TBM Performance Prediction in Yucca Mountain Welded Tuff from Linear Cutter Tests


This paper discusses performance prediction which were developed for tunnel boring machines operating in welded tuff for the construction of the experimental study facility and the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The predictions were based on test data obtained from an extensive series of linear cutting tests performed on samples of Topopah String welded tuff from the Yucca Mountain Project site. Using the cutter force, spacing, and penetration data from the experimental program, the thrust, torque, power, and rate of penetration were estimated for a 25 ft diameter tunnel boring machine (TBM) operating in welded tuff. The result show that the Topopah Spring welded tuff (TSw2) can be excavated at relatively high rates of advance with state-of-the-art TBMs. The result also show, however, that the TBM torque and power requirements will be higher than estimated based on rock physical properties and past tunneling experience in rock formations of similar strength

Meeting Name

International High Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference, IHLRWM (1992: Apr. 12-16, Las Vegas, NV)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Construction; Excavation; High-Level Radioactive Wastes; Mining Equipment; Performance; Tuff; Tunneling; Underground Disposal; Underground Facilities; Yucca Mountain

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 1992 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 1992

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