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Gereon Behnen DOI: 10.1002/gete.201400010


Tobias Nevrly
Oliver Fischer

Soil-structure interaction in tunnel lining analyses


In general, tunnel analyses are complex engineering tasks. This Boden-Bauwerks-Interaktion bei der Berechnung von Tunnel-
is mainly due to non-linear effects determining the overall load- schalen. Der Tunnelbau und die wirklichkeitsnahe Berechnung
bearing behaviour (even under service load conditions) because und Bemessung von Tunnelschalen gehren zu den anspruchs-
no clear separation between action and resistance is possible vollsten Aufgaben im konstruktiven Ingenieurbau. Dies begrndet
(safety concept) plus a series of interdependencies and interac- sich vor allem durch die komplexen nichtlinearen Effekte, die (be-
tion effects that must not be neglected in most cases. In order to reits unter charakteristischen Lasten) das Gesamttragverhalten
achieve a realistic simulation of the actual behaviour and to gain bestimmen, weil sich die Einwirkungen und Widerstnde nicht
reliable results, non-linear effects in the ground as well as physi- voneinander trennen lassen (Teilsicherheitskonzept), und vor
cal and geometrical non-linearities in the structural behaviour of dem Hintergrund einer Vielzahl von Abhngigkeiten und Interak-
the tunnel lining, and the interaction of the soil and structures, tionen, die in den meisten Fllen nicht vernachlssigt werden
need to be modelled carefully. When simplifications are to be in- drfen. Um das tatschliche Verhalten wirklichkeitsnah abzubil-
troduced into the design, it is important that the simplified ap- den und belastbare Ergebnisse zu erzielen, mssen bei der Mo-
proach be conservative, that deformation results are in a realistic dellbildung sowohl die nichtlinearen Effekte im Baugrund als
order of magnitude and, finally, that the analyses lead to ade- auch physikalische und geometrische Nichtlinearitten in der
quate solutions regarding costs and workability on site. Tunnelschale ebenso wie die Boden-Bauwerks-Interaktion
Over the past decade, the finite element analysis (FEA) method systematisch bercksichtigt werden. Sofern Vereinfachungen
has become more and more established internationally as a gen- eingefhrt werden, ist darauf zu achten, dass diese eher kon-
eral numerical tool suitable for these diverging requirements. servative Ergebnissen liefern, die damit berechneten Verfor-
Where FEA is used in an appropriate way, the method allows al- mungen in einer realistischen Grenordnung liegen und
most all-embracing detailed modelling and may provide compre- schlielich, dass diese zu baubaren und wirtschaftlichen Lsun-
hensive and realistic results taking into account all relevant ef- gen fhren.
fects, including soil-structure interaction. The crucial factor in Mit Blick auf die Bercksichtigung dieser teilweise divergieren-
this is the determination of a realistic ground-structure stiffness den Anforderungen hat sich in den letzten Jahren die Finite-Ele-
ratio, especially if non-linear characteristics are to be taken into mente-Methode (FEM) international zunehmend als allgemeines
account, because the reaction forces (bedding) and the distribu- und vielseitiges numerisches Hilfsmittel in der Tunnelplanung
tion of the load portions to be carried by the tunnel lining and the etabliert. Bei richtiger Anwendung erlaubt die FEM eine weitest-
supporting ground are mainly determined by the stiffness and in- gehend allumfassende Berechnung mit Abbildung smtlicher
teraction parameters. Inadequate estimation of these governing relevanter Effekte bis hin zur genauen Erfassung der Interaktion
parameters may lead to an unrealistic assessment regarding the von Boden und Bauwerk und ist in der Lage, wirklichkeitsnahe
loadbearing behaviour of the tunnel and thus depending on the Ergebnisse zum Trag- und Verformungsverhalten zu generieren.
magnitude and direction of the deviation to a wrong and uneco- Vor allem bei nichtlinearen Analysen kommt dabei der Ermittlung
nomic or unsafe design. During the authors many years in design der Steifigkeitsverhltnisse in der Boden-Bauwerks-Interaktion
management, detailed design and value engineering and per- besondere Bedeutung zu, da u. a. die Bodenreaktionskrfte (Bet-
forming independent checking and design reviews for large inter- tung) und der anteilige Lastabtrag von Tunnelschale und Bau-
national tunnel projects, their experience was that FE modelling grund durch diese Steifigkeits- und Interaktionsparameter ma-
may in numerous cases lead to improper results if the basic rela- geblich bestimmt werden. Eine unzutreffende Wahl dieser be-
tions and plausibility checks were not considered in an adequate stimmenden Parameter kann zur fehlerhaften Einschtzung des
way. In the light of this, the case studies presented in section 5 Tragverhaltens und damit abhngig vom Vorzeichen und der
illustrate some typical practical examples. Gre der Abweichung zu unwirtschaftlichen oder unsicheren
The present paper is intended to point out the most relevant rela- Ergebnissen fhren. Im Zuge der langjhrigen Ttigkeit der Auto-
tions, interdependencies and typical problems in soil-structure ren sowohl im Design Management und der Ausfhrungsplanung
interaction analyses which should be well considered when per- als auch in prfender und entwerfender Funktion bei groen in-
forming tunnel analyses utilizing the FEA method. The main aim is ternationalen Tunnelprojekten konnte immer wieder festgestellt
to provide valuable recommendations and advice on the formula- werden, dass Finite-Elemente-Berechnungen nur ungeeignete
tion of reliable, practice-oriented and robust numerical models in Ergebnisse liefern, wenn die grundlegenden Kompatibilittsbezie-
order to improve the overall quality of tunnel analyses. hungen nicht in angemessener Weise bercksichtigt werden; vor
allem entsprechenden Plausibilittskontrollen kommt daher auch
eine besondere Bedeutung zu. Vor diesem Hintergrund werden in

96 2015 Ernst & Sohn Verlag fr Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin geotechnik 38 (2015), Heft 2
G. Behnen/T. Nevrly/O. Fischer Soil-structure interaction in tunnel lining analyses

