Transactions of Tianjin University

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 191–200 | Cite as

TBM Disc Cutter Model Based on Admissible Energy Principles

  • Dianhua Zhu
  • Wei Guo
  • Liwei Song
Research Article


Disc cutters are the most critical tool for excavation by tunnel boring machine (TBM). Based on the energy conservation law, finite-element modeling, and elastic–plastic continuum theory for tunneling by TBM, the interaction between disc cutters and rock mass was examined. First, the disc cutter motion was studied to establish the disc cutter strain equations as a function of time. Second, by using elastic–plastic theory, a rock strain model was constructed. Finally, a three-directional force model with time-varying characteristics was established for disc cutters during rock breaking. The model was applied to the Qinling Mountains Tunnel of the Lan-Yu Railway. Model cutterhead thrust and torque values were found in good agreement with actual data. In brief, the model can be used to predict the TBM performance and examine the mechanism of rock breaking.


Tunnel boring machine Disc cutter Micromechanics 



This study was supported by the National Key Basic Research and Development Plan (973 Plan) of China (No. 2013CB035402) and the Tianjin City Cooperation Demonstration Project of China (No. 2012GKF-0606).


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Copyright information

© Tianjin University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical EngineeringTianjin UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.The Eighteenth Group Limited of China Railway ConstructionTianjinChina

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