Here is Hyundai E&C’s patented technology, TBM Construction Method, that considers noise, vibration, and the environment altogether.
TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine) is a mechanized and automated equipment for all tunnel construction, from tunnel excavation to wall (segment) assembly to rock excavation and soil discharge. In addition, the TBM method is an eco-friendly method that can minimize noise and vibration by tunneling with a cylindrical excavator, and Hyundai E&C is recognized for such ability, thanks to its world-class technology. It has many of the world's first-developed test equipment and has also successfully carried out many construction projects using the TBM method both in Korea and abroad.
[ Panoramic view of Singapore's North-South Power zone NS3 Completed by TBM method ]
Hyundai E&C’s Four Patents Related to TBM
① Disk Cutter Abrasion Tester
This is a test device created to measure the disc cutter wear of a TBM. It can predict when the cutter will need to be replaced and measure the exact digging speed of TBM within a 4% margin of error.
② Rotary Cutting Machine Tester
The equipment is designed to excavate actual rock strata by mimicking the operating mechanism of TBM tunneling. The performance is tested over dozens of times on 40cm-thick rock samples which are 1.6m wide and 1.6m tall. The load and spacing of cutters were carefully factored in to obtain the digging performance, which has since been patented.
③ Micro Earth Pressure Balance (EPB) TBM
The test equipment is a 1:10 scaled-down version of an EPB TBM. It is capable of simulating different digging modes on the actual TBM as well as foam injection, which allows estimation of key digging factors such as load, torque, and the chamber pressure of the TBM.
④ Soil Abrasion Penetration Tester
The simulation device recreates TBM’s digging mechanism through soil ground. Technologies to test TBM’s digging performance, cutter wear assessment and to measure the shear strength of discharged soil were each patented.
Leading the Global Trend in Tunneling: TBM
The TBM method, which allows effective digging in a safer and ecological manner is gaining traction. TBM digs tunnel using a rotating cutterhead mounted on the front of a TBM and assembles prefabricated tunnel wall segments as it moves forward. TBM method has many advantages such as low noise and vibration which in turn lead to a reduction in complaints. Other advantages include lesser impact on environment as it prevents the lowering of groundwater level through pressurized waterproofing. Moreover, it generates almost no dust and pollution and archives reduced construction time and costs, with digging speed three to five times faster compared to the conventional drilling and blasting methods such as the NATM( New Austrian tunneling method).
[ TBM in Operation ]
Thanks to the many benefits including accelerating construction time, increased safety and economic benefits, the TBM method continues to be further improved, supported by the construction industry. TBM method is being applied to an increasing number of tunneling projects in cities, undersea and in mountainous regions. It is largely used in a many overseas tunneling projects. In Korea, since its first use in 1985, it has continued to expand its urban applications.
Hyundai E&C is contributing to the growth of its business with TBM-related patents such as Rotary Cutting Machine tester, Disk Cutter Abrasion Tester, Micro EPB TBM and Soil Abrasion Penetration Tester, taking pride being ”World’s first” and ”In-house developed”.