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The Efficiency of the Ability of Isolation Piles to Control the Deformation of Tunnels Adjacent to Excavations


There is a lack of research on the mechanisms by which isolation piles affect displacements in deep soil layers and the use of isolation piles to control the displacement and deformation of the existing tunnels adjacent to deep excavations. This paper examines a large, deep excavation project in which isolation piles were used to protect a nearby existing tunnel. A finite-element model that considers the small-strain characteristics of the soil was used to simulate this project. After the numerical model is verified, it is used in a parametric analysis of the mechanisms by which isolation piles control the displacement of deep soil layers and the deformation of tunnels near excavations. The results show that isolation piles have both a barrier effect and a traction effect on the surrounding soil and adjacent tunnels. When the traction effect is larger, isolation piles can exacerbate the horizontal displacement of the soil and tunnel within a certain depth range and actually increase tunnel deformation. Burying the isolation piles reduces this traction effect and improves their ability to isolate tunnels from displacement. All else being equal, isolation piles more efficiently control deformation if they are near the tunnel.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51508382 and 41630641) and The National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant Nos. 2017YFC0805407 and 2016YFC0802008). This support is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to X. S. Cheng.

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Zheng, G., Wang, F.J., Du, Y.M. et al. The Efficiency of the Ability of Isolation Piles to Control the Deformation of Tunnels Adjacent to Excavations. Int J Civ Eng 16, 1475–1490 (2018).

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  • Deep excavation
  • Isolation pile
  • Tunnel
  • Traction effect
  • Barrier effect