Soil Conditioning Tests on Sandy and Cobbly Soil for Shield Tunneling

Abstract

Soil conditioning is an important stage in shield tunnel construction that can effectively improve muck flow plasticity, reduce cutter head wear and improve tunneling efficiency, especially in sandy and cobbly soils. The aim of this paper is to obtain the optimal ratio of residue modifiers in sandy and cobbly soil and to improve the equipment used in residue-related shield machines. Residual soil in a sandy pebble layer was selected, and particles with sizes over 50 mm were removed to form soil samples. Through laboratory tests, the optimal ratio of the modifier was obtained, and the shield tunneling machine equipment was optimized. The research results for the laboratory tests and equipment optimization were verified and adjusted appropriately through field tunneling tests. The following results were obtained. 1) A 3% foaming agent C was selected for the soil conditioning tests. The final mass ratio of the bentonite mixed solution of water, bentonite, soda ash (Na2CO3), and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) was 6:1:0.028:0.035. 2) Improving earth pressure balance (EPB) shield machine equipment can improve the effects of soil conditioning. 3) Compared with the volume of residual soil, the optimal ratio of soil conditioning in sandy and cobbly layer was 13% water, 4–5% bentonite mixed solution and 12–15% foam. In addition, the maximum ratio shall be taken for the strata with poor grain composition. These results can be used to provide excavation guidelines for using an EPB machine under these soil conditions.

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Acknowledgments

The project presented in this article is supported by the Scientific and Technological Innovation Project of Excellent Talents in Shanxi Province, grant number 201605D211037.

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Correspondence to Xinsheng Ge.

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Zhen, Z., Ge, X. & Zhang, J. Soil Conditioning Tests on Sandy and Cobbly Soil for Shield Tunneling. KSCE J Civ Eng (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12205-021-0921-0

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Keywords

  • Shield tunnel
  • Sandy and cobbly soil
  • Soil conditioning
  • Laboratory tests
  • Field tests