Abschnitt 5 typische Fallbeispiele aus der Baupraxis vorgestellt tions, the stiffness ratio typically ranges between 5 and
und diskutiert. 50, whereas in hard rock conditions the value may rise to
Der vorliegende Beitrag setzt sich zum Ziel, die wesentlichen Zu- 1000 or more. According to the Tunnel Lining Design
sammenhnge, Interdependenzen und typischen Probleme und Guide [11], in tunnels where is approx. 120 or less
Fehlerquellen bei der numerischen Berechnung von Tunnelbau- (equal to a modular ratio Es/Ec 0.01), the lining is stiff in
werken (FEM) unter Einbeziehung der Boden-Bauwerks-Interak- comparison with the ground, whereas at ratios > 120 there
tion aufzuzeigen und kritisch-konstruktiv zu diskutieren. Insbe- is considerable load sharing between ground and lining,
sondere sollen dabei Empfehlungen und Hinweise gegeben wer- and the lining can be deemed to be a relatively flexible
den, die eine sowohl wirklichkeitsnahe als auch praxisgerechte, structure. At the ultimate limit state (ULS), the strength ra-
zuverlssige und robuste Modellbildung ermglichen und damit
tio which describes the rock shear strength or UCS rela-
nicht zuletzt die Gesamtqualitt von Tunnelberechnungen fr-
tive to the compressive strength of the lining (e.g. d fck for
dern.
plain concrete structures) is frequently the more rele-
vant characteristic. Load sharing and strength ratio
1 Soil-structure interaction should be in a proper relationship.
The ground stiffness for elastic conditions can be de-
In general, the term soil-structure interaction refers to scribed by various stiffness properties:
all analytical models where the behaviour of the ground Modulus of elasticity (or Youngs modulus) E: derived
and the behaviour of a structural member are closely from uniaxial compression tests (2 = 3 = 0)
linked and interact significantly. The ground behaviour is Oedometric modulus (or constrained modulus) Es: de-
characterized by the reactive soil stresses, their distribu- rived from oedometer tests (2 = 3 = 0), dependent on
tion and the associated ground deformation. Typical load- principal vertical stress 1
bearing structures with a dominant soil-structure interac- Modulus of elasticity E for plane strain conditions
tion are, for example, strip foundations, retaining walls, (2 0 and 3 = 0): derived analytically from the Ec (lin-
foundations to statically indeterminate frames and bridge ing) or Es (ground) moduli
structures as well as tunnel linings.
A characteristic value describing the soil-structure The different moduli are related to each other via Poissons
interaction is the stiffness ratio (i.e. ratio of ground stiff- ratio . Relationships and typical values for modulus of
ness to flexural rigidity of structural member). For tunnel elasticity and Poissons ratio are given in Behnen et al. [8].
linings, the ITA guidelines for the design of tunnels [1] de- For elasto-plastic and non-linear elastic models of
fine the stiffness ratio thus: ground behaviour, reference is made to the relevant litera-
ture, such as the Geotechnical Engineering Handbook
(ES R 3)/(EC IC ) (1) [12].

where: 2 Methods of analysis


ES deformation modulus of the ground [MPa] 2.1 Empirical and semi-empirical models
R radius measured on the centre-line of the tunnel
lining [m] Empirical and semi-empirical models are common prac-
Ec Ic flexural rigidity of the tunnel lining (Ec = Youngs tice in the design of tunnels in rock conditions. Examples
modulus of concrete [MPa], Ic = moment of inertia of empirical models are the rock mass classification sys-
of lining [m4/m]) tems known as Q or RMR ratings as well as the GSI sys-
tem. The convergence-confinement method can be char-
For precast segmental tunnel linings (circular tunnel cross- acterized as a semi-empirical method that depends on the
section) characterized by longitudinal joints, the effective type of analytical calculation forming the background to
flexural rigidity may be approximated according to Muir the resultant rock behaviour curve. All methods try to de-
Wood [2]. For non-circular tunnels an equivalent radius scribe the rock mechanically by way of simple curves or a
should be used. few characteristic limits rather than using rock mass and
An extreme value 0 relates to a rigid non- joint strength parameters. The required rock support is
deformable structure (and/or extremely soft ground), mainly derived from classification numbers according to
whereas characterizes an extremely flexible struc- assessments precedent in practice. The empirical methods
tural member (and/or very stiff ground/rock). For tunnel may lead to reasonable results if the rock conditions and
linings, the lining thickness d can be estimated with the respective tunnelling methods are well known. This is
d R/10 and, consequently, Eq. (1) results in (assuming the case for countries where the methods mentioned were
Ec 30 000 MPa to be an average, representative value for developed based on local experience and confirmed prac-
concrete linings): tically in many projects. However, it should be said that
these methods are neither generally applicable nor scien-
R
3 tifically based, proven design methods. For some critical
1
(ES R 3)/ EC 0.40 Es [MPa] (2) comments please refer to Anagnostou and Pimentel [5].
10 12

2.2 Analytical methods, bedded-beam model


The stiffness ratio is the main influencing factor deter-
mining the load sharing between ground and tunnel lining In the bedded-beam spring model, or bedded-beam model,
when elastic behaviour is prevalent. In soft soil condi- the behaviour of the ground is simulated by independent

