Importance of Groove Spacing in Tunnel Boring Machine Operations

by Parviz F. Rad, Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Clemson Univ., Clemson, S.C.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 9, Pg. 949-962

Document Type: Journal Paper


One of the more important and yet easily modified parameters in the performance of tunnel boring machines is the spacing between two neighboring grooves created by the travel of the cutters. This spacing affects the interaction between the grooves and thus the advance rate and overall efficiency of the tunnel boring machine. Selecting the correct spacing for each specific job requires a thorough understanding of the cutting characteristics of the rock material. Results of cutting experiments with a 7-in. (180-mm) rolling disk cutter in marble, limestone, granite, and quartzite are presented and examined. The values of muck weight per unit length, groove depth, cutting coefficient, and specific energy are taken as indicators of the cutter performance for each test condition. Determination of the optimum and critical groove spacing for field operations can easily be performed with values of any one of the performance indicators based on the interrelation between rock strength indices and cutter performance indicators.

Subject Headings: Spacing | Tunnels | Boring | Equipment and machinery | Rocks | Parameters (statistics) | Marble | Limestone

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