Excavator drum cutter in tunnel construction

An excavator machine can be equipped with a drum cutter attachment to help with excavation and demolition duties, which is very useful while building tunnels.

Excavator drum cutter applications in tunnel construction include:

(1) For tunnels built using the New Austrian Tunnelling Method, it is preferable to utilize the excavator drum cutter rather of drilling and blasting.

Comment on the New Austrian Tunnelling Method

(The tunnel being built shouldn’t be subjected to drilling and blasting. The bolt and shotcrete are integrated as a building method of the main support means based on the tunnel engineering expertise and the theory of rock mechanics. Many theoretical and practical investigations were patented in some nations and officially named in the 1960s)

(2) It can be used to improve the tunnel’s appearance;
(3) It may be used to mill drainage trenches, foundations, walls, etc.
(4) It can be used to change the tunnel’s contour.
(5) It can be used to mill and excavate the concrete surface of tunnels, dig the ground of the tunnel, widen the tunnel by milling rock, create connection channels for milling tunnels.

(1) There is less disturbance to the nearby rock, and unfavorable conditions like decreased rock strength, loosening of the rock structure, and local cracking of the rock structure caused by blasting vibration are avoided;
(2) It is advantageous to preserve the original self-supporting capacity of the rock mass, and it is difficult to cause large-scale deformation and local collapse;
(3) Strong adaptability, able to excavate sections of any shape and size;
(4) The optional excavation drum cutter rapid change system allows for a 30-second changeover of the bucket;


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