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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 37, Number 4, May25 2024 , pages 323-339

Blow-out pressure of tunnels excavated in Hoek-Brown rock masses
Seghateh Mojtahedi Alireza, Meysam Imani and Ahmad Fahimifar

    If the pressure exerted on the face of a tunnel excavated by TBM exceeds a threshold, it leads to failure of the soil or rock masses ahead of the tunnel face, which results in heaving the ground surface. In the current research, the upper bound method of limit analysis was employed to calculate the blow-out pressure of tunnels excavated in rock masses obeying the Hoek-Brown nonlinear criterion. The results of the proposed method were compared with three-dimensional finite element models, as well as the available methods in the literature. The results show that when oci, mi, and GSI increase, the blow-out pressure increases as well. By doubling the tunnel diameter, the blow-out pressure reduces up to 54.6%. Also, by doubling the height of the tunnel cover and the surcharge pressure exerted on the ground surface above the tunnel, the blow-out pressure increased up to 74.9% and 5.4%, respectively. With 35% increase in the unit weight of the rock mass surrounding the tunnel, the blow-out pressure increases in the range of 14.8% to 19.6%. The results of the present study were provided in simple design graphs that can easily be used in practical applications in order to obtain the blow-out pressure.
Key Words
    blow-out; Hoek-Brown; rock masses; tunnel; upper-bound method
Seghateh Mojtahedi Alireza and Ahmad Fahimifar: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran
Meysam Imani: Garmsar Campus, Amirkabir University of Technology, Garmsar, Iran

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