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Tunnelling and

Underground Space
incorporating Trenchless
Technology Research
Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology 21 (2006) 594–601

Double-O-tube shield tunneling technology in the

Shanghai Rail Transit Project
Bob Chow *

Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co. Ltd., No. 118, Dalian Road, Shanghai 200082, China

Received 12 July 2004; received in revised form 30 September 2005; accepted 3 November 2005
Available online 11 January 2006


Double-O-tube (DOT) shield tunneling technology characteristics and research are described. Taking the construction of the DOT
shield tunnel in the Shanghai Rail Transit Project as a case study, the sophisticated techniques and knowledge applied to soft soil DOT
shield tunneling are summarized, creating a firm foundation for the broad application of DOT shield tunneling technology in the future.
 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: DOT; Shield; Tunnel construction

1. Introduction essary with a DOT shield, and construction risk is therefore

Three tunnel sections of Shanghai Rail Transit Project The origin of the DOT shield tunnel may be traced to
(from Kailu Road station to Nenjian Road station, Nenjian 1981, when a basic patent was applied for in Japan. The
Road station to Xianyin Road station, and Xianyin Road patent was registered in 1987, and a horizontal DOT shield
station to Huangxin Road station, as shown in Fig. 1) were tunnel field trial was performed in the same year. In 1988, a
excavated using a double-O-tube (DOT) shield in the vertical DOT shield tunnel trial was conducted in the field.
Shanghai Rail Transit Project. The DOT shield is composed In the construction of the national road No. 54 tunnel in
of two circular cross-sections on the right and left sides that Hiromiosa, a B 6090 mm · W1069 mm DOT shield, which
are horizontally integrated into a double-O shape. The two was designed and manufactured by IHI, was used to build
cutter heads utilize spoke type stiffening ribs and are the first DOT shield tunnel in the world with length of
engaged on a plane like two gear wheels. Under synchro- 853.8 m (Moriya, 2000).
nous control, these two cutter heads rotate at the same In 2002, Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co. Ltd. (STEC)
speed in opposite directions, maintaining a fixed phase imported a DOT shield and successfully applied it in the
angle to prevent head collision (Koyama, 2003). construction of the Shanghai rail transit system.
The DOT shield tunnel has an optimized cross-section
with a minimized section area, enabling the most efficient 2. Tests of DOT shield tunnel
use of underground space. Compared with a circular shield
tunnel, the DOT shield tunnel may pass narrower under- 2.1. Structural tests of DOT segment
ground corridors, and the impact on nearby structures is
minimized (Sterling, 1992; Moriya, 2000). Moreover, the In 1998, STEC made model segments on a scale of 1:3
cross-passage between two circular shield tunnels is unnec- and conducted structural ring tests under the assembly con-
ditions of cross-joint and staggered joint, respectively
(Fig. 2). Afterward, a structural ring test on a scale of 1:1
Tel.: +86 21 6586 9999; fax: +86 21 6541 9892. was performed in October, 2002 (Fig. 3). Theoretical anal-
E-mail address: ysis was carried out for segment deformation during the

0886-7798/$ - see front matter  2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
B. Chow / Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology 21 (2006) 594–601 595

Fig. 1. Shanghai rapid rail transit planning.

Fig. 2. Structural trial of segment (in 1:3).

Fig. 3. Structural trial of segment (in 1:1).
construction stage. In December, 2002, STEC and Rail
Transit Design & Research Institute conducted a structural (C) The influence of various construction data (such as
test of the DOT segment lining with 28 loading points on a shield thrust and shield tail grouting) on stress inside
scale of 1:1. the segment.
In October, 2003, STEC conducted a structural field (D) Damage factors for the segment lining.
trial of the dynamic loading of a DOT tunnel segment
(Fig. 4). The condition of the loaded DOT segment during 2.2. Stress on DOT shield tunnel segment
assembly was analyzed based on the following points:
(1) The stress level of the segment during assembly is
(A) Observation of dynamic stress on the DOT shield higher than that of a circular segment.
tunnel segment during assembly. (2) The assembly of DOT shield tunnel segments is more
(B) Stress redistribution of the DOT segment in the initial complicated than that of circular shield tunnel seg-
and later phases of ring formation. ments. A rather large deformation in the Y-shaped
596 B. Chow / Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology 21 (2006) 594–601

