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New Tunnel Construction: Maximize Effectiveness and Minimize Waste with Cutterheads

Posted by Ryan Leech

Feb 3, 2014 7:30:00 AM

TC-C cutterhead beginning a tunnelIn the right tunneling project, cutterheads can significantly cut down on waste and maximize your effectiveness. With a variety of sizes for projects that can range in size from wine caves to new railroad tunnels, cutterheads offer the flexibility to fit your specific project's requirements.

Efficiency Through Precision

Cutterheads offer clean, smooth cuts. They cause less over-breaking than hammers, meaning that your walls are more stable and your work zone more highly controlled.

The cut-rock debris left behind by a cutterhead is usually already small enough for usable backfill. There is no need to transport your debris off-site to crush it, resulting in lower costs for your organization.

Estimating Productivity

Production rates will vary greatly depending on the power and the size of the cutterhead you use and the compression strength of the rock that you need to cut. Igneous rocks, for instance, are extremely hard.

Production rates using any cutterhead in that environment are low, and cutterheads may not be right for the job. Concrete, well-weathered rocks and shales, on the other hand, are much softer, which means cutting these types of rock goes much more quickly.

As a baseline, estimate 60 cubic yards per hour in soft rock for the largest cutterheads. We can produce specific estimates for your project if you are able to give us specific compressive strength values for the rock you need to remove.

High Flexibility, Low MaintenanceBoom Mounted Cutterhead for Tunneling

Cutterheads offer low start-up costs and great flexibility. Each cutterhead has a unique width; traditional units run between 19 and 55 inches in width, allowing you to pick the exact size needed for your precision cutting project.

They can operate at any depth, dependent only on the carrier machine. There are cutterheads that can fit equipment that ranges from skid steer loaders and backhoes up to full-size excavators, making them a highly adaptable tool.

With simple daily maintenance, your cutterhead should run trouble free. Required maintenance includes checking and greasing the drums each day, performing gear oil and bolt checks and keeping the hydraulic system free of debris. Lower maintenance costs and time-commitment mean greater value for your company.

We offer a range of cutterhead sizes to fit your tunneling needs. Contact us today to find out how we can help increase the efficiency of your organization.

Find out everything you need to know about rock grinding with a cutterhead

Topics: Tunneling

About this blog

This blog is a resource for research, how-to's, and general news regarding rock grinders, transverse cutter heads, roadheaders, and alternatives to hydraulic hammers. 

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