Evaluation and Optimization of the Effective Parameters on the Shield TBM Performance: Torque and Thrust—Using Discrete Element Method (DEM)

  • Lohrasb FaramarziEmail author
  • Alireza Kheradmandian
  • Amin Azhari
Original Paper


Cutterhead torque and thrust are the two main designing parameters of the shield TBM, which have to be evaluated and optimized, based on the interaction between the TBM and excavated material. This study employs the discrete element method (DEM) to simulate the tunneling procedure of the line-7 of Tehran underground urban train tunnel utilizing the micro mechanical parameters calculated from back analysis on direct shear tests. The resultant torque and thrust are then compared against the actual parameters and then with those estimated from the numerical analyses. This result shows that DEM is able to estimate the TBM torque and thrust applying actual boundary conditions and material properties for the model. Furthermore, the impact of ground properties, overburden height, linear and radial velocity on cutterhead torque and thrust and its performance are evaluated and optimized.


Discrete element method Equilibrium ground pressure method Penetration rate Shield TBM Thrust Torque 



The authors would like to thank Sepasad Co. for providing us with the required information for this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lohrasb Faramarzi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alireza Kheradmandian
    • 1
  • Amin Azhari
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mining EngineeringIsfahan University of TechnologyIsfahanIran

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