The effects of local voids and imperfections of surrounding rock on the performance of existing tunnel lining

Conference Dates

September 3-6, 2017


Local voids and imperfections may exist around the tunnel due to reasons such as inadequate back infill behind the lining, insufficient local lining thickness, ground water erosion, and other imperfect construction related activities. Such local voids and imperfections generally will lead to local contact loss and discontinuity in the ground-lining interaction. This paper evaluates the effect of local voids and imperfections developing around the tunnel vault area on the mechanical performance of tunnel lining. Based on field investigation results, a series of voids and imperfections with different geometries are defined to reflect cases resulting from different causes. Numerical parametric analyses were performed to investigate how those voids and imperfections influence the internal force and the safety factor of the lining, and the reinforced concrete lining were modelled with the smeared crack model to examine the development of cracking directions and patterns. Furthermore, the numerical approach was verified by comparing with field investigations and measurements. This study aims to investigate the most unsafe situation due to local voids and imperfections around the tunnel, and the modelled cracking feature shows a way to preliminary evaluate the possible local voids and imperfections behind tunnel lining based on field observation.

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