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Prediction of the dispersion of soil in slurry shield tunneling

Prediction of the dispersion of soil in slurry shield tunneling


M. Thewes / T. Weiner

Shield machines with a slurry supported face are typically used in non-cohesive soils. Still, these machines quite often also encounter cohesive soils or soils with a high content of fines. In fine-grained soil it cannot be avoided that a certain amount of the fine particles disperses into the slurry. On the one hand this effect is welcome because to a certain extent it enhances the rheological quality of the slurry. On the other hand, this natural dispersion cannot be controlled properly and thus it is common that the slurry has to be discharged from the slurry circuit more often. This results in an increased volume of highly charged slurry, which can only be treated in the separation process by costly methods such as using centrifuges or filter presses. This leads to negative ecological and economic effects, resulting in the need for a standardised testing method to predict how much of a specific soil disperses within the slurry. The knowledge of this information is essential for the dimensioning of the slurry treatment plant.

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