3.2. Cross-section of tunnel

The segments were erected to form tunnel rings lined

with staggered joints. Pre-embedded granular cast iron
hand pocket and short bolts were adopted in the axial
and annular connections between segments and rings.
The size of the bolts is M27. A hydrophilic strip was used
for water stoppage.
As shown in Fig. 6, each ring consists of 11 segments, in
which there are 8 curved segments (A), one large Y-shaped
segment (B), one small Y-shaped segment (C), and one
prop segment (Fig. 6). The segment ID is 5700 mm, OD
Fig. 4. Field dynamic trial of structure of segment (in 1:1). 6300 mm, ring width 1200 mm, and distance between cen-
ters 4600 mm.

block at the top may result in extreme stress concen- 3.3. DOT shield
trated on the upright prop, and may even lead to the
damage of the upright prop if unheeded. The DOT shield applied in this project was designed and
manufactured by IHI (Japan), and assembled by STEC. It
is a B 6520 mm · W11120 mm mud injection double-O-
3. Engineering application tube EPB shield. The main technical data of the EPB shield
is shown in Table 1, and its structure is shown in Fig. 7.
3.1. Project profile
3.4. DOT shield construction technology
The total length of the DOT tunnel is 2688 m; maximum
slope 28%; minimum plan curvature R = 495 m and thick- 3.4.1. Earth pressure
ness of covered soil layer 5.2–12 m. The difference between the earth pressure setting and
The major soil strata through which the tunnel passes theoretical value was significant. Based on the statistics
are: gray clayey silt, gray sandy silt and gray silt clay and an analysis of actual data, we had K0 = 1.0 for shallow
(Fig. 5). cover and K0 = 0.8 for thicker cover. During the erection

Plan View

Geological Section Map

Fig. 5. Plan and sectional views of tunnel.

B. Chow / Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology 21 (2006) 594–601 597

3.4.4. Synchronous grouting

The synchronous grouting points are fixed along the
groove of the upper and lower Y-shaped segments. Tube
grouting is performed synchronously at both points. The
grouting volume is controlled at around 180–200% of the
theoretical annular volume. The grouting pressure is con-
trolled at less than 0.3 MPa.

3.4.5. Erection of segments

Two independent erectors erect segments. The lower Y-
shaped segment is erected first and is followed simulta-
neously by standard segments on both sides (from bottom
to top), then the upper Y-shaped segment and the middle
upright prop are erected last (Fig. 9).
Fig. 6. Section of tunnel. During erection, the precise placement of the lower Y-
shaped segments should be strictly ensured so that all con-
nection bolts can be properly installed. In order to make
of segments, the earth pressure on the shield front face the erection of the upright prop easier, when the upper
appeared to have significantly dropped (Fig. 8). Moreover, Y-shaped segment is erected and before the upright prop
stress drops to such a large degree that stratum deforma- is installed, bolts for segments on both sides of the upper
tion at the shield cutting position occurs. However, earth Y-shaped segment should not be tightly fixed. This allows
pressures on the right and left areas do not display such a certain adjustment tolerance for the upper Y-shaped seg-
an obvious difference. (If the shield is not at a right attitude ment. The erection gap for the upright prop can be
or soil properties change, pressure deviation between the enlarged with the combined assistance of the top segment
right and left areas will arise.) support, the left erector and the shield jacks. During erec-
tion of the upright prop, the peripheral gap of the prop
3.4.2. Total thrust should be monitored to prevent excessive construction
Total thrust is controlled within 12,000–17,000 kN. load. The axial and annular segment connection belts
should also be gradually tightened. Finally, the lining circle
3.4.3. Torque of cutter head retainer should be steadily applied to ensure the circularity
When the shield drives in a consolidated zone near the of the tunnel.
launching or receiving shafts, cutter head torque is rather It is more difficult to erect DOT shield tunnel segments
large (maximum 80% of rated torque). During normal than circular segments. However, due to the adoption of
excavation, the torques of the right and left cutter heads iron hand pocket and shorter connection bolts, tunnel lin-
are stable at around 20% of rated torque. ing quality after erection is better than that of linings using

