Numerical and Experimental Analysis of the Mechanical Behaviour of Linings in Quasi-Rectangular Shield Tunnels


  • Weixi Zhang
  • Luc Taerwe (supervisor)
  • Wouter De Corte (supervisor)


With the rapid progress of urbanisation, an increasing number of infrastructure works have been constructed by engineers around the world since the past two centuries, among which there are many tunnels. Due to the advantages compared to other tunnel types, the shield tunnelling method is widely adopted for tunnel construction in cities. These shield tunnels are typically designed in circular shape due to the good mechanical behaviour of the round section. However, with the increasingly high-density utilisation of urban space, more and more city infrastructures are required to be constructed underground. Special-section shield tunnels can be designed to have a configuration that better matches the tunnel purposes, leading to a more effective utilisation of the urban underground space and reducing the number of tunnel excavations or the cost of building refurbishment (repair of local damage due to excessive settlement, foundation strengthening, demolishment and reconstruction etc.). Different special-section shield tunnels have been developed since the 1990s. In 2016, the concept of a quasi-rectangular shield tunnel (QRST) was introduced to further reduce the construction costs and to better solve the problem of subway construction when crossing a dense urban area. QRSTs have various advantages when compared with other special-section shield tunnels or traditional circular tunnels, and they are expected to be used for a wide range of applications. However, there is no specific design standard related to this kind of tunnel. The calculation method for a special-section shield tunnel commonly refers to circular tunnels, and its applicability for the QRST design lacks verification. Therefore, for the new shield tunnel type, the current research aims to perform a comprehensive study of the mechanical behaviour of a QRST lining, covering the new joint pattern used in the tunnel, the calculation model, the surrounding pressure distributions and a parametric analysis




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CSC number: 201706260255