Favorable driving direction of double shield TBM in deep mixed rock strata: numerical investigations to reduce shield entrapment

Sen Wen, Chunshun Zhang, Ya Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In deep mixed rock strata, a double shield TBM (DS-TBM) is easy to be entrapped by a large force during tunneling. In order to reduce the probability of the entrapment, we need to investigate a favorable driving direction, either driving with or against dip, which mainly associates with the angle between the tunneling axis and strike, θ, as well as the dip angle of rock strata, α. We, therefore, establish a 3DEC model to show the changes of displacements and contact forces in mixed rock strata through LDP (longitudinal displacement profile) and LFP (longitudinal contact force profile) curves at four characteristic points on the surrounding rock. This is followed by a series of numerical models to investigate the favorable driving direction. The computational results indicate driving with dip is the favorable tunneling direction to reduce the probability of DS-TBM entrapment, irrespective of θ and α, which is not in full agreement with the guidelines proposed in RMR. From the favorable driving direction (i.e., driving with dip), the smallest contact force is found when θ is equal to 90°. The present study is therefore beneficial for route selection and construction design in TBM tunneling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-245
Number of pages9
JournalGeomechanics and Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2019


  • Double shield TBM
  • Driving direction
  • Mixed rock strata
  • TBM entrapment
  • Three-dimensional numerical simulation
  • Tunnel engineering

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