This paper proposes a numerical approach to the hyperstatic reaction method (HRM) for the analysis of segmental tunnel linings. The influence of segmental joints has been considered directly using a fixity ratio that is determined on the basis of the rotational stiffness. The parameters necessary for the calculation are presented. A specific implementation has been developed using a FEM framework. This code is able to consider the three-dimensional (3D) effect of segment joints in successive rings on the tunnel lining behaviour. The present HRM allows one to take an arbitrary distribution of segment joints along the tunnel boundary into consideration. In addition, the rotational stiffness of segment joints has been simulated using nonlinear behaviour, as it is closer to the true behaviour of a joint than linear or bilinear behaviour.
The numerical results of three hypotheses on ring interaction, which allow the 3D effect of a segmental tunnel lining to be taken into account, have been compared with data obtained from the shield-driven tunnel of the Bologna–Florence high-speed railway line project. The numerical results presented in the paper show that the proposed HRM can be used to effectively estimate the behaviour of a segmental tunnel lining. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.