Open Access

Failure Mechanisms of Fibre Reinforced Shotcrete: Numerical Simulations Considering Local Variations in Thickness and Bond Strength


Fibre-reinforced shotcrete is the most common support method for hard rock tunnels in the Nordic countries. The design of shotcrete is often based on empirical methods or simplified analytical equations, which neglect variations in mechanical properties and shotcrete thickness. Data collected from the field shows that significant variations in shotcrete thickness and bond strength should be expected during tunnel construction. However, how this affects the structural behaviour and capacity of the shotcrete lining is unknown. Moreover, the design philosophy for shotcrete assumes that the primary failure modes of shotcrete, i.e. bond and flexural failure, can be treated separately. This was derived based on observations of experiments in a laboratory environment. Therefore, the focus of a finalized doctoral project was to develop a numerical framework to simulate the structural behaviour of fibre-reinforced shotcrete in interaction with hard rock and rock bolts. The effect of variations in shotcrete thickness and bond strength was studied through numerical simulations to increase the understanding of its effect on the failure load of the lining. The results indicate that the most important parameter is the mean value of the shotcrete thickness and bond strength around a narrow perimeter of the block.’

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Materials Sciences, Materials Processing