geotechnik 38 (2015), Heft 2 97


G. Behnen/T. Nevrly/O. Fischer Soil-structure interaction in tunnel lining analyses

individual springs. The spring model considers neither the [9] for retaining walls or DIN 1054, section 7.7.3 [13], for
actual stress distribution in the ground nor the resulting horizontally loaded piles. In general, the approaches for
ground movement. the bedding modulus in soil mechanics are based on the
Single springs with associated spring stiffness C following equation:
[N/m] may be merged to a continuous elastic support Cs
[N/m] or a two-dimensional (areal) support Ca [N/m]. All C ES/L (5)
definitions C, Cs and Ca are suitable depending on the
chosen calculation model. For simplicity, in this paper the The length parameter L can be interpreted as the limiting
bedding conditions for bedded-beam models are indicated depth for deformation calculations where the stresses
with C, irrespective of the actual modelling. The general (which are assumed to be constant along L) generate an
bedding coefficient C is defined as the ratio of the ground elastic deformation w = L = L/ES depending on the
reaction stresses (or forces) r to the radial deformation w modulus ES. According to St. Venant, L may be assumed
of the tunnel lining along the structure/ground interface. to be one to two times the maximum dimension of the rel-
For bedded-beam models, C is designated as the coeffi- evant structural member, e.g. the width of a foundation,
cient of subsoil reaction or in German terminology as the embedment depth of a retaining wall or the diameter
the bedding modulus. The German term will be used in of a pile.
the following. It must be taken into account that the constrained
The subscripts r or t are often introduced to specify modulus ES is not a fixed ground characteristic, but varies
the direction of the stresses and the associated deforma- depending on the stress history, deformation conditions
tion, i.e. in a radial or tangential direction: and directions (i.e. non-orthotropic with horizontal (sub-
script h) and vertical (subscript v) values.
C r r /w r (3) The bedding modulus C for tunnel analyses according
to Eq. (4) can be derived similarly: term R/ (from Eq. (4))
Commonly applied models describing the bedding modu- may be interpreted as the characteristic length L of Eq. (5),
lus C are: which means that L is the width of a virtual ground body
a constant bedding modulus for all stress magnitudes where horizontal bedding contact pressures h initiate de-
(linear elastic ground behaviour), formations wh at the tunnel extrados (see Fig. 1).
a constant bedding modulus for compressive stresses on- In general, it is possible to evaluate the bedding mod-
ly, i.e. zero for tension, and ulus C for the design of tunnel linings in FEA calculations
a stress-dependent bedding modulus (e.g. elasto-plastic in combination with Eq. (3). However, the use of FEA
or bilinear behaviour). methods results in variable and non-linear bedding mod-
uli that, for practical reasons, need to be simplified for use
Generally, non-linear stress or deformation-dependent in a subsequent bedded-beam analysis.
bedding springs are applicable and may be favourable. The German EBT recommendations [4] propose the
However, it is usual practice in tunnel analyses to assume use of a simplified equivalent modulus of subgrade reac-
a simplified model with linear elastic ground behaviour tion for bedded-beam calculations:
(e.g. according to the ITA shield tunnel lining guidelines
[6]). However, attention should be paid to the correct ap- i) shallow tunnels (H 2D) C r 1.0 ES/R ( 1.0) (6)
plication of a certain bedding model as there are several
models that differ in their respective load assumptions. ii) deep tunnels (H 3D) C r 0.5 ES/R ( 0.5) (7)
For instance, there are numerous ways of representing the
crown area in a bedded-beam model as well as for the as- where H is the overburden on the tunnel crown. Accord-
sumptions for tangential bedding. The authors wish to em- ing to these recommendations, the characteristic length L
phasize that the assumed bedding model requires a com-
patible and associated load model (refer to Ahrends et al.
[7] and Behnen et al. [8]).
For tunnel lining analysis, the bedded-beam model
was introduced by the German EBT recommendations [4],
and the experience in numerous tunnel projects has
proved it to be good practice. According to [4], the radial
bedding modulus Cr may be approximated with the fol-
lowing simple relation:

C r ES/R, (4)

where is a correction factor as explained below ( = 0.5


or 1.0).
In this report the bedding modulus and the factor
according to Eq. (4) are derived from the soil mechanics
point of view.
In soil mechanics, different approaches are used de- Fig. 1. Interpretation of the bedding modulus relation
pending on the application, e.g. according to EAB, EB 102 according to Eq. (4)

