Tunnelling Methods

and many others factors.The choice of tunnelling method may be dictated by: • geological and hydrological conditions. • cross-section and length of continuous tunnel. • local experience and time/cost considerations (what is the value of time in the project). • limits of surface disturbance. .

tunnel construction methods: • Classical methods • Mechanical drilling/cutting • Cut-and-cover • Drill and blast • Shields and tunnel boring machines (TBMs) • New Austrian Tunnelling Method (NATM) • Immersed tunnels • Special methods (Tunnel jacking.) . etc.

• The process for bored tunnelling involves all or some of the following operations: • Probe drilling (when needed) • Grouting (when needed) • Excavation (or blasting) • Supporting • Transportation of muck • Lining or coating/sealing • Draining • Ventilation .

These methods had much in common with early mining methods and were used until last half of the 19th century. Nevertheless some of the world’s great tunnels were built with these methods. • Supports were predominantly timber.e. then drift in another drift. then support. These craft-based methods are no longer applicable. and transportation of muck was done on cars on narrow gauge tracks and powered by steam. and so on.Classical Methods • Among the classical methods are the Belgian. English. Italian and American systems. progress in one drift. German. • Progress was typically in multiple stages i. although some of their principles have been used in combination up to present day. . Austrian. • Excavation was done by hand or simple drilling equipment. • The lining would be of brickwork.

Development of the heading then allowed additional bars to be erected around the perimeter of the face with boards between each pair to exclude the ground. the rear ends supported on a completed length of lining. .The English method (crown-bar method. and is tolerant of a wide variety of ground conditions. the forward ends propped within the central heading. permits construction of the arch of the tunnel in full-face excavation. The system is economical in timber. figure left) started from a central top heading which allowed two timber crown bars to be hoisted into place. but depends on relatively low ground pressures.

. As the lining advanced.• The Austrian (cross-bar) method required a strongly constructed central bottom heading upon which a crown heading was constructed. so was the timbering propped against each length to maintain stability. with longitudinal poling boards built on timber bars carried on each frame of timbering. The timbering for full-face excavation was then heavily braced against the central headings. The method was capable of withstanding high ground pressures but had high demand for timber.

where the method of construction. • The first sizeable tunnel in soft ground was the Tronquoy tunnel on the St Quentin canal in France in 1803. The method depends on the central dumpling being able to resists without excessive movement pressure transmitted from the side walls. thus a forerunner of the system of multiple drifts. • The Belgian system (underpinning or flying arch method) started from the construction of a top heading. which was extended by under. working from side headings.pinning.• The German method (core-leaving method) provided a series of box headings within which the successive sections of the side walls of the tunnel were built from the footing upwards. based on the use of successive headings to construct sections of the arch starting from the footing. was a forerunner to the German system described above. This heading was then extended to each side to permit construction of the upper part of the arch. propped approximately to the level of the springing of the arch for a horseshoe tunnel. in providing support to the top 'key' heading prior to completion of the arch and to ensuring stability while the invert arch is extended in sections. The system was only practicable where rock loads were not heavy. .

The Rove Tunnel near Marseille measured 22 x 15. . and was excavated with multiple drifts.40 m.

Classical multiple face excavation .

Mechanical Drilling and Cutting Crushing Strength of rock - .

Roadheaders .

Cut and Cover Method .

another to direct traffic to a bypassing street. • Another way of supporting the sidewalls of open trenches is to substitute sheet-pile walls by concrete curtain walls cast under bentonite slurry (ICOS method). and using steel struts. This type of trench wall becomes a requirement for maintenance of surface traffic due to the anticipation of vibration effects potentially harmful to the stability of buildings with foundations lying on cohesionless soils. This is especially a requisite in narrower streets trimmed with old sensitive buildings with their foundation plane well above the bottom level of the pit. One method is to restrict traffic to a reduced street width. . with the least disturbance during the construction period.• The principal problem to be solved in connection with this construction method is to how to maintain surface traffic.

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