University of Cambridge > > Engineering Department Geotechnical Research Seminars > Tunnelling in sand and its effect on pipelines and piles

Tunnelling in sand and its effect on pipelines and piles

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New underground construction is undertaken increasingly close to existing buried structures. The effect that this construction has on these structures must be properly evaluated. The talk will focus on the problem of tunnelling in sandy ground and how it influences nearby buried pipelines and piles.

The talk will review the results of three series of centrifuge tests: (1) baseline tests of tunnelling in sandy ground, (2) tunnelling beneath buried pipelines of varying stiffness, and (3) tunnelling beneath driven piles. The tests were performed in axis-symmetric conditions such that movements of the soil and structures located against a transparent Perspex wall of the centrifuge strong-box could be tracked using an image-based measurement system known as particle image velocimetry (PIV). Interesting results of the change in the shape of the settlement trough as tunnel volume loss is increased are provided from the baseline tests which illustrate the effect of the contractive/dilative nature of the soil. The mechanisms of soil and structure deformation during the tunnel volume loss process of the pipeline and pile tests are highlighted and insights into how each affects the other are drawn by comparing results to the baseline tests.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Geotechnical Research Seminars series.

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