Activated rock excavation machines – vision or fiction?!

Mechanical rock excavation processes ensure an almost continuous extraction process when extraction, loading and transport can be combined into a single process.

Over the past decades a lot of reserach was carried out to improve excavation technologies by a so-called activation of excavation processes e.g. by high pressure water jets or through an activation of tools. The findings of various research programs have indicated a huge potential for these technologies.

Therefore, prototypes of rock excavation machines applying those technologies have been designed and manufactured by different global mining equipment manufacturers. First field tests under real world conditions revealed promising results for those excavation machines.

The potential for a step-change over the next five years of hard rock cutting machines are ranked second out of the ten highlights in mining with the potential to change the industry by Mining Magazine.

The RockCutting Center at AMT was expanded and modernized at the end of 2014 and is equipped with two test benches – a linear cutting test bench and a rotational cutting test bench – to reproduce stripping as well as cutting processes in different variations.

Conventional and modern sensor technology is used to investigate cutting parameters like cutting forces to quantify the specific energy demand. Further research goals are a condition monitoring system for cutting tools and an online analysis of emerging dust.

RWTH Publication Record

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