This is World’s Largest Tunnel Boring Machine with over 40 meters high Blade

Saad Iqbal | 🗓️Modified: June 4, 2024 | ⏳Read Time: 5 min | 👁Post Views: 9

Switzerland is renowned for its stunning landscapes and engineering marvels. One of its most impressive feats is the construction of massive tunnels through the Swiss Alps. But have you ever wondered how these tunnels are created? Let’s dive into the fascinating world of tunnel boring machines (TBMs) and discover the incredible technology behind Switzerland’s biggest tunnel boring machine.

    The World’s Largest Tunnel Boring Machine: Salient Features

    Unmatched Dimensions

    The world’s largest TBM boasts an impressive diameter, making it a true giant in the realm of tunnel construction. This colossal machine is designed to tackle the most challenging geological conditions, ensuring that the tunnel construction process is both efficient and effective.

    Cutting-Edge Cutter Heads

    The heart of a tunnel boring machine is its gigantic cutting wheel. Standing 40 meters high, this cutting wheel is designed to break rock fragments from the tunnel face as it rotates. The number and arrangement of the cutting bits on the wheel vary depending on the type of rock being excavated. This customization ensures optimal performance and efficiency in different geological conditions.

    High Pressure and Precision: Pushing Forward

    With up to 2000 tons of contact pressure, the entire machine pushes forward along the already built tunnel. As it advances, the gap between the tunnel wall and the surrounding rock is filled with fast-curing mortar. This continuous forward movement is a marvel of engineering precision, ensuring that the tunnel remains stable and secure.

    Advanced Segment Construction

    Every two meters, the machine stops to construct a tunnel ring made up of seven segments. These segments, produced in Marti’s own factory, are crafted from high-strength steel fiber concrete. The process involves curing the concrete in a 55-degree furnace, ensuring maximum strength and durability. The segments are then assembled to form a complete ring, securing the tunnel as the machine moves forward.

    Complete De-Dusting System

    Maintaining clean air within the tunnel is crucial for the safety and efficiency of the workers. The air directly behind the cutter head is continuously de-dusted to ensure a healthy working environment. Meanwhile, the excavated material is transported away from the tunnel on a conveyor belt, which extends and is suspended from the tunnel vault as the machine progresses.

    Waterproofing and Reinforcement: A Solid Inner Vault

    To address the risk of rock swelling and ensure the tunnel’s longevity, an additional solid inner vault is constructed after the initial excavation. This process involves installing a robust membrane that is weather and pressure-resistant, making the tunnel completely waterproof. Following this, concrete is poured and reinforced to further solidify the tunnel structure.

    Precision and Mobility: Specialized Equipment

    Building a tunnel of this magnitude requires a seamless integration of various specialized equipment. From the arched framework to the concrete spreaders, every piece of machinery plays a crucial role in the construction process. Marti Technik, the company behind this engineering marvel, has designed and built all the necessary equipment in its own plant, ensuring top-notch quality and performance.

    Environmental Considerations: Sustainable Construction

    Marti Technik is committed to environmental sustainability. Usable excavation material is stored and used for backfilling, while unusable material is transported to a designated site for safe disposal. This careful management of resources minimizes environmental impact and ensures the construction process is as green as possible.

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    A Glimpse into the Future: Renovation and Innovation

    The ongoing innovation doesn’t stop with the current projects. The renovation of the original tunnel tubes is set to begin in 2021, highlighting Marti Technik’s commitment to continuous improvement and adaptation to the challenging geology of the Swiss Alps.

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    Conclusion: A Testament to Human Ingenuity

    The construction of tunnels through the Swiss Alps using giant tunnel boring machines is a testament to human ingenuity and engineering prowess. From the massive cutter heads to the intricate segment construction, every step of the process showcases the incredible capabilities of modern technology. As we marvel at these engineering wonders, we gain a deeper appreciation for the skill and dedication required to achieve such feats.

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