An Improved 3D Finite Difference Model for Simulation of Double Shield TBM Tunnelling in Heavily Jointed Rock Masses: the DXL Tunnel Case

  • Bo SunEmail author
  • Shu Yang
Technical Note


The past few decades have witnessed an increasing utilization of TBMs for long and deep tunnels. Compared to drill and blast method, TBMs contribute significant savings in construction time and costs. According to Barla and Pelizza (2000), hard rock TBMs can be classified into three types: open type TBMs, single shield TBMs and double shield TBMs (DS TBMs). Owing to their suitability for different rocks, DS TBMs are being increasingly considered for use in rock tunnelling projects under high groundwater pressure and in deep tunnels (Hasanpour et al. 2014). However, DS TBMs may get stuck in squeezing grounds or adverse geological conditions. It is a time-consuming, costly, unsafe and slow labour intensive work to release the machine by manual excavation. Thus, the possibility of machine entrapment in deep tunnels is the main disadvantage of DS TBMs (Farrokh and Rostami 2009).

There are many factors that may result in machine entrapment, such as squeezing rock conditions...


Machine entrapment Shield jamming Ground collapse Double shield TBM Heavily jointed rock masses Ubiquitous-joint model 

List of symbols


Thrust force to overcome friction (MN)


Cutterhead thrust force (MN)


Required thrust force (MN)


Tunnel radius (m)

\({\sigma _H}\)

Major horizontal principal stress (MPa)

\({\sigma _h}\)

Minor horizontal principal stress (MPa)

\({\sigma _v}\)

Vertical stress (MPa)

\({\sigma _{xx}}\)

X-component of normal stress (MPa)

\({\sigma _{yy}}\)

Y-component of normal stress (MPa)

\({\sigma _{zz}}\)

Z-component of normal stress (MPa)

\({\bar {\sigma }_{xx}}\)

X-component of average normal stress (MPa)

\({\bar {\sigma }_{zz}}\)

Z-component of average normal stress (MPa)

\(\sum {\sigma _{xx}}\)

Sum of X-component of normal stresses (MPa)

\(\sum {\sigma _{zz}}\)

Sum of Z-component of normal stresses (MPa)



The authors are grateful to Mr. Amila Chaminda Wickrama Arachchi for his linguistic assistance. Special thanks go to Prof. Giovanni Barla and the anonymous reviewer for their constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PowerChina Chengdu Engineering Corporation LimitedChengduChina
  2. 2.China Harbour Engineering Company LtdBeijingChina

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