Analysis of stresses and displacements around underground openings is necessary in a wide variety of civil, petroleum and mining engineering problems. In addition, an excavation damaged zone (EDZ) is generally formed around underground openings as a result of high stress magnitudes even in the absence of blasting effects. The rock materials surrounding the underground excavations typically demonstrate nonlinear and irreversible mechanical response in particular under high in situ stress states. The dominant cause of irreversible deformations in brittle rocks is damage process.
One of the most widely used methods in tunnel design is the convergence-confinement method (CCM) for its practical application. The elastic-plastic models are usually used in the convergence-confinement method as a constitutive model for rock behavior. The plastic models used to simulate the rock behavior, do not consider the important issues such as stiffness degradation and softening. Therefore, the use of damage constitutive models in the convergence-confinement method is essential in the design process of rock structures. In this paper, the basic concepts of continuum damage mechanics are outlined. Then a numerical stepwise procedure for a circular tunnel under hydrostatic stress field, with consideration of a damage model for rock mass has been implemented. The ground response curve and radius of excavation damage zone were calculated based on an isotropic damage model. The convergence-confinement method based on damage model can consider the effects of post-peak rock behavior on the ground response curve and excavation damage zone. The analysis of results show the important effect of brittleness parameter on the tunnel wall convergence, ground response curve and excavation damage radius.
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