soon as the entire gap is closed, loading of the shield takes

place. Secondly, the entire tunnel boundary is unloaded at

the rear shield due to the conicity of the machine. Finally,

as the annulus is injected via the tail shield, the last

unloading process occurs.

By integrating the ground pressure pi (taken by the

normal stress in the interface elements) over the shield

surface (N, number of elements in the surface) and by

multiplying the integral by the skin friction coefficient l

and the reduction coefficient b which is the ratio b r=R of

the real shield radius r over the tunnel radius R (as the

123

494

K. Zhao et al.

Cutterhead

Shield

Lining

Grouting

softening phase

Diameter

9.44 m

Diameter

9.44 m

Diameter

9m

Thickness

3 cm

Thickness

3 cm

Thickness

45 cm

5m

6m

Grouting

hardening phase

200 GPa

200 GPa

36 GPa

0.5 GPa

1 GPa

0.3

0.3

0.2

0.3

0.3

Pressure at

the face

0.25 MPa

auxiliary thrust force

0.875 MN/

m

Pressure

(rock

and lining)

0.2 MPa

Density

312 kN/m3

Density

24 kN/m3

Density

24 kN/m3

Density shield

elements

2,757 kN/m3

Density

30 kN/m3

Friction coefficient

rock-shield skin

0.3

Friction coefficient

grouting-lining

0.3

section in steady-state condition: a intrinsic conditions and b complete

model

considering the overexcavation and the conicity, it is bigger than the real shield), the thrust force required to

overcome friction has been calculated:

Ff b l

Fig. 20 LyonTurin Base Tunnel: plastic strain contours along the

excavation (longitudinal view): a intrinsic conditions and b complete

model

123

N

X

25

i1

cylinders is the sum of the maximum cutterhead thrust FN

495

0

-10

-5

(a)

10

15

20

25

y [m]

-50

u [mm]

-100

crown

invert

-150

-200

-250

Tr

3.5

(b)

force would be significantly lowered.

Also the torque and the consequent cutterhead installed

power can be calculated. The total torque is the sum of

maximum torque due to the rolling forces of the cutters and

the torque needed to overcome the frictional resistance

(sliding friction) caused by the ground pressure acting

axially and radially upon the cutter head. The maximum

rolling force FR of a single cutter can be estimated simply

equal to 0.1 FN, according to the average cutting coefficient

Cc (FN/FR) obtained from tests and machine parameters

(Balci et al. 2009; Rostami 2008; Farrokh and Rostami

2009; Yagiz 2006). The maximum torque due to the rolling

forces is (Balci et al. 2009):

n FR D

4;675 kNm

4

26

The torque needed to overcome the frictional resistance

has the following expression:

p [MPa]

2.5

2

1.5

Lining

Tf l

0.5

ZR

2

p 2pr dr r l p p R3 16;826 KNm

3

y [m]

0

-10

-5

10

15

20

27

25

crown and invert: a longitudinal displacement profile and b contact

pressure on the shield and on the lining

The total torque is thus equal to Ttot = Tr ? Tf =

21.6 MNm.

The relationship between the torque and the power P is

the following (Balci et al. 2009):

P 2p

25

-5

28

power considered in Table 1 is thus sufficient for the TBM

advancement, even if the cutterhead rotational speed has to

be reduced to 2.1 rpm.

30

-10

RPM

T

60

20

15

10

Crown

Invert

8 Conclusions

y [m]

0

0

10

15

20

25

and crown along the tunnel boundary for the complete model

Ff = 17 ? 54.9 = 71.9 MN. In order to reduce this quite

high value of the auxiliary thrust force, it is possible to

increase the gap corresponding to the rear shield: the

stepwise increase between the rear shield and the front

shield can pass from 3 cm to 56 cm, so that the contact

between the rock mass and the shields would occur only in

or axisymmetric models) the TBM excavation process is

made with special interest in long deep tunnels (as the

Alpine Base Tunnels) excavated by double shield TBMs. It

is seen that, although the use of rock TBMs is widespread,

very few 3D models of deep mechanized tunnel excavation

in rock masses are available in the literature. In this paper,

the 3D simulation of the complex interaction between the

rock mass, the tunnel machine, its system components, and

the tunnel support is studied in detail by presenting a novel

and more general simulator of mechanised tunnel excavation at the design stage.

123

496

mechanised excavation along the Brenner and the Lyon

Turin Base Tunnels which at present are at the design stage

and where access adits/exploratory tunnels have been

already excavated. A double shield universal machine (and

the support system) has been chosen in order to cope with

the hard rock conditions (in granite) where spalling is

expected to occur (Brenner Base Tunnel) and with the

weak rock conditions (in the Carboniferous formation)

in a tunnel length where moderate squeezing rock conditions are anticipated (LyonTurin Base Tunnel).

The results obtained with the numerical simulations

show that the newly developed 3D model is highly effective in reproducing both the rock mass response and its

interaction with the TBM system components. The 3D

nature of TBM excavation has been taken into account

using a non-axisymmetric model for the state of stress in

the rock mass, the geometry of the TBM, and the support

system. Time-dependence modelling as typical in severe

squeezing conditions has not yet been considered, although

work for introducing such a behaviour in the 3D model is

underway.

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