Utilizing rock mass properties for predicting TBM performance in hard rock condition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

203 Citations (Scopus)


The key parameters on the estimation of tunnel-boring machine (TBM) performance are rock strength, toughness, discontinuity in rock mass, type of TBM and its specifications. The aim of this study is to both assess the influence of rock mass properties on TBM performance and construct a new empirical equation for estimation of the TBM performance. To achieve this aim, the database composed of actual measured TBM penetration rate and rock properties (i.e., uniaxial compressive strength, Brazilian tensile strength, rock brittleness/toughness, distance between planes of weakness, and orientation of discontinuities in rock mass) were established using the data collected from one hard rock TBM tunnel (the Queens Water Tunnel # 3, Stage 2) about 7.5 km long, New York City, USA. Intact rock properties were obtained from laboratory studies conducted at the Earth Mechanics Institute (EMI) in the Colorado School of Mines, CO, USA. Based on generated database, the statistical analyses were performed between available rock properties and measured TBM data in the field. The result revealed that rock mass properties have strong affect on TBM performance. It is concluded that TBM performance could be estimated as a function of rock properties utilizing new equation (r = 0.82).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-339
Number of pages14
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • BTS
  • Discontinuity
  • TBM
  • Toughness
  • UCS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Utilizing rock mass properties for predicting TBM performance in hard rock condition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this