Development of advanced numerical models for segmental cast iron tunnel linings

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Civil & Environmental Engineering


The main aim of this research project is to enable the adequate reproduction in geotechnical numerical analysis of the behaviour of cast iron tunnel linings. This is an issue central to the design of most underground works in London, which are often carried out in areas where a number of tunnels built with this material are impacted by building redevelopment. During the recently completed EPSRC- and industry-funded Crossrail research project, high-quality data on the behaviour of cast iron tunnel segments, both through laboratory testing and field observations, were produced. The accrued knowledge in terms of the response of this material, which was cast according to procedures followed when the first deep tube lines were built, to solicitations similar to those verified around tunnels provided unique insight into a soil-structure interaction problem which often influences the design of new infrastructure in London. Indeed, when building in the vicinity of several deep tube lines, the designers are required to assess the safety of the tunnel lining, which is often carried out using simplified techniques due to the absence of available data. It is within this context that the proposed project will exploit the experimental data from the Crossrail project to produce new models for accurate incorporation of the behaviour of cast iron into the geotechnical analysis of tunnels and, crucially, produce new design guidelines for industrial use. It is therefore envisaged that this project will consist of two separate phases, with the first one focusing on developing new numerical techniques of increasing complexity for 2D and 3D analyses of cast iron tunnel linings. This will be followed by a detailed assessment stage using field data on the effects of the excavation of Crossrail tunnels on deep tube lines, where the crucial components of the developed models are identified and retained to formulate simpler, more accurate design procedures.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512540/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021
1966915 Studentship EP/R512540/1 30/09/2017 31/03/2021 Agustin Daniel Ruiz Lopez