98 geotechnik 38 (2015), Heft 2


G. Behnen/T. Nevrly/O. Fischer Soil-structure interaction in tunnel lining analyses

may be assumed to be between half and the full width of 2.4 Bedded-beam models in comparison to finite element
the tunnel (L = 1.0 R ... 2.0 R). analysis (FEA)
The recommended values for were determined by
recalculation and comparative studies of former numeri- The ITA guidelines for the design of shield tunnel linings
cal and analytical analyses from the 1960s and 1970s for [6] present and describe various competent methods for
soft soil conditions. Additional recalculations by the au- the design of tunnel linings without indicating a prefer-
thors of this paper have generally confirmed the EBT rec- ence for a specific computational model or design method.
ommendations (see Behnen et al. [8]). As the action effects Currently, there are numerous methods for the analy-
in tunnel lining analyses do not react very sensitively to a sis, and different methods are in use in different countries.
variation in the bedding conditions, the simplifications In Anglophone regions, numerical methods such as FEA
considered in [4] compared with more detailed ap- are widely used and have replaced empirical and analyti-
proaches are in most cases not relevant for the lining de- cal methods in recent years. This is described in the Tun-
sign. nel Lining Design Guide of the British Tunnelling Society
In German-speaking regions, calculations using the [11]. Soft ground is generally considered as a continuum,
bedded-beam model and the use of a bedding modulus C whereas jointed rock masses are modelled as discontinua
according to Eq. (6) ( = 1.0) are common practice, i.e. for or sometimes as continua with equivalent rock mass para-
concept studies, checking calculations or 3D models. For meters. In German-speaking regions, both bedded-beam
non-circular tunnels, the bedding modulus is derived from spring models and numerical models (FEA) are used, and
the (varying) radius of curvature R() along the lining (lo- often as mutual plausibility checks. For further details on
cation specified by the angle with the crown ). The max- the use of numerical methods depending on the main de-
imum bedding stiffness is obtained in areas with maxi- sign purpose, please refer to the Recommendations of the
mum curvature, i.e. the transition region between sidewall Committee on Numerical Methods in Geotechnics of the
and invert. German Geotechnical Society (Part 2) [10]. In general,
In Anglophone regions, the bedded-beam spring each method has its specific advantages (and disadvan-
model approach according to EBT [4], including the bed- tages), and the designer should be clearly aware of the lim-
ding modulus according to Eqs. (4), (6) and (7), is not very its and weaknesses, which should be systematically reflect-
popular as tunnel analyses are usually performed with the ed in the design strategy.
help of FEA models. Indications of a ground reaction co- What are the specific advantages of the particular
efficient C based on elastic theory can be found in Muir methods in comparison?
Wood [2]: The ITA guidelines for the design of tunnels [1] and
[6] summarize the main specifics of FEA compared with
3E bedded-beam models. According to these guidelines, FEA
CR (8)
(1 ) (5 6) R methods offer the following possibilities, which cannot be
computed with bedded-beam spring models:
or in the AFTES recommendations [14]: Computation of the displacement and stress-strain state
of the surrounding ground at any location within the
E model grid
CR (9)
[(1 ) R] Consideration of the influence of tunnel construction
methods and driving sequences on existing adjacent
Eqs. (8) and (9) take the form of Eq. (4) by including structures and the adjacent ground and vice versa
Youngs modulus E (instead of the constrained modulus Consideration of the interaction of parallel tunnels at a
Es) and a slightly modified approach for correction factor reduced spacing
, which is dependent on Poissons ratio . Analysis of the principal stability of the excavation or
the reduction in the vertical loads due to arching effects
2.3 Numerical modelling in the ground
Analysis and investigation of 3D effects
The most commonly used numerical design method is Modelling of complex material laws for the discretiza-
finite element analysis (FEA). This method is suitable for tion of the ground, e.g. elasto-plastic ground behaviour
describing the ground-structure interaction in a realistic or different behaviour for loading, unloading and reload-
manner. In order to model complex non-linear ground or ing
time-dependent behaviour realistically (e.g. due to con-
struction phases) or to evaluate deformations in detail, The key advantage of FEA methods is their versatility, as
there is no alternative to FE models. General overviews of one model can be used to describe several effects, i.e. the
numerical analysis models are given in Meschke [17] and behaviour of ground and the structural behaviour includ-
Wittke and Wittke-Gattermann [18]. ing effects from the construction process as well as the in-
Numerical models are well established in geotechni- teraction of all these effects. Bedded-beam models are not
cal engineering for complex situations involving geotech- suitable for analysing these items.
nical category GK3 according to EN 1997-1 [3]. The Ger- Owing to the overall confidence in numerical calcu-
man Recommendations of the Committee on Numerical lations, the user should be aware of several discrepancies
Methods in Geotechnics of the German Geotechnical in their application to tunnel design:
Society [10] provide guidance on the use of numerical The large number of input parameters required implies
methods. an accuracy that doesnt exist. The variety of design pa-

geotechnik 38 (2015), Heft 2 99


G. Behnen/T. Nevrly/O. Fischer Soil-structure interaction in tunnel lining analyses

a) b) c)
Fig. 2. Comparison of interface forces in FEA and bedded-beam models

rameters often leads to confusing results where the indi- hensible analysis models in combination with the valuable
vidual influence and interaction of the different parame- knowledge of experienced tunnelling engineers should be
ters is uncertain and has to be addressed in supplemen- preferred instead of relying on complex and highly sophis-
tary, advanced sensitivity studies. ticated computational models. This design philosophy is
There is inevitably a considerable scatter and uncertain- in line with the observational method according to EN
ty in the geotechnical properties. The most appropriate 1997-1 [3], where an extensive monitoring regime to evalu-
geotechnical design parameters from an extensive range ate actual conditions and select design modification op-
of soil and rock descriptions are characteristic or mean tions is mandatory. In any case, decisions should be taken
values. As this is in contrast with the computational de- by a team of experienced and approved engineering ex-
mand for accuracy, the range and uncertainty of input perts.
parameters should always be addressed in sensitivity
studies. 2.5 Combination of bedded-beam model and FEA
For reasons of simplicity, particular effects relevant for
the design are frequently not considered in FEA models For numerous applications it would be desirable to link
(e.g. changes in groundwater conditions, rock wedge FEA and bedded-beam models such that the FEA ap-
falls) and have to be analysed separately. Links between proach serves for assessing the loads (acting on a bedded-
the different models are generally not possible. beam system) only, while the bearing capacity of the tun-
The results of FEA calculations might exceed the engi- nel lining is analysed by a bedded-beam model. Unfortu-
neers experience or not reflect the actual ground behav- nately, this link is almost impossible or can only be
iour, e.g. deformation figures do not correspond with achieved with considerable effort. For further explanation,
project-specific monitoring results. It is usual practice in refer to the example (Fig. 2).
tunnelling to calibrate the FEA models subsequently by In an FEA the forces in the connecting or interface
way of back-analyses based on the monitored values. elements along the circumference of the tunnel lining can
A load increase at ULS (application of partial safety simply be picked from the nodal forces. For a comparison
factors) according to Design Approach 2a of DIN EN with the spring forces in a bedded-beam model it should
1997-1 [3] rather than increasing the load effects is be considered that these interface forces (Fig. 2c) usually
not generally feasible as the main loading (resulting represent the sum of the initial loading, e.g. the primary
from the ground) is not explicitly introduced and the stress state (Fig. 2a) and the ground reaction resulting
breakdown into loads and reactions (resistances) is not from bedding resistance (Fig. 2b). It is not possible to
possible with an overall finite element analysis (see sec- separate these effects in the FEA in order to obtain pri-
tion 3). (Note: DA2a = partial factors applied to actions; mary forces (= initial loading on undeformed tunnel lin-
DA2b = partial factors applied to action effects.) ing) and deformation-induced forces (= ground reaction).
Owing to the complexity of the calculation models and Consequently, the initial loading to be applied to a bed-
the multitude of calculation results, plausibility checks ded-beam model has to be derived analytically. According
and the appropriate evaluation of the results in line with to the EBT recommendations [4], the initial loading may
engineering practice is extremely difficult. be based on a simplified primary stress state where
Numerical problems or the discarding of iterations with- h = k0 v. However, this approximation does not ac-
out reaching predefined and appropriate limit values count for pre-deformations, construction stages or addi-
may occur without being noticed by the engineer. tional ground arching effects, which can only be calculat-
ed by FEA models.
The lack of reliability and the difficulties in checking and
verifying calculation results are often not acceptable. 3 Safety concept for tunnel design (EC 7)
Therefore, comparative calculations using simple and reli-
able models should be performed. In cases where the re- In Europe generally, the safety concept of Eurocode 7
sults from FEA and bedded-beam models differ excessive- (EC 7) is mandatory for a tunnel design. As EC 7 does not
ly, often a design strategy based on simple and compre- consider tunnel-specific items, the complex design analysis

