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MAXAM Foundation

MAXAM Foundation - MAXAM Chair - Blasting solutions - Tunneling

The era of the railway, known as the golden age of tunnel construction, was one of the high points of the industrial revolution during the second half of the 19th century. The massive transport system brought by the development of the railway completely changed the history of our civilization, reducing distances and boosting economic, cultural and social exchanges between different regions.

The need to overcome natural obstacles as the railway network expanded led to the construction of numerous tunnels all around the world. Furthermore, growth in the world's population and its increasing concentration in towns and cities subsequently led to demand for large-scale engineering works such as tunnel excavation.

Tunnel excavation

Tunnels are linear underground constructions which have a wide range of applications in engineering, normally sized to transport people or materials, and to create access to mineral deposits, as typical in underground mining. Despite their technical similarities in terms of design, tunnels can have significant differences in their operation cycles follow-ing blasting.

In civil engineering, tunnel excavation is designed in accordance with, firstly, the geolo-gy of the rock mass, cross-sectional dimensions and length, and, secondly, with the ultimate purpose: for roads, hydraulics, common or special use. In general, an ideal blasting design should take into account suitable drilling patterns, energy distribution and the initiation sequence in order to achieve good advance speed with minimum damage to the walls of the excavation.

Although systematic excavation of tunnels using drilling and blasting techniques dates back more than a century, significant technical and technological improvements have come about over recent decades, such as drilling systems with MWD (Measure While Drilling) and mechanized bulk explosive loads with flexible densities, amongst others. Recent research and development has focused on the combined automation of drilling and loading systems, minimizing exposure for people at the work front.

 Load of a blast in Angola (project Lauca) front.

MAXAM & tunnel excavation

With utmost safety always our priority, the goal of blasting is to ensure maximum ad-vance, and fragmentation which will allow better performance of the loading and crushing equipment. Overcoming these challenges with the highest rates of produc-tion, efficiency and operational safety using a simple, flexible system is the basis of the value proposals drawn up by MAXAM, in order to minimize any effects on the walls of the excavation and, by extension, on the rock mass, thus ensuring optimal advance per round.

The combination of an innovative, flexible load system, accuracy in the electronic det-onator times and the intrinsic energy of the explosive all allow the selective sizing of the required energy by setting the density of the explosive in accordance with the particu-lar conditions of the front, in order to design safe, energy-efficient blasts.
br /> Given these challenges, the value proposition developed by MAXAM include:
• Safe operation.
• Safe supply.
• Minimum damage and maximum advance per round.
• Flexible densities in the same front.
• Up-hole and 360º ring load systems.
• Dilution control.
• Environmental controls.
• Total Cost of Ownership.

The combination of all these factors is key to the success of tunnel excavation operations.

Be sure to contact MAXAMfor further information on value proposals and blasting solutions for tunnels.

 Face Tie-up at Oberau tunnel project, (Germany).

Blasting solutions. July 2017


Last update 2019.10.10
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