White Papers

Enhanced Probe Drilling & Pre-Grouting on Hard Rock TBMs

While probe drills are not strictly necessary for all projects, the incorporation and use of probe drills and pre-grouting adds capability and insurance to boring operations. Water ingress and unstable ground can be resolved before becoming a problem and resulting in costly delays through the use of enhanced, 360-degree probe drilling setups. To do this, proper design of the array of drill ports in the shield, matched to the possible ground conditions, is critical. For ground with exceptional water and instabilities expected, additional probing locations are low-cost additions that can lower risk and increase efficiency. In this paper we will look at recent and ongoing projects including the Lower Meramec Tunnel and Jefferson Barracks Phase 2. We will detail the design of those probe drill arrangements, and our overall recommendations for probing/grouting systems that best suit challenging ground conditions and keep projects running smoothly.


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