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Underground Space Use: Analysis of the Past and Lessons for the Future Erdem & Solak (eds)

) 2005 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN 04 1537 452 9

High pressure jet grouting in tunnels a case study

A. Da Vi1, M. Marotta1 & G. Peach2
1 2

ITAI Engineering & Construction Co. Independent Tunnelling Consultant

ABSTRACT: Using the authors experience gained on design and construction management on one particularly difficult NATM tunnel located in Taiwan this paper reviews by way of two collapses how high pressure jet grouting (400 bars) was successful and efficient implemented, with benefits for both client and contractor. The paper will discuss two collapses case studies. These collapses occurred in the Top Heading of a 120 m2 tunnel being excavated by NATM. The first collapse was 90 m and the second collapse was 290 m in length. In both cases the tunnel were completely blocked, and the collapse extended up to the surface. This paper will detail how high pressure jet grouting was decided upon as the preferred recovery methodology and the management process that was adopted in order to fast tract the jet grouting design. The details of the surface trials will be covered and the configuration of the vertical and horizontal jet grouted columns will be explained in detail. The plant requirements will be covered including the additional plant required and the modifications that were carried out to the existing site plant. This was all carried out within an extremely tight construction programme. This paper will explain the programme arrangements planned and then in detail discuss the as built performance giving the details of times for design, mobilization, cycle time per canopy, along with all the time performance data for the individual jet grouting elements employed with the jet grouting option. The instrumentation requirements will be explained and the field data recovered with be discussed and lesson learnt covered.

1 1.1

INTRODUCTION Hukou tunnel north

project. It includes 2 Emergency exits (Adit A and B). This paper will review the collapse that occurred in the Northern section of Hukou tunnel. 1.2 Geology of Hukou tunnel north

The Hukou tunnel is part of the 345 km Taiwan High Speed Railway, a US$ 15 billion project, under BOT model, running from Taiwans capital, Taipei, to the second major city, Kaoshiung located in the south of Taiwan. Operational services are scheduled for October 2005. Civil works have been constructed by 12 major Joint Ventures, for a total of 39 km of mined tunnels, 8 km of Cut & Cover tunnels, 251 km of viaduct and bridges, and 31 km of Cut & Fill embankments. For tunnels, the necessity of double track required the excavation section of approximately 110120 m2, in order to guaranty a finished tunnel cross section of minima of 90 m2 in accordance to aerodynamic requirements associated with the high-speed train velocity of 300 km/h. NATM has been the main excavation methodology. The Hukou tunnel, with a total length of 4.3 km, is the third longest tunnel, after the Paghuashan tunnel (7.4 km) and the Linkou tunnel (6.4 km), and is considered as one of the most difficult tunnels on the

The Hukou Tunnel alignment cuts through the Hukou terrace in unconsolidated, un-lithified sedimentary materials, dated as Pleistocene. The Tientzuhu Formation, mostly encountered at North portal section, consists of a poorly graded gravel bed and with sandy and silty lenses, ranging from a few meters to 30 m in thickness. The Yangmei formation is mainly composed of alternating silty clay and silty sand, with an estimated thickness of 900 m and underlies the whole area traversed by Hukou tunnel. Three major fault structures were encountered during the excavation of the northern Tunnel section and three collapses have occurred within the vicinities of these three geological structures. The three faults arranged according to the sequence encountered during the excavation are (1) Adit-A, (2) Yanghsiwo, and (3) S-1032 faults.


Table 1.

Homogeneous hydro geological zones. Zone limits

Zones Zone I Zone II Zone III

From 64 200 64 402 66 000

To 64 402 66 000 66 200

Remarks Low water table High water table Low water table


Hydro geological conditions

Hydro geological conditions along the Hukou Tunnel North alignment generally were determined by geological structures. The Yanghsiwo Fault in the north and S-0132 fault in the south play the role of impermeable barriers for inclined water-bearing sandy layers and divide the area in to three main zones: First and third zone initially had low water level providing dry conditions to the excavation while in the central portion the original groundwater level was close to the ground surface and several aquifers with different hydraulic heads were crossed by tunnel excavation. A total of 224 deep wells from the surface, with diameters of 300350 mm, drilled to a depth 2025 m below the tunnel invert with a 35 hp pump, were constructed from both sides of tunnel alignment at an offset of 1015 m from centerline. Total pumped water quantity reached the volume of 4,718,743 m3 by June 2004. Distance between wells varies from 25 m to 15 m for these areas, with high critically permeability and water accumulation due to fault barrier, located at the borders of the Zone II. 1.4 Possible effects of dewatering on collapses