100 geotechnik 38 (2015), Heft 2


G. Behnen/T. Nevrly/O. Fischer Soil-structure interaction in tunnel lining analyses

of tunnel structures and the respective analysis models reason, a realistic analysis of tunnel linings has to account
have to account for several particular considerations that for the deformation compatibility considering actual
are in contrast to usual geotechnical models for shoring to ground properties and the stiffness properties of the lining
excavations or foundations: in an appropriate manner. This requires a well-balanced
Below ground, soil and rock often act as loading and estimation of the stiffness ratio , the ground stiffness ES
loadbearing elements at the same time. Therefore, and and the coefficient of subgrade reaction C.
in order to ensure a safe approach, a careful decision In Germany the partial safety concept according to
has to be taken in every individual situation as to which EN 1997-1 [3] in combination with DIN 1054 [13] has to be
way the partial factors for actions and resistances are to applied when assessing tunnel linings taking into account
be applied. In numerical calculations utilizing complex design approach DA-2b (ULS, type STR). In this ap-
FEA models it is not possible to make a clear distinction proach, partial factors are applied to the effects of actions
between these functions. E (e.g. bending moments) and to the material resistance
Load combinations with maximum overburden and Rm of the tunnel lining (e.g. concrete or steel). The appli-
minimum lateral pressure usually govern the respective cation of partial factors to ground properties (X, e.g. shear
design of the tunnel lining. The minimum coefficient of strength) or ground resistances (including bedding reac-
lateral earth pressure ko corresponds to the most stable tions) is neither prescribed nor necessary. As no ground
ground conditions. parameters are modified by partial factors, DA-2b current-
With regard to water pressure, the minimum groundwa- ly reflects the soil-structure interaction in the best possible
ter level is normally the governing configuration regard- way and leads to realistic deformations. On the other
ing the design of tunnel linings. hand, the designer must be aware that partial safety fac-
In order to achieve realistic and representative results, tors are applied to the tunnel lining only, while the sup-
assumptions regarding the tunnel linings bedding con- porting reaction of the ground always is taken into ac-
ditions should be close to reality, i.e. including an appro- count without any safety factor (this is why Design Ap-
priate assessment of the stiffness ratio and the expect- proach DA-1 using a double check is applied in numer-
ed deformations. ous countries).
The actual non-linear stress-strain curves for reinforced One disadvantage of all FEA models (irrespective of
or unreinforced concrete may be taken into account in the specific design approach) is that due to the integral
order to obtain a realistic or economic design (e.g. ther- modelling of both tunnel lining and ground in one overall
mal analyses). model a calculated load increase for ULS analyses may
not simply be achieved by multiplying characteristic loads
The soil reactions of typical geotechnical structures by partial safety factors. Regarding specific assessment
(rather than tunnel linings) often result directly from the models (e.g. second-order theory, thermal analyses, high
acting loads (actions) due to the equilibrium conditions. level of ground mobilization), a load increase is mandato-
Generally, the analysis starts with the consideration of all ry because in comparison with SLS (unfactored loads),
possible loads and results in the evaluation of the soil re- the stiffness ratio , and hence the load distribution of lin-
action as the required resistance. Action and resistance ing and ground, changes when load-induced non-linear
are defined unambiguously. Therefore, it is possible to in- characteristics or plastic reactions are activated. Upon
troduce different partial safety factors for actions E and reaching the bearing capacity of one member (ground or
resistances R and check the bearing capacity on the basis tunnel lining), the other member experiences a dispro-
of the following general equation: portionate increase in loading (redistribution of forces).
Fischer [19] has pointed out this systematic effect in tunnel
Ed E E k R d R k / R (10) analyses.

For simple geotechnical structures (e.g. shoring to excava- 4 Annular void in TBM drives
tions of moderate depth) a detailed evaluation of the 4.1 General aspects, filing material
structure-ground interaction is often not necessary, where-
as the structural analysis of tunnel linings requires more In tunnels driven by tunnel boring machines (TBM) and
complex considerations. provided with precast segmental lining, an annular gap is
In tunnel analyses based on bedded-beam spring created between tunnel lining and ground. Simultaneous-
models according to [4] (which imply considerably simpli- ly with the TBM advance, this gap (characterized by a typ-
fied conditions, e.g. symmetric loads), the equilibrium con- ical size of some 1220 cm) has to be filled completely
ditions are met automatically because the loading is ap- with a suitable material. In granular soils, void filling is
plied as balanced groups. Ground reactions in the form of achieved by injecting a low-cementitious or cement-free
spring forces or bedding stresses r result from the defor- mortar mix under pressure at the end of the TBMs shield
mation of the curved tunnel lining towards the ground, tail (Fig. 5), whereas in rock masses a mix of sand and
which means due to compatibility reasons only. Bending gravel (pea gravel) is usually blown into the void via open-
moments in the tunnel lining result from the deviation of ings in the segmental lining. The pea gravel is injected sub-
hoop forces by the curved tunnel geometry (secondary ef- sequently, and typically after the back-up carriages have
fects), which are typically not required to maintain equi- passed the relevant segment ring (approx. 300 m behind
librium. In addition, bending moments in flexible tunnel the TBM).
linings able to redistribute stresses will decrease as the Guided by economic considerations, the material for
stiffness ratio increases (e.g. due to cracking). For this the void fill is chosen according to local availability based