Table 1
Major technical data
Item Technical data Item Technical data
Main body of shield
OD 6520 · 11,120 mm Erector Revolution angle ±220
ID 6370 · 10,970 mm Rotary driver Hydraulic motor
Length 12,745 mm Number of equipment 2
Seal at tail 3 layers Lubrication unit Position Driving and bearing
positions of cutter head
Total thrust 68,600 kN Method Oil pump
Cutter head
Support method Supported by Mucking system Type Screw with shaft
central axis
Synchronous control Frequency conversion Mucking rate 140 m3/h
Driving mode Motor driving Number of equipment 2
Speed 1 r/min Greasing Seal form Seal with soil and sand
Max. rated torque 5766 kN m Greasing mode Oil pump
Max. torque 3844 kN m Rotary deviation Type Oil jack
Stroke of copy cutter 120 mm correction facility Stroke of deviation ±65 mm
Number of copy cutter 2·2 Number of equipment 16
598 B. Chow / Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology 21 (2006) 594–601

Fig. 7. Schematic diagram of shield. 1. Shield shell; 2. Cutter head; 3. Copy cutter; 4. Replaceable earth pressure gauge; 5. Fixed earth pressure gauge; 6.
Observation hole; 7. Man lock; 8. Globular injector; 9. Central cutter; 10. Thrust cylinder; 11. Top segment support; 12. Real circle retainer; 13. Cutter
head drive unit; 14. Erector; 15. Tail seal; 16. No. 1 Screw conveyor; 17. No. 2 Screw conveyor.
Earth pressure (Kpa)


Earth pressure on right circle (kPa) Earth pressure on left circle (kPa)

excavation erection

Fig. 8. Change of earth pressure before and after excavation and erection.

Fig. 9. Segment erection sequence.

longer bolts. Step and stretch between rings or segments The difference between the left and right parts of the
and tunnel lining deformation are within specifications. tunnel (i.e. the large turning angle of the shield) may lead
Tail deformation of the DOT shield tunnel lining is to opposite null gaps between the shield shell and the seg-
insignificant. ment parts (Fig. 10).
The deflection of the shield will cause the elevations of
3.4.6. Axial control the right and left tunnels to differ and the upright posts
DOT shield plan and elevation control standards are the to incline, directly impacting tunnel lining stress and qual-
same as those of circular shield (e.g. axial control is within ity. Therefore, the control of DOT shield deflection is key
±40 mm). However, special technology is required for the to tunnel quality control, and represents a major technical
rotary control of segments. difficulty.
B. Chow / Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology 21 (2006) 594–601 599

No gap Shield 3.4.7. Comparison between DOT shield and regular shield
The comparison between DOT shield and regular shield
in construction techniques is shown in Table 2.

3.5. Breaking-out and breaking-in technology

3.5.1. Shield breaking-out Portal consolidation. SMW and mix in situ pile
are adopted to consolidate the soft eye areas. Mix in situ
No gap
pile is constructed outside the diaphragm wall, and H steel
Fig. 10. Sketch of shield tail gaps. is inserted into the first row of the piles to create so-called
SMW. Grouting consolidation was applied in the narrow
In order to control DOT shield deflection, various mea- space between the diaphragm wall and the mix in situ pile.
sures, such as deflection correction jacks, copy cutters, Consolidation area: 3.6 m outside the diaphragm wall,
mucking control, eccentric grouting control, jack group 2 m extended from both sides of the soft eye, 2.5 m above
organization, and single side loading, are used singly and the soft eye, and 2 m under the soft eye.
concurrently to control the shield turning angle within 0.6. Designed consolidation strength: 0.8–1.2 MPa.

