Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Modelling tools for simulation of TBM excavations

During shield tunnelling operation, a shield machine is driven forward by applying mechanical jack forces behind the machine tail and excavating the soil in front of the machine with its cutting face. A research orientated 3D soil-pore water coupled finite element program, which can simulate the advancement and excavation processes of the shield tunnelling operation, was developed in order to investigate the effect of various construction processes on the ground response. A new excavating finite element, which models the disturbed soil in front of the cutting face, is proposed. The operation of shield advancement and excavation is simulated using the finite element re-meshing technique at each time-step of the analysis. The developed program was used to simulate a tunnelling project in Tokyo and the numerical results are compared with the field measurements. The program allows us to examine the soil deformation mechanisms associated with the shield tunnelling operation in detail.

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