Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 51, Issue 7, pp 2223–2236 | Cite as

Full-Scale Rotary Cutting Test to Study the Influence of Disc Cutter Installment Radius on Rock Cutting Forces

  • Yucong Pan
  • Quansheng Liu
  • Xingxin Peng
  • Xiaoxuan Kong
  • Jianping Liu
  • Xiaobo Zhang
Original Paper


Disc cutters mounted on the cutterhead of tunnel boring machine (TBM) can be divided into center cutter, face cutter and gauge cutter according to their installment radius. Due to the differences in rock cutting condition, disc cutter turning radius and cutterhead stiffness distribution, they show very different characteristics in the magnitude of disc cutter normal and rolling forces. For the realistic modeling of whole cutterhead, full-scale rotary cutting test using disc cutter with different installment radius is a useful and inspiring way to study the influence of disc cutter installment radius on rock cutting forces. By conducting full-scale rotary cutting test, two main conclusions are obtained. First, disc cutter normal and rolling forces both decrease rapidly and then remain nearly stable when disc cutter installment radius increases. Second, the normal and rolling forces of the innermost disc cutters are two to four times higher than those of the outermost disc cutters. This study verifies the very uneven distribution of the disc cutter cutting forces on the cutterhead, and it can contribute to better arrangement of the disc cutters to ensure that they subject to similar loading and wear conditions and also can offer suggestions for field TBM operation to avoid severe overloading of the inner disc cutters.


Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Rotary cutting machine (RCM) Disc cutter Installment radius Rock cutting force 



This work was financially supported by National Key Basic Research Program of China under Grant Nos. 2014CB046904 and 2015CB058102, China Postdoctoral Science Foundation Program under Grant No. 2017M622515, National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 41602326 and National Funded Program for Graduate Students Studying Abroad of China Scholarship Council under Grant No. 201506270068 (to Miss Xiaoxuan Kong). The authors are grateful for their continuous support and also to the authors’ colleagues for their valuable help in organizing and improving this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Safety for Geotechnical and Structural Engineering of Hubei Province, School of Civil EngineeringWuhan UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Institute of Rock and Soil MechanicsChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower EngineeringSichuan Agricultural UniversityYa’anPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Engineering Quality Inspection CenterYangtze River Scientific Research InstituteWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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