The usage of full face tunnel boring machines (TBMs) for mining and civil projects are increasing enormously in recent years. Selection of TBM for a given rock formation is very important for the success of the project. A great care must be taken for machine selection and performance prediction in the project design phase. Full scale linear rock cutting test (LCM) and University of Trondheim performance prediction model are widely accepted methods for the performance prediction of the full face tunnel boring machines. For the performance prediction of TBMs, a portable linear rock cutting machine (PLCM)™ using mini discs is developed by the members of Istanbul Technical University (ITU), Mining Engineering Department.
In this study, the intact rock sample, arcose is obtained along the tunnel alignment. The physical and mechanical properties of the rock sample are determined according to ISRM and ASTM standards. Big rock block sample is subjected to full scale linear rock cutting tests with different depth of cut and cutter spacing using 15'' (380 mm in diameter) V-type disc cutters. These rock samples are also subjected to portable linear rock cutting tests using mini V-type (130 mm in diameter) disc cutter at 5 mm depth of cut. Rock cutting test results from LCM and PLCM tests are compared with each other. These studies indicated that portable linear rock cutting test can be used with a statistical reliability for selection of TBMs and prediction of their performance.