Recent Cutter Technology Advances to Efficiently Bore Through Extremely Challenging Conditions in Hard Rock
For TBMs in hard rock, two of the most important parameters to consider are the cutter performance and the penetration rate. These two considerations are highly dependent on each other, as the cutters are typically the critical components that limit the thrust of the machine—a critical variable that dictates the net penetration rate. In such conditions optimal cutter performance is extremely important, not only to optimize the net penetration rate, but also to minimize the time needed to change cutters and maximize the time available for boring. Over the last five years, massive investments have been made in cutter development to make cutters that can withstand even the most challenging conditions. This paper presents the developments and challenges that have driven the last years’ advances in cutter technology, as well as the results of those developments on recent projects.
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