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A REVIEW OF DELHI METRO TUNNEL CONSTRUCTION WITH 14 EPB SHIELD TBMS

Chitoshi Izumi & Christopher Lovelock 1 , Jitendra Tyagi & Subodh Kumar Gupta 2

1 Oriental Consultants Co., Ltd., New Delhi, India 2 Delhi Metro Railway Corporation Co., Ltd., New Delhi, India

KEYWORDS: Delhi Metro, Tunnel, TBM

SYNOPSIS The construction of Delhi Metro Phase-II started in 2006 and was a continuation of the Phase-I construction. Due to a tight construction schedule, 14 Tunnel Boring Machines have been deployed to bore 3 metro corridors of twin tunnel with a total drive length of 30km. The purpose of this paper is to review machine performance under various ground water and soil conditions and also to introduce the methods employed to overcome the rock formations encountered during excavation while deployed TBM was for soft soil excavation. Through the various tunnelling performance and related ground settlement results, several conclusion and recommendation have been deduced for future tunnelling works within New Delhi area of India.

INTRODUCTION Delhi Metro Phase-II is mainly an extension of the Phase-I project which was completed in 2006 and consists of the construction of 128km of track, 81 stations and 5 depots. The works comprise 94km of viaduct section and 30 km underground works. This US$ 4 billion scheme has been jointly funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Government of India and Delhi Government and is scheduled to be operational in time for the Commonwealth Games of October 2010. As previously mentioned, because of the tight construction schedule, 14 TBMs have been employed. The 7.2km of the Qutab Minar Line will make use of six TBMs, four TBMs have been allocated for a 4.2km stretch of the Badarpur Line and additional four will excavate 3.5km of the Airport Line.

The first TBM tunnel started on the Qutab Minar Line on 31 st December 2007 and at this point in time 14 TBMs are now in operation. The maximum progress achieved to date by single TBM is 28 rings (33.6m) per day and 426 rings (511m) per month.

GEOLOGICAL CONDITIONS The geology in the tunnel area for Phase-II construction consists essentially of compacted alluvium soils known locally as the Delhi silts with isolated outcrops of competent quartzite. The quartzite forms a range of low hills known as the Ridge, an extension of the Aravalli Mountains which extend from the south of the territory to the western bank of the Yamuna River. The Delhi silts which overlie the quartzite bedrock on both sides of the ridge have a differing origin. The Yamuna flood plain, on the western slopes resembles a fluvial system i.e. containing river deposits whilst the nearly enclosed Chattarpur alluvial basin contains alluvial soils derived from the adjacent quartzite ridge.

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Airport Line Badarpur Line Qutab Minar Line
Airport Line
Badarpur
Line
Qutab Minar
Line

Figure 1- Route Map and TBM arrangement for Delhi Metro

Phase-I Line-2 New Delhi Udyog Bhawan Geological Formation Lajpat Nagar Airport Malviya TBM Section Nagar
Phase-I Line-2
New Delhi
Udyog Bhawan
Geological Formation
Lajpat Nagar
Airport
Malviya
TBM Section
Nagar
: Airport Line
: Qutab Minar Line
:
:

Badarpur Line

Figure 2- Geology of Delhi and TBM Section

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Quartzite The local quartzite rock has undergone several phases of tectonic activity which has resulted in fracturing and folding. These disturbances and fluctuations of the bedrock have resulted in intense and complex weathering patterns in the strata to a depth of concern for construction of tunnel and stations. An assessment of the in-situ rock mass was made using Rock Mass Rating (RMR) methodology published by Bieniawski. The majority of rock encountered by the Airport Line belongs in the “Poor Class” with an RMR value within the range of 21 to 40. The results of unconfined Uniaixial Compressive Strength (UCS) tests are inconsistent and vary within a range from 20 to 160 MPa.

