Applicability of the new rock abrasivity test method (RIAT) to cutter life assessments in hard rock tunnel boring
Disc cutter consumption is of great importance when using the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) method for tunnelling in hard rock conditions. Abrasive wear is the most common process affecting cutter consumption; therefore good laboratory tests for rock abrasivity assessments are needed to carry out reliable cutter consumption assessments that enable project planning and control of the risk. A new rock abrasivity test method named Rolling Indentation Abrasion Test (RIAT) has recently been developed. It reproduces wear behaviour on hard rock tunnel boring in a more realistic way than the traditionally used methods by introducing wear by rolling contact on intact rock samples. Detailed cutter consumption data, operational machine parameters and laboratory tests results from a recently finished hard rock TBM project has been analysed in order to evaluate the applicability of the RIAT method to assess cutter consumption in hard rock tunnel boring.