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Stability of the Excavation Face

# Stability of the Excavation Face

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Tunnelling and Tunnel Mechanics
Tunnelling and Tunnel Mechanics

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11/09/2012

17Stability of the excavation face
In weak rock, the excavation face must be supported. It is important to esti-mate the necessary support pressure, in particular for slurry and EPB shields,where the pressure must be set by the operator. Several methods can be con-sulted for the estimation:
Fig. 17.1.
Excavation face as hemisphere
17.1 Approximate solution for ground with own weight
We regard the distribution of the vertical stress between the ground-surfaceand the crown of a spherical cavity (Fig. 16.13, 17.1). We approximate thisdistribution by a quadratic parabola and assume that the material strengthis fully mobilised at the crown. As in equation 16.11, we obtain the necessarysupport pressure
p
c
at the crown as

332 17 Stability of the excavation face
p
c
=
hγ
cr
cos
ϕ
1
sin
ϕ
1 +
hr
2sin
ϕ
1
sin
ϕ.
(17.1)Thus, the crown of the unsupported excavation face is stable if:
c
γr
1
sin
ϕ
cos
ϕ.
17.2 Numerical results
From numerical results obtained with the FE-code PLAXIS,
Vermeer
and
Ruse
1
deduced the following approximation for the limit support pressureand the case
ϕ >
20
:
p
c
tan
ϕ
+ 2
γr
19tan
ϕ
0
.
05
.
(17.2)The underlying results are obtained with an elastic-ideal plastic constitutivelaw assuming
Mohr-Coulomb
yield surface and associated plasticity. Theauthors point to the fact that
p
is independent of the overburden height
h
.For the case
ϕ
= 0, instead, they obtain a linear relation between
p
and
h
. Forthis relation no analytic expression is given. Note that for
ϕ
= 0 Equ. 17.1reduces to
p
=
γh
1
cγr
and for
h
Equ. 17.1 reduces to
p
=
c
2tan
ϕ
+ 2
γr
1
sin
ϕ
4sin
ϕ.
(17.3)Despite the striking similarity between (17.2) and (17.3), Equ. 17.1 providesmuch higher
p
-values than (17.2). Also the bound theorems (Section 17.3)provide higher
p
-values than Equ. 17.2.
17.3 Stability of the excavation face according to thebound theorems
The lower-bound-theorem supplies a simple but very conservative estimationof the necessary support pressure
p
at the excavation face, for which the form
1
P.A. Vermeer and N. Ruse, Die Stabilit¨at der Tunnelortsbrust im homogenenBaugrund,
Geotechnik
24
(2001), Nr. 3, 186-193

17.3 Stability according to the bound theorems 333
of a hemisphere is assumed (Fig. 17.2). We ﬁrst consider the case
γ
= 0.Within a spherical zone (radius
r
=
r
0
+
h
) around the excavation face weassume that the limit condition
σ
θ
σ
r
= 2
c
is fulﬁlled. For the sphericallysymmetric case regarded here, the equation of equilibrium in radial directionreads :
r
dr
+2
r
(
σ
r
σ
θ
) = 0
.
Using the limit condition and integration of the diﬀerential equation withconsideration of the boundary condition
σ
r
(
r
=
r
0
) =
p
gives
p
=
σ
r
4
c
ln
rr
0
.
Outside the spherical plastiﬁed zone we assume a constant hydrostatic stress
σ
r
=
σ
θ
=
q
. Equilibrium at the boundary of the two zones (
r
=
r
0
+
h
)requires
σ
r
=
q
. Thus we obtain the necessary support pressure
p
as
p
=
q
4
c
ln
1 +
hr
0
.
Fig. 17.2.
Layout plan for the derivation of a lower bound for the support pressureat the excavation face. Case
γ
= 0
Now we consider the case
γ >
0 by overlaying the hydrostatic stress
σ
z
=
σ
x
=
σ
y
=
γz
to the above mentioned stress ﬁeld.
2
We obtain, thus, a supportpressure that increases linearly with depth (Fig. 17.3):
p
=
γz
+
q
4
c
ln
1 +
hr
0
.
2
The limit condition is not violated by the overlay of a hydrostatic stress