A new approach to the polyaxial stress numerical analysis of underground openings.
The traditional design methodologies for tunnel and underground excavations are divided in to three categories: Empirical, Analytical, and Observational approaches, whereas in the last years the Numerical approach has strongly become popular both for the intrinsic simplicity of the software packages and their ability to manage problems unsolvable with the classic methods. In this thesis, the underground openings have been analyzed using constitutive models other than the Mohr-Coulomb theory. FLAC is used for the analysis and the software has been implemented to include the Polyaxial Strength Criterion. The details of the modifications made in the software are presented and the results are compared with the Singh's elasto-plastic stress distribution in squeezing grounds. The applicability of the Polyaxial Strength Criterion has been therefore extended to all the numerical suites designed for geo-mechanical purposes (FEM, FDM, …) and the obtained results compared to the observations of deformation and radial squeezing pressure of the instrumented tunnels in the Chibro-Khodri underground power station. This study will develop better comprehension of the behavior of the underground openings and also provide a useful tool to the designers in the planning stages.