Numerical Investigation on Muck Pressures During EPB Shield Tunneling with Varying Discharge Ratio Based on Coupled PFC3D/FLAC3D Method

Conference paper
Part of the Sustainable Civil Infrastructures book series (SUCI)


In this study, an efficient numerical method coupled PFC3D and FLAC3D was presented to simulate the tunneling behaviors of EPB shield. Groups of tunneling cases with different muck-discharging ratios were conducted in PFC3D and FLAC3D with data exchanging each other in every step. The results show the muck pressures in the back of spokes are invariably less than those behind the opening of cutterhead. Moreover, pressure differences exist permanently not just between left side and right side in chamber, but in different longitudinal positions within the domain affected by tunneling, and the values of these pressure differences are subjected to muck-discharging ratio in chamber. These findings extend knowledge regarding the tunneling mechanisms of EPB shield. Besides, the proposed coupling method can be popularized with all studies about the interaction between engineering devices and soil as well.


Earth pressure balanced (EPB) shield Coupling FLAC3D/PFC3D Discharge ratio Discrete element method (DEM) Muck pressure 



The financial supports from National Key R&D Program of China (No. 2017YFB1201204) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51778637) are acknowledged and appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Civil EngineeringCentral South UniversityChangshaChina

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