The ability to improve rock-breaking efficiency of tunnel boring machines in hard rock stratum is significant to improve driving speed and reduce construction cost and time. The undercutting method has been used to improve the rock-breaking efficiency of disc cutters, including the design of curved and multistage cutterheads. The limited radian of curved cutterheads and the number of multistage cutterheads, however, are restricted by the current manufacturing level. We explored mechanical response and rock-breaking efficiency assisted by water jet kerfs as the vertical free surface. We conducted a quasi-static penetration test of the disc cutter considering four kerf depths and three groups of confining pressures. We analysed the surface crack propagation and fractures inside the sample using acoustic emission and computed tomography scanning. We studied the influence of confining pressure and cutting depth of the water jet on penetration force, rock chips, and specific energy. We analysed the failure evolution and stress field of kerf specimens using numerical simulation. The results showed that increasing cutting depth relieved restraint stress and the resulting influence of the confining pressure on removed rock volumes and specific energy was not remarkable. We recommended a kerf depth of greater than 18 mm to reduce penetration force and significantly improve rock-breaking efficiency.
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This work was supported by the Opening Fund of State Key Laboratory for Geomechanics and Deep Underground Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology (Grant no. SKLGDUEK2007) and the Youth Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 42007277).
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Cheng, JL., Wang, YX., Wang, LG. et al. Penetration behaviour of TBM disc cutter assisted by vertical precutting free surfaces at various depths and confining pressures. Archiv.Civ.Mech.Eng 21, 22 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43452-020-00172-5
- Hard rock
- Precutting by water jet
- TBM disc cutter penetration
- Confining pressure
- Failure mechanism