Use of TBM Muck as Construction Material


Tunnel boring machines (TBM's) are widely used in tunnel construction in rock. The rock chips (muck) produced are rarely used for construction applications, however, because the suitability of the material is not well understood. Yet the cuttings appear to be of approximately the correct average size for some applications. If they are suitable in other respects, cost savings can be realized in tunnel construction, where aggregate is a common requirement. A review of standard construction aggregate specifications indicates that hardrock TBM muck would be suitable for several construction applications with a minimum of processing: road pavement and structural concrete. Processing options also are discussed for cases where the raw TBM muck is nearly, but not quite, suitable. A 0.65 metric ton (1420 lb) cuttings sample generated by a laboratory tunnel boring machine operating in a welded tuff is analyzed for suitability for different construction applications. In addition, numerous tunneling projects that use or have studied TBM waste for construction purposes are described.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Building Materials; Concretes; Costs; Rocks; Welded Tuffs, Tunneling Machines; Construction Material; TBM; Waste Management

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2000 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2000