Application of water jet cutting for tunnel boring
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Water jet cutting has proven to be an effective technology for machining various materials, and providing a distinctive advantage over other cutting methods. Its application in the engineering industry is evolving and improving annually, and is one of the fastest growing machining processes. This thesis addresses the idea of applying water jet cutting technology as a new method for boring through rock in the construction of infrastructural tunnels. So far water jets have only be applied as a supplement to enhance traditional tunneling methods, but with the development of water cutting technology, new applications are increasingly becoming more relevant. In order to grasp the potential of Water Jet Tunneling, research has be made to further understand how tunnels are constructed, what tunneling methods are currently being used, how they work, and how water jet cutting works. The most common tunneling method used in Norway today is drilling and blasting (D&B), with an average advance rate about 8 to 10 hour per 5-meter advancement section. An alternative method is via a tunnel-boring machine (TBM), however, despite its fairly low operating cost per kilometer (compared to D&B), the initial cost of installing such a machine is too high relative to the length of the most tunnels constructed in Norway. Making D&B the most relevant competitive method for Norwegian tunneling projects. The findings of the research suggest that further development need to be devoted to find a new water jet cutting method to increase the cutting depth on harder rock, like granite and meta-sandstone, beyond the conventional limit of approximately 30 cm, in order to at all be competitive for tunneling purposes.
Master's thesis in Industrial economics