This website uses cookies. For more information check our policy.

Agree

Double Shield TBM

Continuous tunnelling at maximum speed

Geology Rock
all kinds of stable and unstable rock
Diameter
2.8–12.5m

Double Shield TBMs in operation

Double Shield TBMs are among the most technically sophisticated tunnel boring machines. They unify the functional principles of Gripper and Single Shield TBMs in one machine. Under stable geological conditions, the combination of methods allows for the installation of concrete segments parallel to tunnelling, achieving very high tunnelling performances. This powerful technology is therefore perfectly suited for excavating long tunnels in hard rock.

 

Advancing with power

When tunnelling with a Double Shield TBM, a rotating cutterhead equipped with disc cutters is pressed against the tunnel face with a pressure of up to 32 tonnes per disc. Due to the rolling movement of the discs, single pieces – so-called chips – are broken out of the rock. Water jets can cool the cutting tools and reduce dust formation. Buckets installed at the cutterhead take up the excavated material. Due to gravity, it slides to the center of the machine through integrated muck chutes while the cutterhead rotates and then falls through the funnel-shaped muck ring onto the machine belt. At the end of the machine belt, the rock chips are passed on to belt conveyors or transport vehicles and removed from the tunnel.

Functional principle

1
Front shield

Includes the cutterhead as well as the main bearing and the main drive – forming the front part of the telescopic shield

2
Cutterhead

Hard rock disc cutters break rock chips from the tunnel face by rotating and applying high contact pressure

3
Muck ring

The excavated material taken up by the buckets falls through the funnel-shaped muck ring onto the belt conveyor

4
Stabilizers

Reduce vibrations during tunnelling thus reducing wear and tear on individual components

5
Telescopic shield

The overlap of front shield and gripper shield forms the extendible telescopic shield

6
Main thrust cylinders

Brace themselves against the gripper shield and push the rotating cutterhead against the tunnel face

7
Machine belt

Conveys the excavated material from the cutterhead center to the back-up conveying systems

8
Torque cylinders

Absorb the torque forces of the cutterhead to prevent roll

9
Auxiliary thrust cylinders

Secure the position of the already installed concrete segments and push the gripper shield forward

10
Erector

Remote-controlled, movable vacuum manipulator to position the segments during ring building

11
Gripper shield

Includes the gripping unit, the auxiliary thrust cylinders and the tailskin – forming the rear section of the telescopic shield

12
Gripper shoes

Brace the Double Shield TBM laterally against the tunnel, using hydraulic cylinders

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Includes the cutterhead as well as the main bearing and the main drive – forming the front part of the telescopic shield

Hard rock disc cutters break rock chips from the tunnel face by rotating and applying high contact pressure

The excavated material taken up by the buckets falls through the funnel-shaped muck ring onto the belt conveyor

Reduce vibrations during tunnelling thus reducing wear and tear on individual components

The overlap of front shield and gripper shield forms the extendible telescopic shield

Brace themselves against the gripper shield and push the rotating cutterhead against the tunnel face

Conveys the excavated material from the cutterhead center to the back-up conveying systems

Absorb the torque forces of the cutterhead to prevent roll

Secure the position of the already installed concrete segments and push the gripper shield forward

Remote-controlled, movable vacuum manipulator to position the segments during ring building

Includes the gripping unit, the auxiliary thrust cylinders and the tailskin – forming the rear section of the telescopic shield

Brace the Double Shield TBM laterally against the tunnel, using hydraulic cylinders

High speed due to a continuous tunnelling mode

Double Shield TBMs consist of two main components: a front shield with cutterhead, main bearing and drive, and a gripper shield with gripping unit, auxiliary thrust cylinders and tailskin. The main thrust cylinders connect the two parts of the shield. They are protected by the telescopic shield where the shield skins of the front and gripper shield overlap. Thus, Double Shield TBMs are also called telescopic shields. In stable rock, the machine is braced radially against the tunnel with the gripper shoes. This means that the front shield can be advanced independently of the gripper shield using the main thrust cylinders.

The reaction forces during the excavation process are transferred into the rock by the extended gripper shoes. Simultaneously to tunnelling, the segments are installed in the tailskin section. The auxiliary thrust cylinders serve only to secure the position of the concrete segments placed. When the stroke is completed, the gripper shoes are loosened and the gripper shield is pushed behind the front shield using the auxiliary thrust cylinders. Regripping lasts only a few minutes, which means that tunnelling is almost continuous. In ideal rock formations, Double Shield TBMs can also operate without segmental lining.

Operating principle at a glance:

Disc cutters break chips from the tunnel face applying high contact pressure

Buckets, muck chutes and muck ring provide for efficient removal of the excavated material onto a center belt conveyor

Hydraulic main thrust cylinders or auxiliary thrust cylinders push the machine forward

Segmental lining

Safe in geological fault zones

In fault zones or areas of low rock strength, radial bracing of the gripper shoes is not possible. In these sections, the telescopic shield can be retracted completely so that the front and gripper shields form a rigid unit. The necessary thrust forces are applied using the auxiliary thrust cylinders. As with the Single Shield TBM, the last segment ring installed serves as a counter bearing to advance the machine. Thrust and ring building can no longer take place simultaneously. In turn, this discontinuous mode provides for higher tunnelling safety in difficult sections of the alignment.

Application-related special solutions for difficult cases

Double Shield TBMs have a comparatively long shield skin. In cases of rock convergence there is therefore an increased risk of the machine becoming jammed. Herrenknecht engineers have developed a range of design solutions to deal with this problem. These include graded shield diameters and a vertical shift of the longitudinal axes of cutterhead, front and gripper shield, for example. Crumbling rock and excavated material can block the telescopic joint and the annular gap. This makes it difficult to push the gripper shield ahead. As a countermeasure, Herrenknecht Double Shield TBMs usually have a telescopic shield which can be moved independently. Using additional displacement cylinders, access to the tunnel wall can be provided if this is necessary for cleaning or securing measures. Additional drilling devices and drilling ports in the shield section serve to secure the open telescopic section above the TBM using a pipe arch.

The right drive for any diameter

In the diameter range from 2.8 – 6 meters, Double Shield TBMs are equipped with permanently installed drives with straight-positioned main thrust cylinders or v-positioned lattice cylinders. Tunnelling control is carried out directly by the cylinders. For diameters of more than 6 meters, movable drives with additional longitudinal displacement cylinders are generally used. Through the cylinders, the contact pressure of the drive can be measured directly, making optimum use of the power provided. An articulation bearing or torque box cylinders help control the TBM. The latter provide for continuous horizontal and vertical shift of the drive. In this way, the cutterhead can be steered precisely in all directions and can even produce a local overcut. The cutterhead can be pulled back with all drive types, allowing direct access to the tunnel face.

Meters of tunnel in continuous production

Double Shield TBMs are mainly used for tunnel projects in changing rock formations. They achieve very high tunnelling performances in stable rock by working in continuous tunnelling mode. Therefore, the combined method of Gripper and Single Shield TBM is often the quickest and most cost effective solution for long drives in hard rock.

Still got questions?

We are ready!

Jack Brockway President and CEO Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA Inc.
Gerhard Goisser COO Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA, Inc.

Your contact person Contact us

Jack Brockway President and CEO Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA Inc.
Gerhard Goisser COO Herrenknecht Tunnelling Systems USA, Inc.