EPB tunnelling requires the application of soil conditioning to increase its field of applicability particularly for cohesionless soils. Choosing the most suitable conditioning set for the various soils requires the use of a feasible laboratory test which can permit to define the characteristics of the conditioned soils and provide measurable data. A series of tests has been carried out using a laboratory screw conveyor device which was designed for this purpose and which simulates the extraction of the spoil from a pressure chamber in a similar way as in EPB tunnelling. The tested soils were medium-grain sands with varying amounts of silt and the tested conditioned mixtures were obtained with different water contents and amounts of foam. A simple slump test was also used to analyze the global characteristics of the conditioned soils. The test has shown that the proposed laboratory procedure permits a quantitative comparison to be made between different conditioning amounts and agents on the basis of measurable parameters.
Vinai, R., Oggeri, C., & Peila, D. (2008). Soil conditioning of sand for EPB applications: A laboratory research. Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 23(3), 308-317. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2007.04.010