Alluvium The Delhi silt encountered along the entire route and the thickness of the alluvium deposits depends upon the sub surface bedrock topography infilling the previous topography. The alluvium is generally a fine grained material consisting of gradational variations between clay and silt with variable fine sand content. The soils are occasionally difficult to accurately describe by visual assessment alone due to their borderline clay/silt nature. A conspicuous feature of the alluvium is the presence of generally coarse sand to medium occasionally coarse gravel sized buff coloured calcareous nodules. These are found scattered throughout the stratum and are locally termed “Kankar”. Although some cohesion has been observed, a value of 0 kN/m2 was assumed for static calculation and the friction angle was assumed to vary within a range of 30 to 32 degrees.

was assumed to vary within a range of 30 to 32 degrees. F igure 3- Typical

Figure 3- Typical SPT for Delhi silt

Ground water The ground water level varies from GL-10m (typical tunnel crown level) to GL-35m. Tunnel excavation can be carried out in open mode for the southern portion of the Qutab Minar Line and sections of the Airport Line because the ground water level is below the tunnel invert. This has contributed to the relatively good rates of progress for these TBMs.

TBM CHARACTERISTICS As previously mentioned, the majority of the stratum encountered in the tunnel excavation consists of the Delhi silt which is relatively dense sandy silt or silty sand with localized outcrops of quartzite in various stages of decomposition. As a result all the Contractors on Phase-II selected Earth Pressure Balance Machines (EPBM) with diameters of 6.5 to 6.6m.

The TBM suppliers and conditions are as follows:

Contract BC16 (Qutab Minar Line): 2 TBMs by Herrenknecht (HK) and 2 TBMs by Robbins with Mitsubishi

Contract BC18 (Qutab Minar Line) : 2 TBMs by HK (Refurbished after Phase-I construction)

Contract BC24 (Badarpur Line)

: 4 TBMs by HK

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Contract AMEL-C1 (Airport Line) : 2 TBMs by HK (Refurbished from C855 in Singapore) Contract AMEL-C5 (Airport Line) : 2 TBMs by Okumura Machinery Corporation

by HK (Refurbished from C855 in Singapore) Contract AMEL-C5 (Airport Line) : 2 TBMs by Okumura

For the above machines, the TBM specifications are summarized below;

Table 1- EPB TBMs Specification

Contract

BC16

BC18

BC24

AMEL-

AMEL-

C1

C5

TBM Supplier

 

Herrenk-

Robbins

HK

HK

HK

Okumura

necht

with

 

(HK)

Mitsubishi

       

TBM Numbers

Ps

2

2

2

4

2

2

Drive length/ TBM

m

1,990

2,030

3,150

1,920,

2,200

1,300

2,240

Geology

 

Delhi silt,

Delhi silt

Delhi silt

Delhi silt

Delhi silt,

Delhi silt

quartzite

quartzite

Ground water (GL- )

m

15-30m

10-15m

No water

5-10m

14m

No water

Shield Diameter

m

6.54

6.52

6.49

6.64

6.64

6.41

Shield Length

m

7.7

8.8

6.0

7.6

7.6

8.3

Articulation jack

-

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Main drive power

Kw

630

810

945

630

1600

1800

Thrust force

Kn

35186

32000

34835

33260

42575

48000

Cutter face torque

Knm

4346

5148

4085

4346

4474

5652

The minimum horizontal curvature of BC16 tunnel was R=600m which was relatively gentle compared to that of other contracts on Phase-II. The Contractor ordered TBMs without articulation jacks because theoretically there is sufficient clearance to manage such a curvature with a proper arrangement of tapered segments. However, damages to segments, in the form of cracks and spalling occurred at initial stage of driving. These damages are observed around circumferential bolts hole at horizontal curve sides and it considered they result from eccentric and concentrate loading onto the segments, a relatively small annular void between the extrados of the segments and the tail skin and operator error. This damage might have been mitigated by use of articulation jacks.

Apart from BC16 and AMEL-C5 all of the TBMs have been fitted with roller disks at perimeter of cutter head to assist with cutting the profile at the launch & arrival shafts through the diaphragm wall panels. Because the ground condition were relatively good with a reasonable stand up time, most of the soft eyes were broken in advance of the TBM launch or arrival with the arrangement of temporary wall by lean mix mortar or steel piles behind the diaphragm wall together with localized dewatering.

