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An analytical approach for the sequential excavation of axisymmetric lined tunnels in viscoelastic rock

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stefano Utili


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The main factors for the observed time dependency in tunnel construction are due to the sequence of excavation, the number of liners and their times of installation and the rheological properties of the host rock. In this paper, a general analytical solution accounting for all the three factors is derived for the first time. Generalized derivation procedure for any viscoelastic models was presented accounting for the sequential excavation of a circular tunnel supported by any number of liners of different thickness and stiffness installed at different times in a viscoelastic surrounding rock under a hydrostatic stress field in plane strain axisymmetric conditions. Sequential excavation was accounted for assuming the radius of the tunnel growing from an initial value to a final one according to a time dependent function to be prescribed by the designer. The effect of tunnel advancement was also considered. For generalized Kelvin viscoelastic model, the explicit analytical closed form solutions were presented, which can be reduced to the solutions for Maxwell and Kelvin models. An extensive parametric analysis was then performed to investigate the effect of the excavation process adopted, the rheological properties of the rock, stiffness, thickness and installation times of the liners on tunnel convergence, pressure on the liners and on the stress field in the rock for a support system made of 3 liners. Several dimensionless charts for ease of use of practitioners are provided.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wang HN, Utili S, Jiang MJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences

Year: 2014

Volume: 68

Pages: 85-106

Print publication date: 01/06/2014

Online publication date: 25/03/2014

Acceptance date: 03/02/2014

ISSN (print): 1365-1609

ISSN (electronic): 1873-4545

Publisher: Pergamon Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrmms.2014.02.002


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