Qualitative evaluation of the influence of blocky grounds on TBMs performances in deep Alpine tunnels

Andrea Delisio, J. Zhao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


High in situ stresses strongly influence the stability of the excavation face in deep tunnels. Brittle failure of the rock can lead to the formation of blocks at the face which may have a deep impact on a TBM. This paper introduces the ongoing research on this topic at the Rock Mechanics Laboratory (LMR) of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The aim is to show the problem by focusing on the principal aspects involved and in particular to underline the influence of a blocky ground on the TBM Utilization Factor (UF) and total Advance Rate (AR). This is done by considering the case of the Lötschberg Base Tunnel. Some "representative" sections with face structure varying from regular to blocky are selected and the related variation of the machine utilization factor and advance rate is studied.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHarmonising Rock Engineering and the Environment - Proceedings of the 12th ISRM International Congress on Rock Mechanics
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9780415804448
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Society of Rock Mechanics Series of Symposia and Conferences 2011 - China National Convention Center (CNCC), Beijing, China
Duration: 18 Oct 201121 Oct 2011
Conference number: 12th


ConferenceInternational Society of Rock Mechanics Series of Symposia and Conferences 2011
Abbreviated titleISRM 2011
OtherInternational Congress on Rock Mechanics of the International Society for Rock Mechanics 2011

Proceedings title = Harmonising Rock Engineering and the Environment
Internet address


  • Back analysis
  • Mechanical excavation (TBM/RBM)
  • Rock burst
  • Rock stress
  • Tunnelling

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