Table 2
Comparison between DOT shield and regular shield in construction techniques
Items DOT shield Regular shield
Suitability to stratum Suitable to soft soil like gravels, sands, fine sands and clay. To improve the properties of sandy soil, proper amount of water,
grout or other additive should be added
Key techniques
Earth pressure control In the case of spoke-type cutter head, the earth pressure In the case of plane-type cutter head, the change of earth
acts more related and sensitive to ground movement at the pressure will lag behind ground movement at the front face
shield front face
Experiential factor of earth pressure: 0.8–1.0. Experiential factor of earth pressure: 0.6–0.9
The earth pressure on both side can be controlled
Stance control Change of oil pressure distribution (or jack group Change of oil pressure distribution (or jack group
organization) can be used to control the shield organization) can be used to control the shield stance of
stance of plane and altitude plane and altitude
Correction jacks, copy cutters, mucking control, Using Clockwise/counter clockwise rotation of cutter head
eccentric grouting control, jack group organization, to control shield deflection
single-sided loading or their combination can
effectively control shield deflection
Segments erection Charged by 2 erectors; Y-shaped segment down side is first Charged by single erector
installed in position, then the standard segments on both
sides are assembled simultaneously and then the
Y-shaped segment on above is installed followed by
erecting the pillow in the middle to finish
During installation of pillow, the surrounding clearances Segments are assembled from top to bottom expect the
should be inspected to avoid excessive working load K-segment which will be installed as the last procedure
exerting on it
Synchronous grouting Two tube grouting is performed Retarder grouting is performed
The grouting volume is controlled at 180–200% of The grouting volume is controlled at 180–200% of
theoretical volume theoretical volume
Grouting in two positions, located in grooves of two sides Grouting positions distributed at the upper side of section
of Y-shaped segments, performed simultaneously.
Allocation basically follow the rule of upper 60–80% and
lower 20–40%
Ground settlement control Set the earth pressure equal to the pressure of undisturbed Take measures to improve the properties of soil to enhance
soil outside so as to reduce disturbance to soil at front face the plastic-flow ability of soil in cabin
and upper side
Prepare back grouting system in advance to assure the Fill in time the gaps left behind the spoke-type cutter head
quality of filling between shield shell and segmental lining
Lay points to monitor ground movement effectively so as Take advantage of grouting hole on the top to inject
to adjust working factors in time lubricant so as to reduce the adhesion of soil at grooves of
600 B. Chow / Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology 21 (2006) 594–601 Portal sealing. In light of the poor waterproofing 3.6. Analysis of surface settlement due to DOT shield
performance at the hollowed positions between the two cir- construction
cles of the DOT shield, a special airbag encased in a cord
fabric rubber belt is used. The airbag can be filled with The impact of DOT shield excavation on the surround-
air to firmly tighten the cord fabric rubber belt around ing soil is similar to that of a circular shield excavation (Bai
the shield, thus preventing water and soil loss. Meanwhile, et al., 2000).
several grouting tubes are installed around the soft eye in
case of emergency. In this way, the area around the soft 3.6.1. Transverse settlement trough
eye is efficiently waterproofed. The surface settlement influence zone is mainly within
an area twice as large as that of the shield diameter (2D) Breaking-out section construction. Earth pressure along both sides of the axial. The settlement volume in this
in the consolidated breaking-out section is set to area amounts to about 95% of total settlement volume
0.14 MPa. When the shield has passed through the consol- (Fig. 11).
idated section, earth pressure is set to 0.18–0.2 MPa. Con-
trolling the shield axial in the breaking-out section is rather 3.6.2. Vertical settlement trough
difficult. During construction, it is necessary to adjust earth According to statistics, settlement caused before the cut-
pressure and use a combination of jacks to minimize tunnel ting face reaches the point is less than 20% of total settle-
axial deviation. ment (sometimes there is even a little heave instead). The
settlement caused when the shield passes through the point
3.5.2. Shield breaking-in amounts to 50–80% (even 90%) of total settlement. Settle-
The front balance pressure on the shield must be strictly ment after the passage of the shield accounts for about 20%
controlled to reduce pressure fluctuation. The driving speed of the total (Fig. 12).
is controlled within 10 mm/min. Cutter head torque and
screw conveyor torque should be closely monitored when 3.6.3. Comparison of between surface settlement caused by
passing through the consolidated section. If the cutter head DOT shield and circular shield excavation
torque is greater than 50%, an appropriate amount of ben- (1) The influence area in front of the cutting face of a
tonite slurry or water may be injected into the cutter head DOT shield is similar to that of a circular shield at
face using an injection pump. an inclination of 45 (Fig. 13).