Since the Delhi silt comprises of alluvial soils derived from the adjacent quartzite it contains significant quantities of sand which resulted in wear problems for the cutter heads during TBM operation. To overcome this problem additional hard face welding was provided to the cutter heads between drives. Some of Roller disks became choked with clay particles which prevented their free

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rotation and resulted in uneven wear. Typically 30-80% of cutter bits were replaced after 0.6–1.4 Km of individual drive completion.

replaced after 0.6–1.4 Km of individual drive completion. Full Face Cutter head (BC16, BC18, BC24, and

Full Face Cutter head (BC16, BC18, BC24, and AMEL-C1)

Full Face Cutter head (BC16, BC18, BC24, and AMEL-C1) Spoke Type Cutter head (BC16 and AMEL-C5)

Spoke Type Cutter head (BC16 and AMEL-C5)

Figure 4- Typical Cutter heads of TBMs for Delhi Metro Phase-II

TUNNELLING PERFORMANCE AND CASE STUDY

Tunnel Progress Tunnel progress is related to numerous factors such as ground conditions (including the presence of ground water), dictated TBM operation parameters such as to surface structures, size of launching shaft and back up arrangements, capacity of gantry cranes and muck pit size, etc. Table 2 indicates the tunnel progress recorded for each tunnel operation.

The launching shafts for BC18 and BC24 North tunnel operation were 60m in length and proved advantageous allowing back up gantries installation at one time for the initial drives. The shaft lengths of other contracts were dictated by external parameters and varied from 17m – 20m. The contractors accepted a slower progress for the initial drives and installed a number of switches with the tunnel to speed up mucking operations where possible.

Table 2- EPB TBMs Progress up to End of February, 2009

Contract

BC16

BC18

BC24

AMEL-

AMEL-

C1

C5

TBM Supplier

HK

Robbins

HK

HK

HK

Okumura

Daily progress: Average (m)

8

9

12

6

9

5

Daily progress: Maximum (m)

29

34

28

27

24

15

Weekly progress: Maximum(m)

167

180

150

141

111

47

Monthly progress: Maximum(m)

392

440

511

404

402

140

Note: 1) Average progress derives from tunnel drive length divided by duration from TBM launch to arrival. 2) The condition of AMEL-C5 is just after initial drive stage.

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Surface Settlement and Volume Loss

Generally surface settlements were managed well through all the drives. The main reasons for this

was proper TBM operational procedures including applied face pressure, the relatively long stand

up time of the Delhi silts and sufficient ground cover more than 1.5D (D: Tunnel diameter). The

surface settlement values by excavation of 2 single tunnels were recorded in the range of 5mm to 20

mm and volume loss was typically 0.3 – 0.8%. During tunnel excavation, several minor cracks

were observed in non-structural members, namely surface of brick walls of some 2-3 storey residential properties. Repairs to these walls were typically undertaken after completion of the tunnel drives.

(mm)

1 st TBM Passing 2 nd TBM Passing
1 st TBM
Passing
2 nd TBM
Passing

Date Figure 5- Surface Settlement by Tunnel Excavation & Cracks observed on wall surface

Rock Encountering by BC16 Tunnelling During tunnel excavation at the INA-JB section of the Qutab Minar Line, the UP Line TBM

encountered rock while TBM face was for soft soil mining. Initial geotechnical investigations (G.I.) were not sufficient to cover the rock profile for this section. Additional G.I. were undertaken and confirmed the presence of hard quartzite rock with a UCS in the range of 100 - 160 Mpa dipping steeply down from west to east for 100m of the tunnel alignment. Because of the steep inclination of the rock formation, the DN Line tunnel was unaffected as shown in Figure 6. The contractor proposed the following options to overcome this problem, but both of them were rejected because of the site difficulties;

- Change the construction method to Cut & Cover tunnel: there are 20-30 number of old trees to be cut and it is difficult to get permission from authority.