geotechnik 38 (2015), Heft 2 101


G. Behnen/T. Nevrly/O. Fischer Soil-structure interaction in tunnel lining analyses

d1 d 2
w (1 d1) ( 2 d 2 ) (11)
Es1 Es2

with the bedding modulus Cr = /w resulting in

1
Cr (12)
d1/Es1 d 2/Es2

In the design of TBM tunnels, Eq. (11) has proved to be


good engineering practice. Layer 1 (d1, ES1) describes the
characteristics of the filling material of the annular void,
while layer 2 (d2, ES2) represents the surrounding ground
(d1 << d2). The thickness d2 corresponds to the character-
Fig. 3. Typical scheme for grouting the annular void in a istic length L according to Eqs. (5), (6) and (7).
TBM drive (longitudinal section) For tunnel drives in massive rock (ES2 >> ES1), it can
be assumed that the pea gravel filling to the annular void
(thickness d1) is the only relevant parameter for the de-
scription of the ground reaction:

ES1
Cr (13)
d1

Fig. 5 demonstrates the influence of the annular void ma-


terial (ES1, d1 = 20 cm) on the bedding modulus according
to Eq. (12) for different soil and rock conditions, which is
indicated by the difference between the solid and dotted
lines. It is obvious that the stiffness of the annular void
material is only relevant for bedding conditions if the con-
strained modulus ES1 of the annular void material is sig-
nificantly lower than constrained modulus ES2 (by a factor
of 10 at least). On the one hand, this may be the case for
tunnels in very dense gravel and massive rock or, on the
other, when the annular void mortar is fresh and has not
Fig. 4. Scheme for soil elements composed of sequentially yet reached a sufficient strength.
arranged springs
4.3 Stiffness characteristics of the annular void fill

on the experience of the contractor. Generally, mortar The oedometer test as the standard test method in soil me-
mixes for granular soils consist of sandy gravel with a max- chanics for the assessment of the oedometric modulus ES
imum grain size of 28 mm, bentonite (< 40 kg/m), fly for granular soil is, in general, also applicable for annular
ash and/or a filler-like limestone powder (< 500 kg/m), void fill materials. Internationally, large-scale oedometer
cement (usually 50100 kg/m) and water. Washed gravel testing devices with a diameter of 150 mm and a height of
or chippings of grain size 4/10 or 8/16 mm with a limited up to 250 mm are frequently used. The Youngs modulus
percentage of fines < 2 mm (< 2 %) are used for pea gravel E and Poissons ratio of hardened cementitious annular
filling. void mortars may also be determined by uniaxial com-
Cement-free grout mortars have been used in several pressive tests.
projects, even under cohesive conditions or in soil with Currently, common tunnelling guidelines do not de-
low permeability. The application of a cementitious mor- fine a standard testing procedure for assessing the stiffness
tar is only mandatory if a high mechanical strength or of the filling material. Therefore, various tests have been
minimization of the permeability is required, e.g. in TBM used in the past, e.g. CBR test or Proctor test. (Note that
starting areas for shafts with soft eyes and in zones with these tests were originally not intended to determine stiff-
subsequent openings for cross-passages. ness moduli.) Typically, the testing procedures are based
on laterally supported samples under uniaxial loading.
4.2 Multi-layer soil systems Stiffness parameters for the tested soil specimen are de-
rived from the measured ratio of uniaxial stress to corre-
In multi-layer soil systems, the bedding conditions may be sponding deformation. The designer should be aware that
simulated in accordance with the theory of sequentially these testing results are trial-related and therefore cannot
arranged springs (Fig. 4). be compared with one another and do not reflect the ac-
The total deformation w = w1 + w2 of the two soil lay- tual conditions of the material in the annular void accord-
ers (thickness d1 and d2 respectively, corresponding con- ingly.
strained moduli Es1 and Es2) subjected to a constant stress In the past, oedometric moduli of filling materials
(= 1) amounts to have been tested only rarely. The available results indicate

102 geotechnik 38 (2015), Heft 2


G. Behnen/T. Nevrly/O. Fischer Soil-structure interaction in tunnel lining analyses

Fig. 5. Bedding moduli of a tunnel lining plotted against the stiffness of the annular void material, summary results
of sensitivity study

that unconsolidated cementitious and non-cementitious rollers of the back-up system are passing the previously in-
mortars may reach constrained moduli ES of some stalled segments (second or third ring) in the area immedi-
1030 MN/m at an early age (35 h), whereas in consoli- ately behind the shield tail where the mortar age is only
dated cementitious mortars, values comparable to lean about 24 h.
concrete (up to ES > 5000 MN/m) may be achieved after Based on both FEA and bedded-beam models, the
a few days. authors of this paper have performed a sensitivity study to
Tests of pea gravel (without injection) with a suitable derive minimum requirements for the constrained modu-
grain size distribution indicate constrained moduli be- lus Es,R of the annular void fill material. A double check
tween 50 and 100 MN/m depending on the test method. was performed for the assessment that the bedding condi-
tions do not govern the design and have no negative influ-
4.4 Numeric sensitivity studies ence on the tunnel lining:
Ultimate limit state (ULS): The bending moment in the
Current guidelines for TBM tunnels do not define mini- tunnel lining should remain low and can thus be cov-
mum requirements for the stiffness parameters of annular ered by the usual minimum reinforcement of approx.
void filling materials. Usually, particular project specifica- 0.15 % d (d = lining thickness).
tions call for a mortar stiffness similar to the stiffness of Serviceability limit state (SLS): In view of watertight-
the adjacent ground. This requirement represents a rather ness requirements, the radial ring deformation should
conservative approach, leading to the result that the stiff- be limited to a maximum value between D/200 and
ness of the filling material is not relevant for the structural D/250 (D = tunnel diameter).
design of the tunnel lining.
However, suitable materials such as well-graded non- The study considered uniformly distributed loads accord-
cementitious mortars may not fulfil this requirement in ing to EBT [4] only. The tunnel diameter was chosen as be-
favourable ground conditions with a high stiffness ES2, e.g. tween 5 and 10 m including a typical lining thickness d of
in hard rock masses or in dense granular soils (see approx. D/20. An annular void of 20 cm was considered
Thienert and Pulsfort [15]). The aforesaid requirement with the stiffness of the filling material being modified in
does not account for temporary loading situations on the the study.
lining at an early age when the mortar has not yet reached In summary it can be stated that a minimum
its respective design strength and requires a well-designed constrained modulus of the annular void fill material
grain structure. This case typically applies when the Es,R > 20 MPa is sufficient for most design cases. The re-

