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Shield Tunneling Machines

Underground spaces are used for railways, roads, underground rivers, new physical distribution systems, garbage incineration facilities as well as energy-related facilities, and their application is expanding to huge underground cities. A technology that is indispensable for creating these underground spaces is the technology of shield tunneling machines.
Since it began manufacturing shield tunneling machines in 1967, Hitachi Zosen has delivered more than 1,200 units to domestic and overseas customers. We will continue to develop technologies for shield tunneling machines and contribute to building social infrastructures through the creation of underground spaces.


17.45m Earth pressure balance shield tunneling machine
for Seattle

Major products

Slurry-type shield tunneling machines

The slurry-type shield tunneling machine excavates ground while preventing the face from collapsing by using the pressure of circulated muddy water in the cutter chamber. Excavated soil material is transported as fluid slurry to the slurry treatment plant and separated into muddy water and soil. This shield tunneling method can be applied to large-diameter tunnels and high-water-bearing tunnels, and is suitable for use in severe working conditions such as tunneling under the sea or rivers. We have experience in manufacturing slurry-type shield tunneling machines up to a maximum diameter of 14.14 meters.


6.44m Slurry-type shield tunneling machine for Bangalore Metro, India

Earth pressure balance (EPB) shield tunneling machine

The EPB machine stabilize face by controlling chamber pressure filled with excavated soil to resist earth and water pressure. It is applied to wide range of ground conditions such as highly permeable ground, low overburden and boulder. It is also applied to large boulder by equipping with ribbon screw conveyor. We delivered Dia. 13.6m EPB machine in Japan and it achieved breakthorugh successfully.


13.6m Earth pressure balance machine for Central Circular Metropolitan Expressway, Tokyo

Boulder or hard rock shield tunneling machine

This is a shield machine that can crush boulders and bedrock at the face in order to make it possible to excavate ground that contains boulders or bedrock. The machine is designed to accommodate flat, semi-dome and dome cutter heads depending on the ground conditions, as well as both carbide tip insertion type and quenching type disk cutters. The largest diameter built to date is 10.82 meters.

Specialized shield tunneling machines

For variant cross-sections or construction conditions, we provide a variety of specialized shield tunneling machines such as the multi-face shield tunneling machine, rectangular or horseshoe-shaped shield tunneling machine, built-in parent-child shield tunneling machine that changes its cross-section in the ground, mechanical docking shield tunneling machines that are connected to each other in the ground, and a side docking shield tunneling machine that connects to an existing tunnel.

Hard rock tunnel boring machine (TBM)

The TBM is a full-face boring machine for stable ground such as mountain tunnels. It is available in three configurations: the open type, which utilizes direct counterforce against the ground for forward progression; the full shield type, which progresses by utilizing the counterforce of the tunnel walls while providing full protection for the machinery internals; and a third configuration that combines the features of the other two types and is designed to accommodate different types of ground.

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