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Shaft Boring Machine (SBM)

Safe and quick construction of blind shafts down to depths of 2,000 meters

Geology Rock
Diameter
10–12m

Working together with the Rio Tinto mining company, Herrenknecht engineers developed a Shaft Boring Machine (SBM) to extend safe, economical and, above all, rapid exploration capabilities to deep-lying deposits. This highly mechanized machine can create blind shafts with diameters of up to 12 meters in stable rock down to depths of 2,000 meters.

 

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Innovation from proven technology

Some basic differences in comparison to horizontal tunnelling had to be considered in the development of this new shaft boring machine, which is similar to a conventional tunnel boring machine. One major challenge was to raise the excavated rock from the shaft bottom and to transport it vertically through the machine up to the transfer point for shaft conveyance. The solution: The cutting wheel was turned by 90 degrees and the rock is excavated in two consecutive steps.

In the first step, the cutting wheel penetrates the rock like a circular saw, thus creating a slit with a depth of 1.5 meters. In the second step, it rotates around the vertical axis of the machine to cut out the entire shaft profile. In doing so, the cutting wheel not only loosens the rock but also serves as a paddle wheel which transports the muck via integrated channels to the center. There the material is transferred to a vertical belt conveyor, which transports it to the transfer point for shaft conveyance. Up to 3 gripper systems brace against the shaft wall and thus stabilize the entire system during the tunnelling procedure.

High safety thanks to modern technology

In the development of the SBM, a strong focus was placed on increasing occupational safety. As is the case with a hard rock TBM, shotcrete is introduced per remote control directly behind the cutting wheel. The disc cutters are replaced in a specially secured working area which is easily accessible and protected against falling rock. Thus, no personnel have to remain in dangerous areas during normal operation.

Functional principle

1
Control cabin

The SBM operator controls all functions and the semiautomatic excavation process

2
Gripper

Supports the machine weight and provides reaction for the cutting forces

3
Main drive

Propels the cutting wheel and turns 180° around the vertical axis

4
Excavation chamber

Un-manned during standard operation

5
Cutterhead

Similar to a TBM the rock is cut by disc cutters and collected in bucket channels

6
Rock support deck

Several applications can be installed: shotcrete, bolts and mesh to support the shaft wall as primary lining

7
Work decks

Several decks with installations, infrastructure and supply line extension for power, air and ventilation

8
Mechanical mucking system

Transports the cuttings to the muck-handover point with vertical conveyor belts

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The SBM operator controls all functions and the semiautomatic excavation process

Supports the machine weight and provides reaction for the cutting forces

Propels the cutting wheel and turns 180° around the vertical axis

Un-manned during standard operation

Similar to a TBM the rock is cut by disc cutters and collected in bucket channels

Several applications can be installed: shotcrete, bolts and mesh to support the shaft wall as primary lining

Several decks with installations, infrastructure and supply line extension for power, air and ventilation

Transports the cuttings to the muck-handover point with vertical conveyor belts

With the Shaft Boring Machine SBM Herrenknecht has developed, together with Rio Tinto, a machine concept that meets the new requirements of the mining industry. Both the rapid construction time for shafts and the high level of safety are placed in the focus of new developments for the mining sector.

Still got questions?

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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.