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04.02.2021 | Originalarbeit | Ausgabe 2/2021 Open Access

BHM Berg- und Hüttenmännische Monatshefte 2/2021

Analysing the Feasibility of a Full-face Cutting Machine for the Robominers Project

BHM Berg- und Hüttenmännische Monatshefte > Ausgabe 2/2021
Roohollah Narimani Dehnavi, Michael Berner
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Several methods of excavation have previously been studied to choose the most suitable approach to be applied in the Robominers project. Compared to drilling and blasting and partial-face cutting, the full-face cutting option is regarded as one of the methods which can offer, among others, high advance rates and a safer working environment for the machinery. Current technologies of these methods, however, suffer from several limitations, such as the inability to bore very hard rocks, significant lack of geometrical flexibility in mine working areas, and low mobility due to large and heavy components. In this study, two of the most commonly applied small diameter full-face machines including the pipe jacking and the Boxhole Boring Machine (BBM) are studied with regards to their performance parameters. The pipe jacking machine option with a cutterhead consisting of disc cutters exhibits higher efficiency in excavation with only slightly lower production rates compared to a BBM with strawberry cutters. They are also much lighter machines. Yet, using the jacking concept means a limited driving length and does not apply to the Robominers. Therefore, the introduction of small gripper or shielded Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) can significantly improve the mobility. Their application, however, requires considering the risks of jamming in difficult ground conditions and the possible requirements of a support installation. These rock mechanics issues need to be carefully considered in the design of such machines. In addition, further studies are required to employ assisted cutting methods in very hard rocks and to increase the geometrical flexibility of these machines by lowering their turning radius.
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