Terratec – Always Advancing

29 October 2021

Incorporated in 1990, Terratec one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of Tunnel Boring Machines, encompassing all ground conditions and diameters – ranging from 0.60 to over 16 meters – as well as TBM back-up equipment, Raise Boring Machines and other custom-engineered products for the tunnelling and mining industries. Terratec's success is based on the experience and excellence of its engineering team. This team includes engineers with more than 40-years of experience in the design and manufacture of tunnelling and mining machines who have worked on some of the world’s largest underground projects. Terratec is also fully managed by engineers enabling quick and efficient solutions that meet customer expectations.

Terratec products are well-known in the industry as Robust, Durable and Safe, basic principles that must prevail in the design of any equipment made to work in the extreme conditions encountered underground. As a provider of Total Tunnelling Solutions, Terratec’s scope of work extends to custom engineering, as well as the operation and maintenance of tunnel boring equipment and the supply of ancillary equipment.

Today, Terratec is well placed to meet the growing global market, demanding the highest quality and reliability of equipment for fast and efficient execution of projects anywhere in the world.

Terratec produces all types of TBM, for all different type of ground conditions from soft ground to hard rock.


HARD ROCK TBMS - For the last 30 years, Terratec has provided Hard Rock Tunnel Boring Machines for a full range of geological conditions, from soft shale to extremely hard and abrasive quartzite.

OPEN TBMS - The Open TBM is the most traditional of the Hard Rock TBMs and is the fastest and most effective machine for boring tunnels in healthy hard rock formations.

During the boring operation, the rear part of this TBM, called the Gripper Device, is firmly anchored to the tunnel walls by two large gripper pads while the front part of the TBM, containing the cutterhead, is extended by the action of hydraulic thrust cylinders.

DOUBLE SHIELD and SINGLE SHIELD ROCK TBMS - For rock formations containing unstable or faulty zones, using a shielded rock machine is the safest and most efficient way to excavate.

Double Shield TBM propulsion is achieved using a Gripper Device, but in contrast to an Open TBM, the front and rear parts of the TBM are completely shielded and the TBM can install a concrete lining formed by precast segments to perfectly protect the tunnel from the surrounding ground, at the same time as the cutterhead excavates, allowing excellent advance rates.  However if the rock strength is weak and the tunnel walls cannot support the action of the Gripper Pads, excavation of the rock is carried out with a Single Shield TBM as the Single Shield TBM pushes against the concrete lining rings to advance forward, and due to this, installation of segments and excavation is done in alternate stages.

SOFT GROUND TBMS - For tunnelling projects in soft ground geology with shallow overburden – generally carried out in urban areas – the TBM has to control the pressure at the excavation face, which must be greater than the atmospheric pressure inside the tunnel boring machine. Terratec produces the following Soft Ground TBMs.

EARTH PRESSURE BALANCE MACHINE - An Earth Pressure Balance Machine (EPBM) evacuates excavated material through a Screw Conveyor. The pressure at the front of the machine is controlled by balancing the advance speed of the TBM with the flow of excavated material through the Screw. The EPBM can work with or without pressure in stable layers.

SLURRY SHIELD - The Slurry Shield TBM is suitable for excavating soils with high water content. This TBM is equipped with a Slurry System that controls the pressure at the excavation face by injecting pressurised slurry into the Cutter Chamber where the slurry is mixed with the excavated material and the mixture is pumped out of the tunnel to a separation and recirculation plant.

MICROTUNNELLING - Terratec offers a wide range of Small Boring Machines (<2.5m) that do not require the presence of an operator inside the tunnel, as the excavation is fully controlled from the surface.

These trenchless solutions are in demand in large cities where conventional methods can cause unacceptable disruption to the daily life of citizens.

RAISE BORING MACHINES (RBMs) - Over the years Terratec has developed its own series of Raise Boring Machines, which have become recognised as superior products due to their innovative high-performance design.

The following Terratec standard Raise Boring Machines are available:  TDR SERIES allows reaming conventionally upwards, as well as downwards, up to 2,000mm diameter shafts.  TR SERIES for the excavation of large shafts, Terratec’s TR (Terratec Raise) Series offers an optimised design to ream upwards for shafts of up to 6,000mm in diameter and the UB SERIES which allows the Raise/Down/Boxhole drilling of shafts, which makes the UB the most versatile of the RBM’s.  The standard model of the Universal Borer allows raise boring shafts of 1,500mm and Down or Box hole reaming up to 1,060mm.

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS - The successful construction of a tunnel depends not only on the selection of the most suitable tunnelling machine but also the most efficient system to remove the spoil excavated from the TBM out of the tunnel. Interruption in the evacuation works very often leads to interruption to the boring availability of the TBM and subsequently, overall production.

Especially when tunnels are long, when slopes are steep or when space for unloading spoil is limited at the tunnel shaft or portal, the use of a Conveyor System has innumerable advantages over evacuation by rail-bound Muck Cars in terms of productivity, safety and operation and maintenance costs.

Terratec has designed and built sophisticated continuous conveyor systems specifically for individual tunnel and TBM conditions. These include continuous conveyor systems in the tunnel, transfer systems, vertical conveyors and stacker systems at the tunnel portal.

Terratec Conveyor Systems have been successfully installed on its own TBMs or TBMs made by other companies over the last 30 years with excellent results on more than 12 different projects.

Terratec designed and manufactured a Back-up System and a new patented Continuously Advancing Conveyor System for the TBM, which set world records in production for tunnels of this size. These records remain unbeaten.

As a result, it is becoming more and more common for Terratec to supply a Total Tunnelling Solution package consisting of the TBM/s, other main equipment in the tunnel (Trains, Conveyors, Segment Moulds and Ventilation), spares and consumables for the equipment and a team of Terratec field personnel who are responsible for operating and maintaining the equipment throughout the duration of the project. www.Terratec.co