Stress study in faulted tunnel models by combined photoelastic measurements and finite element analysis

Yuping Huang, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


An investigation is performed to develop a proper technique for analyzing the stresses in and around three adjacent scaled tunnel models, along with the stress concentration factors resulting from the existence of a fault that penetrates two of the three tunnels, at an inclined angle; Photoelasticity and Finite Element method, are used in this investigation. The Photoelastic measurements are performed by using a plexiglass plane model. Concurrent simulations of the same plexiglass model are performed by the Finite Element analysis. The principal stress patterns are measured by both methods, and the stress concentration factors are calculated at predetermined points. Results from both the Photoelastic models and the Finite Element models are compared to each other at each step of the investigation; A conclusion can be made that, the Finite Element techniques used in this research are reliable and fully capable of representing a faulted tunnel system.