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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Numerical analysis of the effects of external blasts on tunnels Mitelman, Amichai


This thesis presents the application of the finite-discrete element method for simulation of the impact of external blast loads on tunnels in rock. An extensive database of field tests of underground explosions above tunnels is used for calibrating and validating the proposed numerical method. The numerical results are shown to be in good agreement with published data for large-scale physical experiments. 1D and 2D model results are compared to analytical spalling equations and to the field test findings. It was found that only the 2D models are suitable for support design. The influence of rock strength on tunnel durability to withstand blast loads is investigated. It was found that higher rock strength will increase the tunnel resistance to the load on one hand, but decrease attenuation on the other hand. Thus, under certain conditions, results for weak and strong rock masses are similar. Finally, a discussion on tunnel support design to withstand blasting is presented. A distinction between heavy spalling and light rockfall is made based on an estimation of the ratio of peak stress of the arriving wave to the rock tensile strength. Accordingly, different design approaches are suggested: for heavy spalling a low impedance isolating layer between the tunnel liner and surrounding rock is recommended. For light rockfall, a simplified static FEM analysis procedure is presented.

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