geotechnik 38 (2015), Heft 2 103


G. Behnen/T. Nevrly/O. Fischer Soil-structure interaction in tunnel lining analyses

sults of the study are summarized in Fig. 5. The grey areas shear strength, the coefficient of lateral earth pressure k0
indicate the critical bedding conditions where ULS or SLS increases and, consequently, the load conditions almost
criteria were not fully matched. adopt favourable hydrostatic characteristics. The
Thienert and Pulsfort [15] obtained similar results in favourable effect of increasing uniform loads with reduced
their studies. The study performed does not take account ground performance sometimes has a stronger effect when
of project-specific load situations (e.g. back-up rollers, compared with the simultaneous decrease in the bedding
grouting pressure), which need to be analysed separately modulus C due to the reduced stiffness modulus ES in
for every individual case. poor ground.
Owing to the current lack of comparability and clari- In stable ground, the precast segmental lining of
ty of the stiffness characteristics of annular void mortars, a TBM tunnels should be additionally analysed for the self-
standardized testing procedure for in situ verification and weight of the lining only, i.e. without additional loading
unambiguous proof of compliance with the specified re- from the ground. For this load case, the bedding condi-
quirements would be favourable. tions need to be assessed according to the project-specific
annular void fill methods. In the Australian CLEM7 pro-
5 Practical experiences from case studies ject, this was the leading load case for segment design.
5.1 Surface settlements and ground deformations Where groundwater is present, the range of the water
pressure is of utmost importance for the design of the tun-
It is well known that the deformation and settlement pre- nel lining. It should be considered here that the lowest
dictions of FEAs are often not satisfactory and do not pressure is mostly the governing load case when designing
comply with monitoring results. the lining for bending moments. Accordingly, both the ex-
As an example, Fillibeck reports in [16] about an ex- pected maximum and minimum groundwater level under
cessively large lateral extension of estimated settlement short-term (construction stages) and long-term conditions
troughs compared with monitored ones for conven- (permanent situation) are required as design input.
tional tunnelling in Munichs soft soil conditions, where
the Mohr-Coulomb material law is applied. In good 5.3 Safety philosophy discussion
ground conditions especially, FEA calculations frequently
result in unrealistically high deformation values as both In several regions, e.g. in Scandinavia, partial safety fac-
the influence of the limiting depth as well as the depth-de- tors are traditionally applied to ground properties (e.g.
pendent increase in the stiffness modulus are often under- shear strength) according to design approach DA-3 (or
estimated. Behnen et al. indicate in [8] that settlement re- DA-1-2) in EN 1997-1 [3]. This approach is known as the
sults due to distributed loads are influenced by the size of Fellenius method. Owing to the associated modification
the FEA model grid if no depth-dependent stiffness modu- of the ground properties by applying partial safety factors,
lus is introduced. the stiffness ratio and, consequently, the relative load
As a further example, tunnel analyses being per- distribution and deformation will be changed under non-
formed for water-bearing soft soil conditions indicated a linear or plastic conditions (i.e. at ULS). The resulting
surface heave (e.g. for the Amsterdam metro) due to the load allocation to the tunnel lining and the stresses in the
TBM tunnel drive (which is caused by an uplift effect due ground do not represent realistic conditions at ULS and
to the modelled stress state) or after a rise in the ground- therefore do not have a physical meaning and often vio-
water level (caused by the buoyant unit weight of the late conventional equilibrium theories. Additional FEA
ground), which is in contrast to the results of the in situ calculations are required to assess the SLS state.
monitoring.
To obtain more realistic results in FEA calculations, 5.4 Contact and connecting elements
constituent superior graded material laws e.g. using a
stress-dependent modulus of elasticity or modified plastic- Modelling the contact elements between tunnel lining and
ity functions are sometimes proposed. However, an un- ground is quite complex:
favourable aspect here is the fact that the additional input In shield-driven tunnels utilizing precast segments, an
parameters required are generally neither known from ex- annular void is created which has to be filled with a suit-
perience nor are the parameters specified in the project- able material. During the detailed design stage, the mix
specific GIR reports (please refer to, for example, Fillibeck design and material properties required for the filling
[16]). material have not yet been determined.
Generally, it should be noted that a false prediction Tunnel excavations executed by conventional tun-
of deformations may lead to a spurious requirement for nelling are characterized by a multi-layer composite lin-
mitigating measures, hence tending to increase the overall ing system consisting of a primary (or temporary) shot-
project costs. crete layer, the sealing element and, finally, the sec-
ondary (inner, permanent) concrete layer being typical-
5.2 Relevant ground parameters ly cast in situ. The shear capacity of the composite
lining mainly depends on the shear transfer capability
In some cases poor ground conditions (e.g. low shear of the sealing membrane, which mostly exhibits a dis-
strength) are beneficial for the design of circular tunnel tinct scatter due to the waviness and roughness of the
linings. This paradox may be explained by the existence of shotcrete surface. The tangential load transfer is in
plastic zones along the tunnel perimeter and the related most cases not known in detail and has to be assumed
uniform radial confinement. With decreasing values of in a simplified manner.

