Face Stability Analysis of Circular Tunnels Driven by a Pressurized Shield

The aim of this paper is to determine the face collapse pressure of a circular tunnel driven by a pressurized shield. The analysis is performed in the framework of the kinematical approach of limit analysis theory. It is based on a translational three-dimensional multiblock failure mechanism. The present failure mechanism has a significant advantage with respect to the existing limit analysis mechanisms developed in the case of a frictional soil: it takes into account the entire circular tunnel face and not only an inscribed ellipse to this circular area. This was made possible by the use of a spatial discretization technique. Hence, the three-dimensional failure surface was generated “point by point” instead of simple use of existing standard geometric shapes such as cones or cylinders. The numerical results have shown that a multiblock mechanism composed of three blocks is a good compromise between computation time and results accuracy. The present method significantly improves the best available solutions of the collapse pressure given by other kinematical approaches. Design charts are given in the case of a frictional and cohesive soil for practical use in geotechnical engineering.

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  • Authors:
    • Mollon, Guilhem
    • Dias, Daniel
    • Soubra, Abdul-Hamid
  • Publication Date: 2010-1


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01153288
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 20 2010 4:28PM