Multidisciplinary design optimization of hard rock tunnel boring machine using collaborative optimization

Wei Sun, Xiaobang Wang, Maolin Shi, Zhuqing Wang, Xueguan Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


A multidisciplinary design optimization model is developed in this article to optimize the performance of the hard rock tunnel boring machine using the collaborative optimization architecture. Tunnel boring machine is a complex engineering equipment with many subsystems coupled. In the established multidisciplinary design optimization process of this article, four subsystems are taken into account, which belong to different sub-disciplines/subsytems: the cutterhead system, the thrust system, the cutterhead driving system, and the economic model. The technology models of tunnel boring machine’s subsystems are build and the optimization objective of the multidisciplinary design optimization is to minimize the construction period from the system level of the hard rock tunnel boring machine. To further analyze the established multidisciplinary design optimization, the correlation between the design variables and the tunnel boring machine’s performance is also explored. Results indicate that the multidisciplinary design optimization process has significantly improved the performance of the tunnel boring machine. Based on the optimization results, another two excavating processes under different geological conditions are also optimized complementally using the collaborative optimization architecture, and the corresponding optimum performance of the hard rock tunnel boring machine, such as the cost and energy consumption, is compared and analysed. Results demonstrate that the proposed multidisciplinary design optimization method for tunnel boring machine is reliable and flexible while dealing with different geological conditions in practical engineering.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Mechanical Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Tunnel boring machine
  • collaborative optimization
  • different geological conditions
  • multidisciplinary design optimization
  • system decomposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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