Journal of Central South University of Technology

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1028–1033 | Cite as

Discrete element simulation of mechanical characteristic of conditioned sands in earth pressure balance shield tunneling

  • Li Wu (武 力)Email author
  • Fu-zheng Qu (屈福政)


The discrete element method (DEM) was used to simulate the flow characteristic and strength characteristic of the conditioned sands in the earth pressure balance (EPB) tunneling. In the laboratory the conditioned sands were reproduced and the slump test and the direct shear test of the conditioned sands were implemented. A DEM equivalent model that can simulate the macro mechanical characteristic of the conditioned sands was proposed, and the corresponding numerical models of the slump test and the shear test were established. By selecting proper DEM model parameters, the errors of the slump values between the simulation results and the test results are in the range of 10.3%–14.3%, and the error of the curves between the shear displacement and the shear stress calculated with the DEM simulation is 4.68%–16.5% compared with that of the laboratory direct shear test. This illustrates that the proposed DEM equivalent model can approximately simulate the mechanical characteristics of the conditioned sands, which provides the basis for further simulation of the interaction between the conditioned soil and the chamber pressure system of the EPB machine.

Key words

conditioned sands slump test direct shear test discrete element simulation earth pressure balance shield machine 


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Copyright information

© Central South University Press and Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical EngineeringDalian University of TechnologyDalianChina

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