Tunnel Boring Machines, Raise Boring and Full-Face Shaft Boring Machines
Aker Wirth offers a wide range of equipment for tunneling, exploration drilling and the construction of shafts for ventilation, production or any other purpose.
Tunnel boring machines
Aker Wirth manufactures and supplies tunnel boring machines for mechanized tunnel driving for all geological conditions and all environmental requirements. Aker Wirth machines are in use in tunnel boring projects all over the world and for the excavation of a wide variety of tunnels.
Hard rock tunneling equipment
Aker Wirth tunnel boring machines (TBMs) for hard rock are classified into two types: open hard rock TBM (known as Aker Wirth gripper TBM) for boring in stable rock, and shielded hard rock TBM for tunneling in varying rock formations that alternate between stable and unstable formations. Special types of TBM of this category are machines for the enlargement of tunnels, Aker Wirth reamer TBM (TBE) and for inclined tunneling.
Mixed rock tunneling equipment
For tunneling in mixed ground formations – hard and soft – Aker Wirth provides shielded machines furnished with the functional features of hard rock TBM and soft ground TBM. Subject to project requirements, the soft ground features of an earth pressure balance TBM or a hydro-/slurry shield TBM will be introduced.
Soft rock tunneling equipment
Tunneling in soft and unstable geological formations requires the permanent support of the tunnel being bored. Aker Wirth provides earth pressure balance TBM or hydro-/slurry shield TBM for these projects. Tunneling is performed in closed mode with pressurization of the excavation face.
Aker Wirth was the first manufacturer in the world to equip a hard-rock tunnel boring machine with undercutting technology and was awarded an Innovation Prize for this in 2005.
Mobile tunnel miner
The mobile tunnel miner was specially developed for hard rock tunneling. The MTM can excavate any shape of tunnel (rectangular, horse-shoe or circular).
The MTM is working with the ‘undercutting technique,’ requiring less cutting forces than with a normal hard rock tunnel boring machine.
The machine is equipped with a crawler unit and a gripper system. The walking unit allows the MTM to move without using the crawlers. The MTM is equipped with three, four or eight cutting arms, depending on the size of the tunnel. The muck is transported to the rear of the machine similarly as with a roadheader.
For decades raise boring has been an accepted method for the installation of production and ventilation shafts and ore passes for mines. It is also a widely used technology in infrastructural projects for tunnel ventilation or surge shaft in hydro-electric power projects.
Aker Wirth raise boring machines and cutters have been in operation in the hardest rock, up to 700MPa USC. The equipment ranges from 112kW to 600kW installed power, the cutting diameters from 1m to 6m and the boring depths up to 1,300m.
Aker Wirth built the world’s largest raise borer, the HG 380 with an operating torque of max. 710kNm. Aker Wirth raise boring machines hold the world record for the largest diameter raise (7.1m) and the longest raise (1,260m).
Shaft boring solutions
For large diameter shaft boring, Aker Wirth offers two solutions:
- Blind shaft boring machine (VSB)
- Shaft reaming machine (SB)
In the latter case the excavated muck falls through the pilot hole to a lower level. The pilot hole of 1m-2m diameter can be excavated with a raise boring machine.
If a pilot hole is not possible, a blind shaft boring machine needs to be employed, where the excavated material is transported through the shaft to the surface.
Cutters and tools
For each of our products Aker Wirth supplies the necessary spare parts and cutter wear parts. The Aker Wirth cutters are strong, wear resistant and have proven their reliability in the field, leading to high production rates and low costs per ton of production.