Optimization of large tunnels excavation method based on numerical investigation

Document Type : Mining Engineering Article


Mining engineering- High education center of shahid bakeri- Urmia university


The increasing demand for tunnels as a critical component of the transportation system has caused to establish large face tunnels. In excavation method optimization, it is important to define the number and size of sections. In the presented paper, the distinct element method used to simulate and determine the sequential pattern in the excavation of large face tunnels. The objective function was to minimize the shear strains and extensive displacements of surface and tunnel arch. Therefore 83 different models simulated and implemented to analyze the results. The main variable in presented models is the heading section height in the top heading and benching excavation method. The case study is a binary tunnel with a diagonal pattern. The lower tunnel is with a circular cross-section with 13.7m in diameter. The upper tunnel has a D cross section of 13.2m width and 13.7m height. The tunnels distance is 33m. By verification and implementation of models, the results show that by increasing the heading section height, the displacement has a growing trend. The main point of the result return to the optimum height of the heading section, which is 0.45% and 0.55% of the diameter of circular and height of D shape tunnels, respectively. In these percentage, the growing trend of displacement has a reverse manner.


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