ABSTRACT: This paper presents a curved structural element model for analyzing the supporting effect of the rock surface linings. The technique was developed for the Block-Spring Model (BSM), a numerical method for stress and deformation analysis of jointed rocks. BSM simulates the discontinuous rock masses by an assemblage of blocks divided by joints. The curved structural element acts as a curved beam. Each element is subjected to axial, transverse and flexural loads. The curved structural element does not cause the increase of the number of degrees of freedom of the block system. Stiffness of the structural elements can be assembled into the stiffness matrix of BSM with the size of the matrix remaining unchanged. The approach can be readily incorporated into other numerical models. An example of a circular tunnel is presented to demonstrate the proposed model in analyzing the supporting effect of surface lining on the surrounding rock. The results indicate that, with the increase of the lining stiffness, the rock deformation towards the tunnel decreases, the radial stress in the surrounding rock increases and the tangential stress decreases.

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