Cutter head arrival
Settlement (mm)

Shield passage
Shield tail passage
Final settlement


-15 -12 -9 -6 -3 0 3 6 9 12 15
Distance between surveying point and axial line (m)

Fig. 11. Transverse settlement trough.

Ground surface settlement curve of the surveying point at 28m of axial line
The deformation is 36.88mm when
Settlement (mm)

the shield machine passed through
the surveying point, which amounts
to 82.01% of total deformation Settlement curve
Cutter head arrival
-40 Tail shield passage
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 3 2 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 4 8 50 52 54
Mornitoring time - Driving ring No. (H)

Fig. 12. Vertical settlement trough.

B. Chow / Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology 21 (2006) 594–601 601

(3) Soil lumps in the top groove of the DOT shield move
forward together with the DOT shield. Therefore, the
surface heaves first, resulting in serious ground sur-
face settlement afterwards.
(4) The grouting holes are located at the upper and lower
grooves in the middle of the shield. The grout largely
fills the void between the lining and the ground. How-
ever, when the shield is driving in poorer or softer
Fig. 13. Influence scope in front of the cutter head. ground, the void between the lining and the ground
is quickly buried by the surrounding soil instead of
being filled with grout, resulting in ground surface
(2) The width of the transverse sectional settlement settlement.
trough created by DOT shield is larger than that cre-
ated by circular shield; i.e., circular shield trough 4. Concluding remarks
width is about 2D, while DOT shield trough width
is about 4D. The DOT shield has a number of advantages, such as
(3) The transverse sectional settlement trough created by reducing occupied underground space and mucking vol-
a DOT shield may be regarded as approximately the ume, decreasing impact on the surrounding stratum, speed-
same as a settlement trough created by two circular ing up construction progress, eliminating cross-passages
shields. that would be necessary between two parallel circular
(4) The pattern of DOT shield settlement may vary with shield tunnels, and reducing the size (width) of the working
working conditions. The maximum settlement point shaft and the total project cost.
may appear at the center or the axial of the left or The successful completion of the first DOT shield tunnel
right circle. in Shanghai marks a new beginning for tunneling in China.
A great deal of useful technical information has been
obtained through scientific study and construction practice.
3.6.4. Major DOT shield settlement factors
(1) The DOT shield cutter head is spoked, and cannot References
effectively support the soil body in front of the cutter
head. If the set pressure of the soil chamber is differ- Bai, Y., Liu, Q.W., Zhao, J., 2000. Deformation analysis based on shield
ent from the actual pressure, the pressure difference tunneling and soil conditions with case studies from Shanghai Metro
will result in settlement or heave. tunnels. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Tunnels
and Underground Structures, Singapore, 26–29 November, 527–534.
(2) The diameter of the cutter spoke is up to 60 cm, and Koyama, Y., 2003. Present status and technology of shield tunneling
during the rotation of the cutter head, a vacuum zone method in Japan. Tunneling and Underground Space Technology 18
is formed behind the spoke. If the plastic-flow prop- (2–3), 145–159.
erty of the soil in the shield soil chamber is poor, Moriya, Y., 2000. Special shield tunneling methods in Japan. In:
the void space that continuously appears behind the Proceedings of the International Conference on Tunnels and Under-
ground Structures, Singapore, 26–29 November, 249–254.
spoke will not be filled promptly. The soil in front Sterling, R.C., 1992. Developments in excavation technology, a compar-
or above may flood in, and surface settlement will ison of Japan, the US and Europe. Tunneling and Underground Space
eventually result. Technology 7 (3), 221–235.