- Change the construction method to NATM: the rock is located at only bottom half and top half is consist of soft soil. Stability measures such as pipe roofing, soil improvement and dewatering would be required and this it not readily available in Delhi.

According to the suggestion from TBM supplier, the Contractor proposed to change the cutter face from soft soil mining face to hard rock mining face which was available from Singapore project C855. It was very fortunate because TBM size and main specification were similar between the two projects and replacement works could be done relatively smoothly. After fixing the TBM with hard rock face, an average 3.9 rings (4.7m) progress per day was attained and mining works were completed within 20 days for 100m stretch.

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C H . 2 4 + 0 0 0 C H . 2 3 +

CH. 24+000

C H . 2 4 + 0 0 0 C H . 2 3 + 9

CH. 23+975

C H . 2 4 + 0 0 0 C H . 2 3 + 9

CH. 23+950

CH. 23+915 6540 mm
CH. 23+915
6540 mm

Figure 6- Typical section (UP Line) of TBM and rock formation at each chainage

section (UP Line) of TBM and rock formation at each chainage Figure 7- Temporary shaft and
section (UP Line) of TBM and rock formation at each chainage Figure 7- Temporary shaft and

Figure 7- Temporary shaft and Setting of Cutter face from C855

CONCLUSION With a scheduled target date for testing & commissioning of rolling stock in the first quarter of 2010, all civil works should be finished by no later than the third quarter of 2009. So far out of 14 TBMs, 3 TBMs in Qutab Minar Line have completed their operations whilst 11 TBMs are still excavating in full swing. It is still too early to evaluate tunnelling operation for the entire Delhi Metro Phase-II, but through this study of tunnelling performance and with the experience gained, the following observations and recommendations can be made for the future tunnelling works within the region:

1) According to the geology of Delhi, quartzite rock is often encountered underground and causes problems for underground construction works. Prospective contractors should undertake proving tests to locate the level of the rock head prior to construction at 20m to 30m centres along the tunnel alignment using portable Dynamic Penetration Rig or Ground Penetrating Radar System (GPRS) where possible. 2) TBMs equipped with rock cutting discs mounted along the periphery of the cutter head as a minimum should be employed not only for breaking through tunnel eye at TBM launch and arrival but also for mining the rock under unforeseen condition.

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3) The ground surface settlement could be managed well under open mode of TBM operation in the dense Delhi silt. Open mode operation is acceptable provided that the water table is well below than excavation level and surface structures and utilities are located away from influence zone. 4) Under well managed condition in main drive, daily tunnel progress of 20m (15 to 16 rings per day) is readily achievable in the Delhi silt formations. 5) Ground surface settlement by controlled tunnel operation is relatively small, namely 5mm to 20mm by 2 single tunnel excavations in the dense Delhi silt and volume loss can be controlled to a range of 0.3 to 0.8%.

Delhi Metro is the first Client in India to apply EPB technology in an urban area. A comparison of the merits of the various tunnelling machines and their tunnelling performance is of interest to many because of future metro projects planned for Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We would like to thank civil contractors, namely Continental Engineering Corporation-Soma JV (BC16), Dywidag-L&T-Samsung-Ircon-Shimizu JV (BC18), Italian-Thai Development JV (BC24), Alpine-Samsung-HCC JV (AMEL-C1) and L&T-SUCG JV (AMEL-C5) for giving the data of tunneling works. We also thank Mr. Ravindra Dutta (Tunnel Expert from RITES) and Dr. Ateeq Khateeb (Geotechnical Manager for BC18 Contractor) for their assistance.

REFERENCES

H. R. Yadav (2005), “Geotechnical Evaluation and Analysis of Delhi Metro Tunnels”, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, PP. 59-65.

Mott MacDonald (2001), “Delhi Metro Contract MC1B Interim Geotechnical Interpretative Report”, International Metro Civil Contractors, Delhi

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