The prediction of cutter wear from temperature measurements on TBM discs and cutting face


ARABIAN JOURNAL OF GEOSCIENCES, vol.13, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12517-020-5188-0


One of the most important and major expenditures for a tunnel boring machine (TBM) during an excavation performance is the cost due to the replacement of worn or damaged cutters. Excessive and continuous heat effect is an essential parameter on cutter wear; however, it is ignored in calculations on cutter consumption. Factors, such as the TBM operating parameters, material characteristics, ambient temperature, rock mineralogical structures, and heat generated from the physical working environment, may deform cutters. In this study, thermal measurements were performed on disc cutters, body, and formation while in operation at a TBM. Measurements were taken while the TBM was already in operation or when it was stopped for another operational reason by opening the excavation chamber cover. Temperature data collected manually by using a handy infrared thermometer. The cutter consumption was recorded in the related route. The recorded temperature measurements and the wear values obtained from real-time excavation of various formations were subjected to statistical analysis. A meaningful and moderate relation (R-2 = 0.67) was established between the disc cutter consumption and temperature increment values of the disc cutters. The study shows that the temperature measurements in the cutting tests before the excavation or thermal measurements during the excavation can be used to estimate the cutter consumption for each formation, statistically.