The two main objectives in this project is to develop more efficient cutters rings for Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) used in hard rock formations, and improve the capabilities of the NTNU model for performance prediction of tunneling operations in Norway. Norwegian rock is part of the Fenno-Scandinavian Shield, and consists of mainly Precambrian gneisses, which are commonly referred to as hard rock. Boring and tunneling operations in hard rock are typically associated with low penetration rates, high too l wear and frequent cutter ring failures, which significantly influence the cost of these projects. Minimizing cutter wear and failures, as well as predicting these problems at the planning stage, are all extremely important. In order to reduce the costs of tunneling in hard rock, a joint development of experimental techniques, manufacturing processes and numerical simulations is proposed. New alloys and designs for cutter steels will be introduced, and current models for performance prediction and wear will be improved. This will be achieved by improving our understanding of the physical processes in rock/cutter interaction, making use of advanced numerical simulations and state-of-the-art experimental techniques. The project is based on collaborati on between Robbins, BASF UGC, Norwegian National Rail Administration, Scana Steel Stavanger, BMS Steel and SINTEF/NTNU. If this project succeeds with its intentions, it will open up new possibilities for TBM operations in Norway and give two Norwegian man ufacturing companies the tools and knowledge for supplying the world market with the next generation of cutter rings. For SINTEF and NTNU the project will be an arena where independent and strong research groups meet in order to advance the state of the a rt on hard rock/steel interaction.
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