migration of the internal stress on the aquitards. As more fluid is squeezed from the interior of the aquitard, larger internal stress propagates into the aquitard, until a point where the internal stress exceeds the preconsolidation stress and the compressibility dramatically increases. This could have caused an interruption of the internal stress equilibrium between the wet and dry side of each faults. For the South Collapse area, deformation monitoring carried out during construction did not show any significant alarm values until a few hours before the collapse occurred. This could be because of the nature of the clayey soil surrounding the tunnel being able to suddenly release the stress.

2 2.1

COLLAPSES Introduction

During the construction of the Hukou tunnel, three collapses occurred. A first minor collapse happened during the excavation of the Adit A (emergency exit tunnel), while approaching the main tunnel alignment. The major two collapses (named North and South in relation to their position from the Adit) both occurred nearby the two previously described faults. 2.1.1 North collapse North collapses occurred at chainage 64 520 on 2nd Aug. 2002 (nearby the southern wet side of the Yanghsiwo fault) when top heading had already holed through, and during bench excavation with permanent invert concrete just 10 m behind and with temporary ring closure of the heading in front assured by a structural temporary invert shotcrete. During collapse the ground surfaces (overburden 60 m) sank and a crater, with diameter of 16 m by 9 m depth, was clearly visible. The collapsed area covered a total length of approximately 90 m with a total volume of collapsed soil estimated as 7000 m3. Visible cracks occurred in inner lining, showing a total collapse-affected area of approximately 180 m. 2.1.2 South collapse South collapse started on 31st October 2002 whilst top heading excavation was ongoing, with cracking and stripping of shotcrete, nearly 50 m behind the face. Collapse itself started at chainage 66 012, approximately where the S-1032 fault intersect the tunnel at the East side around 80 m behind the face, and developed by a domino effect until the 3rd November 2002, with a total of 14.000 m3 of material entering the

The Zone II mainly consists of alternate sandy layers (aquifer) and less permeable beds, but permeable enough to transmit water, similar to silty-clay layers (aquitard). Prior to any dewatering, an internal equilibrium between the wet and dry side of each fault was in place. Dewatering causes a compression of the aquifer system, where the support previously provided by the pore fluid is transferred to the granular structure. When the load of the granular structure remains less then any previous maximum load (pre-consolidation stress), dewatering creates only a small elastic deformation of the aquifer system with a small displacement at the surface. Long term pumping raises the stress on the aquitards beyond the maximum pre-consolidation stress, the aquitard compact in an irreversible mode. The dewatering was carried out only on the wet side of each fault for a period long enough to cause a


tunnel. Emergency measures including reinforcing rings, timber props and an air mortar backfilled bulkhead stopped the advance of the collapse some 271 m from the original tunnel face. Affected area was however judged as far as 350 m beyond the collapsed area, as settlements of 40 mm were measured in the area between the already executed invert concrete and the top heading. Installation of additional rings and timber supports was performed immediately, stopping the ongoing deformations.



Loss mitigation work

For both collapses a similar approach was taken in order to stop further failures, consisting in the backfilling of surface craters, in the installation of additional support rings and in the strengthening by means of cement grout through self-drilling bolts, in the affected areas.



Preliminary void filling

Figure 1.

RD1 jet grouting consolidation scheme.

Initially for the north collapse, pressure grouting from surface was planned in order to fill voids and for improve soil characteristics in the surrounding of the area to be re-excavated. However, the result of the site investigation showed a limited efficiency of this methodology for the actual site conditions, caused by leaking from inside the tunnel and by the impossibility to recover consolidate sand samples. Therefore initial plan was reduced and grouting from surface considered for void filling only; same principle was applied to second south collapse.

