Thermo-mechanical analysis of fire effects on the structural performance of shield tunnels

Yi Shen, Hehua Zhu, Zhiguo Yan, L. Zhou, T. Zhang, Y. Men, Yong Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Investigating fire effects is a continuing endeavour in the research and practice communities concerned with the design and safety of shield tunnels. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive model for the assessment of structural safety of a shield tunnel segmental ring exposed to fire. A thermo-mechanical model for assembled shield tunnel structure in fire is developed to provide a basis for a holistic analysis by incorporating tunnel lining segments and longitudinal joints, as well as improved predictions for the temperature, stress and deformation distributions in the tunnel structure. Validation of the numerical results against experimental data shows satisfactory agreement. Parametric studies are subsequently conducted to investigate the effects of spalling, buried depth and cooling-off phases on the fire behaviour of the shield tunnel. The results show that the damage and failure of a tunnel lining structure under high temperature are mainly due to the combined action of internal thermal expansion force and thermal stress. Spalling leads to the loss of a key “insulation” layer of a tunnel lining structure. On the other hand, the constraint of strata on the tunnel structure under high temperature not only restrains the deformation of key parts of the structure, but also helps offset the adverse effect of load on the structure through elastic resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104885
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
Early online date22 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


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