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Face stability in slurry and EPB shield tunnelling


Slurry and EPB-shield tunneling have been successfully applied worldwide in recent years. Under extremely unfavorable geological conditions, however, face instabilities may occur. The present paper aims at a better understanding of the mechanics of face failure. For the case of slurry shield, attention will be paid to the time-dependent effects associated with the infiltration of slurry into the ground ahead of the face. Related topics, such as the stand-up time and the effect of the excavation advance rate, will be discussed. In the case of an EPB-shield, a distinction will be drawn between fluid-pressure and effective pressure in the chamber. The effective pressure can be visualized as a "grain to grain" contact pressure between the muck and the ground at the face. The water pressure in the chamber reduces the hydraulic head gradient in the ground and, consequently, the seepage forces acting in front of the face. The face is thus stabilized both by the direct support of the pressurized muck and by the reduction of the seepage forces in the ground. Normalized diagrams are provided which allow the assessment of tunnel face stability.


Anagnostou, Georgios and Kovári, Kalman

Index Terms:

rock; EPB shield tunnelling; TunnelingGroup; Anagnostou, Georgios; Kovari, Kalman

Further Information:

Date published: 1996