For both collapses the reinstatement of dewatering system by wells was mandatory prior to re-excavation commencement. 2.5 Introduction to jet grouting methodology

Considering the nature of a collapsed area, and the result of the site investigation, it was necessary to choose and design a consolidation system able to: Guaranty a certain geometrical accuracy of the treatment area. Fit different ground conditions Avoid impact on the dewatering system Be easily estimated in term of execution time, material consumption and costs. Use existing plant wherever possible. Be verified in field trials before implementation. Be robust and flexible. High pressure jet grouting was judged as the most feasible technology able to fit the listed requirements. In the jet grouting methodology, first a borehole, drilled up to the desired depth, is carried out with a rotary drilling machine with the end element of the drilling rod provided of both cutting tools and nozzle for injection. At the completion of the drilling the treatment is then executed by gradual withdrawal of the rod with controlled step time, and at same time, by the rotation of the rod and the attached head with nozzle that radialy jets the cement slurry in to the soil with high energy and impact (400 bar), mixing it with injected


Redesign of supports

2.4.1 North collapse Redesign finalized two support classes, for re-profiling (RD-2) and for re-excavation in full collapsed area (RD-1 ref. Figure 1) New designed support classes, differs from the originals by the use of H beam instead of lattice girders, the increased thickness of inner lining, the use of high strength shotcrete, the removal of rock bolting and the introduction of jet grouting technology as main consolidation/support element. 2.4.2 South collapse New designed supports for south collapse applied the same principles already adopted for the north collapse redesign, but dimensioned bigger due to, more critical collapse distance and higher overburden. Six to nine meters rock bolts were included on the tunnel shoulders.


material and creating a solid cement column. The volume of treated soil can vary in accordance to the speed of rotation, the number and diameter of the nozzles, and the pressure of injection. Those parameters are defined at first by site trials. Jet grouting effectiveness changes in accordance with the soil characteristics. Its efficiency increases from cohesive to un-cohesive soils (typically the circumstances occurring in a collapsed area). Therefore the jet-grouting technique is more efficient exactly where is more necessary to execute soil improvement. It should be noted that execution of jet grouting did not affect the dewatering system during the two collapses reconstruction work. Details of arch canopy and face consolidation The redesign proposed a ground treatment by means a reinforced jet-grouting canopy, able to create an artificial arch to contain the area to be excavated. The columns reinforcement by grouted steel pipes gives continuity to the structure in materials where jet grouting is less efficient. The flexibility of this methodology is mostly in creating a double structure: an arch structure guaranteed by the longitudinal co-penetration of the columns, and a longitudinal beam structure given by the steel pipes. Face consolidation by mean of horizontal jet grouting columns reinforced with fiberglass rods was designed in order to limit a possible face extrusion and with the purpose to reduce the pre-convergences ahead of the face and avoid further failures. Fiberglass rod, as column reinforcement, provides the same continuity as the steel pipe in the arch canopy; however the nature of fiberglass material (high tensile strength and low shear strength) allows an easy cutting by mining equipment while excavation proceeds. Design parameters are showed in Table 2 & 3. 2.5.2 Details of foot consolidation Jet grouting arch canopy itself could act as a load if poor bearing capacity of the soil occurs at the top
Table 2. Jet Grouting parameters for canopy and face consolidation. Parameters Expected column diameter Pressure of injection Flow of injection Speed of raising rod Speed of rotation Nozzle numbers Nozzle diameter Value 600 400 310 2448 815 1 2.23.8 Unit measure mm ba m3/h cm/min RPM set mm

Table 3. Crown/face consolidation North & South Collapses. Class Crown protection canopy Type Execution from Module length (m) Number of columns per module Expected column dia. (mm) Columns length (m) Overlap (m) Overlap (numbers of) Face consolidation Execution from Excavation module length (m) Number of columns per module Expected column dia. (mm) Columns length (m) Overlap (m) North Jet grouting Sub-horiz. Tunnel 57* 48 600 15 810* 23* Jet grouting Tunnel 10 1620 600 15 5 South Jet grouting Sub-horiz. Tunnel 7 48 600 15 8 2 Jet grouting Tunnel 7 2035 600 15 8


* First and second values are related to Re-excavation (RD1) and Re-profiling (RD-2) classes. Table 4. surface. Jet grouting parameters for vertical columns from Value 2000 2025 450 1015 150190 612 1015 1 2.23.8 Unit Measure mm bar bar l/min l/min cm/min RPM set mm

