There's no margin for error in tunneling. It demands high quality in every aspect – from proper organization to accurate drilling, operational health and safety, and your impact on the environment.
Time and cost are the other critical factors. Tunneling projects must be completed on or ahead of schedule, and the cost of your equipment and operations must be strictly controlled. Tunneling requires uniquely deep knowledge and years of technical experience to make it a profitable business.
The tunneling techniques you should employ will vary depending on everything from the size of the tunnel and the scale of the project, to the hardness of the rock below you. In today's modern environment, there are more ways to create a tunnel than ever before. At Sandvik our engineers know the different demands that these differing situations, and have created the industry-leading equipment for whichever tunneling techniques you need for the job.
Tunneling techniques: Drilling and blasting
The drill and blast technique is used in hard and medium hard rock conditions. This technique, involving the use of controlled explosives, shatters the rock for excavation. By carefully drilling holes in the rock in strategic locations and filling them with the explosive, you can maximize the impact of the explosion, collapsing the desired amount of rock as quickly as possible.
Tunneling techniques: Mechanical excavation
In this process material is removed by a rotating head equipped with specially-made chisel tools. Roadheaders are designed to excavate roadways, tunnels and underground chambers continuously without using explosives that can cause harmful vibrations. This is particularly useful in situations where blasting is not permitted, usually due to structural, environmental or ecological damage. Mechanical excavation allows you to build tunnels while minimising vibration in the surrounding rock. Roadheaders are best suited for soft and medium hard rock conditions.
Tunneling with a hydraulic hammer is similar to primary breaking. The hammer breaks away rock which can then be removed by truck. This tunneling technique is particularly is useful in weathered rock conditions.
Tunneling expertise: How we deliver
At Sandvik, we understand the importance of choosing the right tool and the right technique for the job, which is why our tunneling expertise covers a variety of methods, including drilling and blasting, mechanical cutting and breaking.
We also understand the importance of the operator on costs. That's why we've developed training, service and maintenance to help secure the optimal economy.
Sandvik iSURE® tunneling excavation management tool optimizes hole locations and blasting, which translates into excellent accuracy, fast process and large-scale savings. TCAD+ is delivered together with Sandvik iSURE®. This allows curve and drill plan design, and data analysis.
The most critical spot, the blast plan, forms the basis for the whole planning process.
Contact us for advice on product selection or other technical support.