September 2018
Volume 70    Issue 9

The risks associated with TBM procurement and the next steps toward industry change

Mining Engineering , 2018, Vol. 70, No. 9, pp. 116-116
Home, Lok; Brierley, Gary


The majority of tunnels for civil engineering applications are now being constructed using some form of mechanical excavation. Beginning in the 1960s with rock tunnel boring machines (TBM), the tunneling industry has introduced both earth pressure balance (EPB) and slurry pressure balance (SPB) soil machines; mixed soil and rock machines and a variety of different mechanical devices for the construction of small diameter tunnels. Over time, these machines have become more powerful and more adaptable to a wider variety of ground conditions; so much so that tunnels are now being constructed in ground conditions and in the vicinity of third-party impacts that would have been considered beyond the state of the art just 10 years ago. Figure 1 is an example of a mixed ground crossover TBM used successfully at Mexico City’s Túnel Emisor Poniente II.  

Please login to access this article.


If you are not an SME member, you can join SME by clicking the button below.