The design of the OhKaribe Tunnel is based on rock classification from various field surveys and laboratory tests that revealed a very poor classification on the tunnel wall, with a yield zone thickness of 1.5 meters to 2 meters. The project team needed to simulate the tunnel excavation using appropriate parameters to predict the strength of the rock at the site, and required flexible modeling technology to achieve this, as well as to incorporate time-dependent characteristics of the concrete tunnel lining.
They selected PLAXIS to conduct a parametric study revealing a potential range of strength coefficients. The digital simulation using the field survey results as parameters enabled them to accurately predict the performance of the tunnel excavation. By adding the aging characteristic of concrete to the PLAXIS model, they were able to model the tunneling works for a one-meter excavation in one day, considering excavation, strutting, rock bolting, and shotcrete.
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Estimation of Rock Strength Based upon Yield Zone of the Tunnel Excavation