Photograph copyright Earth Boring Company Limited

Microtunneling - Frequently Asked Questions

In microtunneling hydraulic jacks are used to push pipes through the ground behind a tunnel shield at the same time as excavation is taking place within the shield. The method provides a flexible, structural, watertight, finished pipeline as the tunnel is excavated. Need a visual to help round out your understanding? Check out our Microtunneling Gallery.

What geological conditions are required for Microtunnelling?

Earth Boring utilizes AVN slurry machines belonging to the category of closed, full face excavation machines with a hydraulic slurry circuit. The soil to be excavated is removed using a cutterwheel (head) adapted to the respective geology. This makes it possible to use the machines in almost all geological conditions.

What length of installation can be achieved?

There are several factors that determine the length of an MTBM drive. Soils and diameter of pipe play a large factor in the length of a drive. With the use of intermediate jacking stations, lengths of 300m to 500m are readily achievable, provided careful consideration to other key factors are observed at design. Connect with us to better understand the wide capabilities of MTBM on your next trenchless project.

What size tunnel can you achieve?

Earth Boring offers a wide selection of MTBM solutions ranging in diameters from 525mm to 1800mm.

Is sophisticated dewatering required for MTBM installations?

No. The only dewatering required is for the launch and reception shafts. The tunnel path does not require sophisticated dewatering. MTBM technology has advanced considerably in the last few years and the closed face slurry circuit can readily address some of the wettest soil conditions.

What grade tolerances can be achieved.

Depending on the soils, diameter of pipe and required grade the slightest of grade tolerances can be achieved. Earth Boring MTBMs are guided by sophisticated laser sighting and guidance software making the finest of grade tolerances achievable.

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