Modern tunnel boring machines are subject to excessive cutter wear and bearing failures when used in hard and abrasive rock. In very hard rock, the high cost of cutter and bearing replacement, combined with slower excavation progress, make it more economical to drive tunnels by conventional drill and blast methods. The use of high pressure water jets to break rock provides a promising alternative. Experimental data indicate that the specific energy (the energy expended per unit volume of rock broken) decreases as the water jet pressure increases. Continuous jets are generally limited to pressures below 100,000 psi, whereas pulsed jets from a water cannon can attain much higher pressures. This paper reports the results of laboratory tests with pulsed jets against large rock samples at pressures of 125,000 to 650,000 psi and field tests against dolomitic limestone and granitic gneiss at pressures near 450,000 psi. Although initial tests were made with a small nozzle, operating at off-design conditions, this paper only covers results with the full-size nozzle, including 55 laboratory test shots and 67 field test shots.

  • Authors:
    • Cooley, W C
  • Publication Date: 1974-6

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00095271
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 15 1975 12:00AM