Analysis of tunnel support design to withstand spalling induced by blasting

Amichai Mitelman, Davide Elmo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


This paper presents modeling of rock spalling induced by a dynamic pulse using the finite-discrete element method, for the purpose of tunnel support design to withstand blasting. 1D and 2D model results are compared to analytical spalling equations and field test findings. It was found that only the 2D models are suitable for support design. A distinction between heavy spalling and light rockfall is made based on an estimation of the ratio of the peak stress of the arriving wave to the rock tensile strength. Accordingly, different design approaches are suggested: for heavy spalling a low impedance isolating layer between the tunnel liner and surrounding rock is recommended. For light rockfall, a simplified static FEM analysis procedure is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-361
Number of pages8
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Blasting
  • Numerical analysis
  • Spalling
  • Support design


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