How to Protect TBMs with Chromium Carbide Plates


Tunnel boring machines, also known as TBMs or “moles”, are large excavation machines that primarily used to construct tunnels. TBMs offer flexibility by being able to cut through a wide variety of rock and soil. For instance, the 35 mile tunnel being constructed through a portion of the Swiss Alps that will save the country millions in transportation costs in the end.

TBMs also create tunnels more safely and efficiently than other traditional methods, such as blasting and drilling. TBMs produce smooth walls that are structurally sound without disrupting the surrounding environment. This makes TBMs ideal for any operation taking place in an urban setting.

Like most equipment that is employed in construction work, TBMs face more than your standard amount of wear and abrasion. The demanding situations TBMs and other excavators endure can lead to costly damage and loss of production.

One of the largest TBMs right now is a machine called Bertha that is digging in Seattle, Washington. The TBMsuffered damage in December 2013 and is not scheduled to resume digging until March 2015. This large-scale project has been set back 15 months and will face millions in repairs.

This case demonstrates how any damage affecting a TBM can result in costly downtime and repairs. To get the most production out of your TBM, you need top level protection.

Chromium carbide plates are a great solution that provides one of the strongest measures of protection for your TBM.

Here is a closer look at why chromium carbide plates could be exactly what you are looking for on your next tunneling project.

In tunneling situations, it can be difficult to find the right components for TBMs. Furthermore, once you have the part, change-outs can be a challenge. Limited access to the equipment and tight space constraints require a lot of hassle every time a component is compromised.

Once you have the right component, protecting it with a chromium carbide plate will provide outstanding protection and limit the amount of times change-outs occur.

Protection is especially important in tunneling projects where exposure to abrasive soil and rock translates to a higher risk for wear. Chromium carbide plates are able to manage the wear and protection of key components on the machine by taking the bulk of the impact. The hardness of 600 BHN can play a large role in deflecting damage to the costly apparatuses of the TBM.

This additional protection will help your TBM run longer and more effectively. Running longer translates to less down time, meaning the machine can continue to keep the job on task and schedule.

Many times people will wonder if installing this type of protection will be more difficult than the benefit it provides, but wear components can be easily welded directly onto machinery, many times right in the field. This easy solution is well worth the investment and installation for the extended life of your tunneling components that it provides. This will allow for the company to keep profits as profits and not cutting into them for additional maintenance parts and labor.

We are also willing to work with your company to make sure you are getting the best possible product for your machine. Many times, wear solutions providers, such as JADCO, can send prefabricated wear parts that are custom fit specifically to your TBM.

With custom fit parts you can rest assured that your chromium carbide plate is working at its highest level of effectiveness and that your TBM will see the benefit.

By eliminating costly repairs and downtime, your tunneling project will operate at its maximum level of efficiency.