Document Type : Case Study


Individual Tunnel Engineering Consultant, Esfahan, Iran


The study of downtime and subsequently machine utilization in a given project is one of the major requirements of an accurate estimation of TBM performance and daily advance rate. Interestingly, while it is very common to report the components of downtime when discussing a tunneling project in the literature; there has not been a great amount of in-depth studies on this topic in the recent years. This work presents an in-depth analysis of the different components of hard rock TBM tunneling downtime on the basis of the information about several TBM tunneling projects from around the world including some that are underway or completed in the recent years. This includes the comparison of the recorded downtimes with those predicted by the existing models for these tunnels. The results of this comparison show that with the existing models, there is a poor correlation between the predicted and the actual downtime component values. This indicates that the existing models might be outdated or, in some cases, incompatible with the newly developed technologies. In order to provide a more accurate downtime model, an in-depth statistical analysis of the information about the same tunnels, used for the comparative studies, is conducted to develop the new “hard rock TBM downtime model”. This model includes a set of formulas and tables as well as some charts to predict different activities’ downtimes for three major hard TBM types including open TBM, single-shield TBM, and double-shield TBM. The comparison between the new model predictions and the actual values show a good agreement. The results of this work can be very helpful for the evaluation of time and cost to complete a TBM tunneling project, especially when the downtime is expected to be high.


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