There have been continued advances made in the technology of all forms of tunnelling face machines, with an increasing emphasis on system ergonomics and improvements in efficiency through the use of electronics. The result is an increasing equipment sophistication and adaptability, together with an improved working environment that demands a new breed of tunneller who is more technically proficient and carries ever-greater responsibility for maintaining the performance capabilities of the new generations of tunnelling machines.......VIEW THIS SECTION >>
It is often necessary in tunnelling to enhance the strength properties and impermeability of the ground artificially in order to provide additional stability during construction or supplement the support capability of the permanent tunnel lining. Two basic methods are commonly available, namely injection grouting and strata reinforcement using ground anchorages and rockbolts. Though normally used during the construction of new tunnels, these methods are finding increasing use in the refurbishment of existing tunnels.......VIEW THIS SECTION >>
The types of transportation systems most suited to any tunnel are related to its length. If the tunnel is short, there is little need for manriding, and materials can be moved by hand or with the muck haulage equipment. A long tunnel will require some form of manrider, and special materials may need a dedicated carrier to avoid interruption of production or damage during transport. Cost and disruption factors have become increasingly important in recent years, and there has been a trend towards modular systems that provide a multi-function role. For instance, a locomotive can provide a manriding facility without interfering with its prime function as a haulage unit. Other, more complex, systems provide versatile and sophisticated cassette units that can be rapidly mounted on the prime mover. Also required for transport in tunnels are conveyors, hoists, cranes, loaders, carriers, locomotives and rolling stock, and all manner of railbound, monorail, and trackless equipment.......VIEW THIS SECTION >>
Single-pass linings are rapidly gaining favour and can now be achieved to a high standard of construction and finish using precast segmental, or sprayed concrete.
Sprayed concrete is the only method of tunnel lining support that forms an immediate and intimate bond with the strata that interacts actively with the ground surface instead of passively requiring the ground to move before it begins to resist that movement. A properly applied sprayed concrete lining is equivalent in strength, impermeability and durability to conventional cast in place concrete, and is often better in terms of compaction.......VIEW THIS SECTION >>
This section covers products and services that make the tunnelling job easier and safer by virtue of technological advance.......VIEW THIS SECTION >>
There was a time when tunnelling formworks were designed and fabricated in jobbing shops close to site. However, with the rock excavation and support process taking less time, installation of the concrete lining becomes a far more significant factor in the cost/time equation. This has led to more sophisticated design of formworks with easier set-up, accurate positioning, and higher mobility. As a result, it is not nowadays unusual to see tunnels with 12 m-long formworks advancing twice each day. To achieve this realm of productivity, specialist manufacturers have emerged, and these are the companies that are powering the process.......VIEW THIS SECTION >>
Tunnelling is a highly specialised sector of the civil engineering industry requiring a variety of skills in the design, planning and execution of projects. To help satisfy this demand, we provide company profiles of consultants, contractors, training establishments, and suppliers of experienced and professional personnel.......VIEW THIS SECTION >>
Tunnel design is a top specialization in the civil engineering discipline, demanding insight and experience into multiple aspects of ground stabilization and control, excavation and support, and structural engineering. In addition, knowledge of elements of traffic management and control and movement of people are needed for rail, road and metro tunnel design, and fluid dynamics for water, hydro and sewage tunnels.......VIEW THIS SECTION >>
Installations within completed transport tunnels are increasingly complex and demanding, usually driven by statutory requirements.
Systems providers cover lighting, surveillance cameras, safety monitoring, fire prevention and call centres, supplying everything from design and manufacture to installation and operation. Frequently, a 24/7 monitoring and response service is provided by the larger systems suppliers to guarantee fast and efficient intervention. Energy saving and cost optimization are also now an important part of systems operations.
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