Parameters Expected column diameter Pressure of injection (air) Pressure of injection (cement) Flow of injection (air) (1000) Flow of injection (cement) Speed of raising rod Speed of rotation Nozzle numbers Nozzle diameter

Table 5. Class

Foot consolidation for North & South Collapses. North Jet grouting Vertical Surface Heading 2000 8.00 1.50 South Jet grouting Vertical Surface Heading 2000 10.00 1.50

Foot consolidation Type Execution from Execution prior to Expected column dia (mm) Column length (m) Columns spacing (m)


heading foundation. For this reason it was necessary for pre-excavation foot consolidation methodology to be adopted this enables transfer of the load into depth. The full collapse area disturbed soil is below the top heading foot, sub-horizontal columns, executed from tunnel below the heading, were not judged as sufficient and excluded because of the difficulty of drilling at the optimum angle. The time taken to drill these sub-horizontal columns would greatly impact upon the cycle/programme time. Bi fluid technology was then applied in order to install large diameter vertical columns from the surface with sufficient bearing capacity. In each of the collapses world record depths were achieved. In the bi-fluid system, the shearing action is accomplished by the high-pressure injection of cement slurry controlled by a ring of compressed air at approximately 20 to 25 bars. It reduces the dispersion of the cement slurry, and thus increases the penetration action, permitting the execution of larger diameter columns (up to 2 m in diameter) For the previously described jet grouting process it was decided to execute the pre-drilling, the jetting rod installation, and the jet grouting operation with separate plant in order to speed up the cycle time. The temporary filling of the pre-drilled holes, by bentonite-cement slurry, solved the problem of keeping their medium term integrity. In additional the execution of a pre-drilling provided a chance to check, by inclinometer instrumentation, the actual deflection from theoretical vertical axis of each drilling. Actual average deviation on North collapse has been 0.29% corresponding to 17 cm at 58 m depths, with a maximum deviation of 0.74%, within the required specifications (less then 1%). The section applied for south collapse re-excavation consisted in a double canopy jet grouting, 15 m in

length for 7 m excavation. The layout, including vertical column from surface, differs from the one applied for north collapse mainly for the elevation of the vertical columns, extended at an elevation of 2 m higher then top heading foot and executed with a 90 m average overburden, this protected the sides of heading during excavation. A higher number of face jet grouting was necessary in order to stabilize the face. An average number of 36 (with a maximum of 43) fiber glass reinforced columns, 15 m in length, were performed each 7 m-excavation module, with columns pattern studied time by time in accordance to the actual face observation.


Monitoring was executed with extreme attention during the entire project. Settlement and convergence were measured by high accuracy optical survey, with at least twice daily near the areas affected by construction activities (excavation, grouting, etc.), including surface settlement. In additional, geotechnical instrumentation from inside the tunnel (pressure cells, Steel ribs and shotcrete strain gauges, rock bolt axial force meter), and from surface (extensometers, inclinometers), was locally utilized in accordance to special conditions, as during collapses re-excavation. A comparison between maximum-recorded deformations is shown in Table 6. The tunnel deformations behavior, and as a consequence allowable limits before failures, was variable in similar overburdens in accordance with the geological conditions. Settlement increased for top heading, bench, or invert in accordance to the bearing capacity of their foundation, causing rotation in case of nonhomogeneous material in the tunnel sides. The allowable deformation before failure is not only depending on those factors, since the south collapse occurred in an area with low value deformations and with good geological conditions able to support an excavation rate that was for the previous 4 months over 5 m/day, including arch protection by pipe roofing.

Table 6. Area

Maximum settlement and convergence. Stage before collapse re-excavation before collapse* re-excavation Max Settl. Max Conv. (mm) (mm) 350 60 50 80 330 40 40 80

North collapse North collapse South collapse South collapse Figure 2. 3D model RD1 Jet grouting 5 m modules.

* Related to top heading only where collapse started.


Table 7. Category

Equipment and plant. Characteristics Set 1 1 1 1 1 3 4 2 2 2 Location Surface Surface Surface Tunnel Tunnel Surface Surface Surface Surface Surface

Pre-drilling Rod installation Crane Drilling/ jet grouting Drilling/ jet grouting High-pressure pump High-pressure pump Silos Mixer plant Agitator

2 booms 1 boom max 400 bars max 700 bars

Figure 3. Table 8. Date 2nd Aug 2002 31st Aug 2003 1st Oct. 2002 October 2002 14th Jan 2003 1st Mar. 2003 25th Mar. 2003 26th July 2003 July 2003 27th Sep. 2003 10th Nov. 2003 11th Jan. 2004 Chronology of North Collapse area (180 m). Status

Collapse #2 surface plant arrangements.