104 geotechnik 38 (2015), Heft 2


G. Behnen/T. Nevrly/O. Fischer Soil-structure interaction in tunnel lining analyses

Fig. 6. FEA-model with unintended additional normal forces and continuum elements representing the annular
void fill material

It is obvious that the definition of the interface elements [4] Duddeck, H.: Empfehlungen zur Berechnung von Tunneln
has a decisive influence on the analysis of the overall bear- im Lockergestein EBT (1980) (Recommendations for the de-
ing capacity. As it is difficult to provide the necessary sign of tunnels in soil). Tunnelling Working Group, German
shear parameters for those models in a reliable way, a sen- Geotechnical Society (DGEG), Essen, 1980, Tunnelbau-Ta-
schenbuch 1982.
sitivity study combined with simplified assumptions with
[5] Anagnostou, G., Pimentel, E.: On the rock mass classifica-
regard to the shear stiffness should be performed. tions with indices in tunnelling. Geotechnik 35 (2012), No. 2,
Moreover, plausibility and compatibility checks 2012, pp. 8393.
should always be applied to the aforesaid tunnel analysis. [6] ITA Working Group No 2, International Tunnelling Associa-
For example, in cases where the annular void of a TBM tion: Guidelines for the Design of Shield Tunnel Lining. Tun-
tunnel is modelled by continuum elements (Fig. 6), assum- nelling and Underground Space Technology, vol. 15, No. 3,
ing a high shear stiffness along the interface may result in 2000, pp. 303331.
the unintended effect that the annular void material con- [7] Ahrends, H., Lindner, E., Lux, K. H.: Bemessungshilfen fr
tributes considerably to the overall loadbearing (i.e. by at- kreisfrmige Tunnel im Lockergestein unter Bercksichtigung
tracting additional normal hoop forces NA.Void). This ef- der neuen Empfehlungen (1980) (Design Manual for circular
tunnels in soil considering the new recommendations). Tun-
fect should be neglected in the design as the annular void
nelbau-Taschenbuch 1983, Verlag Glckauf GmbH, Essen.
material is not a quality-assured long-term structural com-
[8] Behnen, G., Nevrly, T., Fischer, O.: Bettung von Tunnelscha-
ponent. len (Bedding of Tunnel Linings). Tunnelbau-Taschenbuch
In most cases it is reasonable to represent coupling 2013, DGGT, VGE-Verlag, 2012, pp. 235282.
conditions between tunnel lining and ground by radial [9] EAB Recommendations on Excavations, 4th ed., Ernst &
and tangential springs rather than by continuum elements. Sohn, 2006.
The separate assessment of radial and tangential spring [10] Empfehlungen des Arbeitskreises AK 1.6 Numerik in der
coefficients according to the defined mechanical behav- Geotechnik der DGEG (Recommendations of the Committee
iour of the interface material is simple. Additionally, it is on Numerical Methods in Geotechnics of the German Geo-
quite easy to evaluate the resulting spring forces and com- technical Society), Part 1, Geotechnik 14 (1991), pp. 110; Part
pare the results with those gained from conventional bed- 2 (Tunnel), Geotechnik 19 (1996), pp. 98108; Part 3 (Con-
struction Pits), Geotechnik 25 (2002), pp. 4456; Part 4, Geo-
ded-beam model analyses.
technik 29 (2006), pp. 1327.
[11] Tunnel Lining Design Guide, British Tunnelling Society and
References
Institution of Civil Engineers, Thomas Telford Ltd, 2004.
[12] Geotechnical Engineering Handbook, Vol. 1: Fundamen-
[1] ITA Working Group on General Approaches to the Design of
tals, Part 1, 4th ed., Ernst & Sohn, 1991.
Tunnels, Guidelines for the Design of Tunnels. Tunnelling and
[13] DIN 1054:2010-12 Subsoil Verification of the safety of
Underground Space Technology, vol. 3, No. 3, 1988, pp.
earthworks and foundations Supplementary rules to DIN
237249.
EN 1997-1, Dec 2010.
[2] Muir Wood, A. M.: The circular tunnel in elastic ground.
[14] AFTES Recommendations for the design of sprayed con-
Geotechnique 25, No. 1, 1975, pp. 115127.
crete for underground support, 2000.
[3] DIN EN 1997-1: 2009, Eurocode 7: Geotechnical design
Part 1: General rules; German version, Sept 2009.

geotechnik 38 (2015), Heft 2 105


G. Behnen/T. Nevrly/O. Fischer Soil-structure interaction in tunnel lining analyses

[15] Thienert, C., Pulsfort, M.: Segment Design under considera- Authors
tion of the material used to fill the annular gap. Geomechanics Dipl.-Ing. Gereon Behnen
and Tunnelling 4 (2011), pp. 665679. Dipl.-Ing. Tobias Nevrly
[16] Fillibeck, J.: Oberflchensetzungen beim Tunnelvortrieb im Bchting + Streit AG
Gunzenlehstrae 22
Lockergestein Prognose, Messung und Beeinflussung. No.
80689 Munich
50, Schriftenreihe des Zentrum Geotechnik an der Techni-
schen Universitt Mnchen, pub. N. Vogt, Munich, 2012. Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Oliver Fischer
[17] Meschke, G. et al.: Numerische Simulation im Tunnelbau. Chair of Concrete and Masonry Structures
Betonkalender 2014, pp. 173232, Ernst & Sohn, 2014. Technische Universitt Mnchen
[18] Wittke, W., Wittke-Gattermann, P.: Tunnelstatik, Beton- Theresienstrae 90/N6
kalender 2005, pp. 421517, Ernst & Sohn, 2005. 80333 Munich
[19] Fischer, O.: Nichtlineare Modelle zur Berechnung und Be-
messung von Tunnelausbauten Mglichkeiten und Grenzbe- Submitted for review: 27 March 2014
reiche. DGGT Symposium Felsmechanik und Tunnelbau, Revised: 16 December 2014
Stuttgart, 67 May 2014. Accepted for publication: 9 January 2015

106 geotechnik 38 (2015), Heft 2