Time-dependent Analysis of Jet-grouted Tunnels in Difficult Ground Conditions
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In this study, excavation of jet-grouted tunnels in ground with strong time-dependent behavior is analyzed. The constant growth of population has led to a constant increase in the price of lands and thus infrastructures. Underground alternatives are becoming more economical. Furthermore, advances in the construction technology have made it feasible to construct tunnels in difficult ground conditions. By providing a grouted arch ahead of the tunnel face, jet-grouting has proved effective for the stability and performance of tunnels in difficult conditions. Given the limited depth of jet-grouting into the face, the jet-grouted arch is loaded soon after installation, when the rigidity of the grouted material is growing significantly. The simultaneous loading and hardening of the jet-grouting makes the tunnel response depend on the excavation rate. Furthermore, in difficult tunneling conditions, the ground material is associated with highly viscous behavior. This behavior is synonymous with delayed deformation depending on the level and duration of the ground loading by the tunnel excavation. In order to show the importance of the time-dependent behaviors, the full-face and the sequential excavation method are compared using three-dimensional and two-dimensional finite element analyses. First, a three-dimensional model is constructed and its results are validated against available analytical solutions for time-independent behaviors. The hardening of the jet-grouting is then introduced into the model by embedding jet-grouting elements through the analysis. In order to account for the ground viscous behavior, an advanced viscoplastic constitutive model is adopted, numerically implemented in FORTRAN, and used in conjunction with finite element software ABAQUS. The excavation methods are compared for the well documented study case of Tartaiguille tunnel. The results indicate that the full-face method outperforms the sequential method in the studied case by installing the tunnel invert closer to the face. The two-dimensional analysis of the tunnel is conducted by using the convergence-confinement method. To this end, a new approach is introduced to use the method for tunnels in time-dependent conditions. The effect of the jet-grouting hardening and the ground viscous behavior is characterized within the new approach by deriving the ground convergence curves. The reverse dependency of these mechanisms on the tunnel advance rate leads to an optimum advance rate, at which minimum tunnel convergence develops.