What is Microtunneling?

If you’ve been dabbling in the Tunneling world, we’re certain you’ve come across the term “microtunneling”.

So, what exactly is microtunneling? That’s precisely what we’re going to dig into today, courtesy of some assistance from our friends at The Robbins Company. (they follow us on Instagram, which means we’re friends right?)

Since The Robbins Company seem to be the experts in tunneling and microtunneling, its probably a great idea to lead off with their quick explanation from this article crafted by their talented team to “school” us on what exactly microtunneling is:

“Microtunneling systems are the optimal choice for small diameter, unmanned tunnel boring projects.

With these systems, the Microtunneling Machine (MTBM) is driven and monitored remotely from the surface and is capable of single-pass installations on line and grade per industry standards.

The surface-located operation room houses the operator station and drive motor controls for the MTBM and its slurry pumps.

Hydraulic power units for the main and intermediate jacking stations are housed separate to the operation room.

Robbins has a full staff of field service and support personnel to train and assist as needed to ensure successful project completion.”

tunnel-insider-microtunneling
Microtunneling cross-section showcased

So, if someone said you have 15 seconds to explain (elevator pitch) what microtunneling is, you can enlighten them by stating the following: Microtunneling is used for small diameter tunneling projects, operated remotely by a crew stationed on the surface, and are a safer option for field personnel when compared to much larger TBM’s.

If we had to guess, they are probably more cost effective than utilizing the traditional TBMs to dig but that comes with limitations on the bore diameter.

If you want to learn more about Microcuttneling, Tunneling or TBMs, head over to The Robbins Company website and indulge on the awesome info! Happy tunneling!

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