Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Mashhad subway project, Line 3, Mashhad, Iran

2 School of Mining Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Deputy manager, Ahwaz subway project, Iran


Determination of the optimum soil conditioning parameters in the earth pressure balance-tunnel boring machines (EPB-TBMs) plays an important role in reaching an optimum thrust force and advance speed. Silty-clay (CL-ML) in line 1 of the Ahwaz metro project is used in order to find the conditioning parameters of slumps with different water contents and foam agents. The results obtained are a quantitative comparison between the parameters with different soil conditioning and water contents. Hence, the test results can be used to determine the most economical and technical conditioning parameters for a special condition of soil. The optimum quantity of foam expansion ratio (FER), foam injection ratio (FIR), percent ratio between the surfactant agent and the water volume (Cf), and cost for foam in this soil (based on the soil conditioning production cost) are 10, 157%, 2.07, 248 units, respectively. Soil conditioning with the optimum parameters obtained are tested in a TBM in two stages during excavation of 140 rings. This results in a lower soil conditioning cost and almost 40% higher advance speed.


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