Characterization of backfill mortars used in different tunnels in Spain


  • S. Cavalaro Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos. Universidad Politécnica de Barcelona
  • A. Aguado Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos. Universidad Politécnica de Barcelona



mortar, yield stress, viscosity, tunnel boring machine, tunnel


The main objective of this paper is to compare typical backfill mortars used in Spanish tunnels to fill the annular void left between the lining and the ground by the TBM. Initially, a new experimental program is outlined using material corresponding to 6 mixes from 4 tunnels. The results obtained indicate a considerable difference in the density and in the rheological properties of the mixes tested. According to the estimations performed, this leads to a difference of up to 67% on the potency required from the pumps to inject the material. Furthermore, a correlation between the fine content and the rheological properties of the mix was observed. This correlation may be a practical tool to control and modify the performance of the mortars directly in the worksite.


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How to Cite

Cavalaro, S., & Aguado, A. (2013). Characterization of backfill mortars used in different tunnels in Spain. Materiales De Construcción, 63(309), 65–78.



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