Progress days 0 29 60 165 211 235 358 421 465 527

Collapse End of emergency measures Start of site investigation Start re-design Start excavation from S to N Start pre-drilling from surface Start re-profiling from N to S Break trough of heading End of re-design Break trough of bench Invert concrete completion Arch concrete completion


In order to optimize the arrangement, for both collapses a single plant was installed on the surface, for the execution of jet grouting from either surface and inside tunnel. This was possible by the drilling of services holes from surface to the tunnel roof, from where highpressure pipes, service pipes and cables were installed. The surface arrangement frees the required space in tunnel, therefore it could be applied also to small tunnels, or where top heading is shortly followed by other excavation and/or concreting phases. 5 OVERALL PROGRAM

South collapse was the most critical in term of overall schedule. When the collapse happened the completion of excavation was scheduled within 3 months.

At start of re-excavation the gained delay was already of over 5 months. At completion of lining work the delay was reduced to 1 month, and it was fully recovered by the track work execution. Break trough of headings occurred after 358 days (north collapse) and 461 days (south collapse) respectively. Its therefore clear how the South collapse reconstruction, extending for a length 50% higher then the north one, was positively beneficed by the first collapse experience, in term of management, design (22 months for North Collapse VS 11 months for South collapse), workmanship and plant. Major technical improvements consisted in the use of a two booms drilling machine for the execution of the jet grouting from tunnel, in the use of an additional guide lattice girder with pre-installed steel pipe through which jet grouting drilling could be executed without penetrating the shotcrete layer, and in a systematic void filling from surface through the jet


Table 9. Date

Chronology of South Collapse area (271 m). Status Collapse End of emergency measures Start of re-design O.S.C.* heading completion End of loss mitigation works Start pre-drilling from surface Start Jet Grouting from surface Start heading excavation N to S End of surface jet grouting Start heading excavation S to N End of re-design Start bench excavation N to S O.S.C.* for invert concrete Break trough of heading O.S.C.* for arch lining Break trough of bench Break trough of invert End of Invert Concreting End of Arch lining concrete Progress days 0 6 83 92 166 212 237 261 343 421 459 461 494 495 496 517 544

31st Oct 2002 6th Nov 2002 December 2002 22nd Jan 2003 31st Jan 2003 15th Apr 2003 31st May 2003 25th June 2003 19th July 2003 9th Oct 2004 October 2004 26th Dec 2003 2nd Feb 2004 4th Feb 2004 8th Mar 2004 9th Mar 2004 10th Mar 2004 31st Mar 2004 27th Apr 2004

* O.S.C. as Original Schedule date of Completion.

grouting pre-drilling holes, in order to create better conditions for jet grouting execution.

6 6.1

CONCLUSIONS General consideration

The great engineering and management experience gained during the Hukou tunnel construction is a good example of fully recovery of very unfavorable and unexpected conditions. With the occurrence of two major collapses and a tight construction schedule in front, finally no delay was caused to the further line development. The use of the Jet grouting methodology was successfully implemented from management side to construction side using the experience of all the qualified personnel involved in the project. Effectiveness of this consolidation methodology has been confirmed, proving it as applicable even to worst soil conditions.

The possibilities of utilize existing plant, with some minor improvement, provides a fast mobilization time with benefit on the construction schedule. A remarkable issue is that jet grouting didnt affect the dewatering pumping system, considering the small difference (7 m) between the alignment of the pumping wells and the one of the vertical jet grouted columns. For future projects, a special consideration should be taken on effect of dewatering in particular geological conditions. Effect of speed of excavation in relation to the designed type of supports should also be further analyzed. With an optimum arrangement, the consolidation and excavation time for a 7 m module can be around 8 days, permitting an excavation progress rate greater the 26 m/month. Use of jet grouting technology permits the development of standardized procedures, resulting in a quite constant excavation ratio, providing benefits on scheduling and cost estimations.