Soft Ground Tunneling
The Earth Mechanics Institute (EMI) at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) has been performing basic and applied research and engineering for all types of excavation systems for more than 30 years. The body of knowledge acquired over this time period has allowed EMI to develop methods, which have been verified by field data, to analyze the performance of tunnel boring machines (TBMs) for soft ground tunneling.
Current testing, design, and engineering programs for soft ground tunneling:
- Machine selection: EPB vs. Slurry machine
- Mixed face excavation assessment
- Assessment of potential problems with boulders and cobbles
- Cutterhead design and tool selection in mixed ground and soil tunneling
- Development of machine specifications for anticipated ground conditions
- Machine data logger analysis for potential claims
- Machine penetration rate and cutter wear evaluation
Field Data Collection and Machine Data Logger Analysis for Soft Ground Tunneling:
Most of the today’s modern soft ground TBMs have a PLC system, which is an on-board data acquisition system in order to record all the machine parameters. The type and amount of data needs to be recorded depends on machine type and ground conditions. This type of information is very vital how to define the behavior and performance of the machine in varying ground conditions. EMI analyzes machine data logger from various soft ground TBM projects by using customized Excel macro programs developed at the Institute.
Soft Ground Tunneling Projects: