What Is Tunnel Formwork?
Tunnel formwork is a specialized structural element used during tunnel construction to shape and support the interior of the tunnel. Tunnel formworks are typically made from durable materials such as metal or concrete and are used to achieve the desired dimensions, shape, and strength of the tunnel.
During tunnel construction, a path is created through natural rock or soil using tunnel boring machines (TBM) or blasting methods. Tunnel formworks are used to support the created void, shape the tunnel, and create a safe working environment. These formworks may include panels that form the walls and ceiling of the tunnel, formwork supports, support systems, and other components.
Tunnel formworks can also be used in later stages of tunnel construction to line the interior surface of the tunnel, apply concrete, or use other construction materials. This enhances the durability of the tunnel and results in a long-lasting structure.
What Are the Tunnel Formwork Equipments?
Tunnel formwork equipment refers to various tools, machines, and equipment used during tunnel construction or the construction of underground facilities. These pieces of equipment are utilized to facilitate and expedite the processes of tunnel excavation, support, lining, and completion. Given the complexity and challenges of tunnel construction, these equipment items play a crucial role in successfully completing projects. Tunnel formwork equipment may include:
- Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs): These machines are used for tunnel excavation. Special machines known as Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) fall into this category. TBMs dig through the ground and can simultaneously create a formwork that supports the tunnel walls.
- Tunnel Formworks: These are used to shape and support the interior of the tunnel. Tunnel formworks are typically composed of concrete or metal panels and are used for lining the interior surface of the tunnel.
- Support Equipment: This equipment is used to safely support the tunnel’s ceiling and walls during construction. It may include support frames, columns, and anchoring systems.
- Laying Equipment: Used to install structural components within the tunnel, such as rails, electrical lines, or pipes. This equipment speeds up and organizes the installation process.
- Air Supply and Drainage Systems: These systems are used to ensure proper air circulation within the tunnel and facilitate water drainage. They contribute to a safer and more comfortable working environment during tunnel construction.
- Electrical and Lighting Equipment: Installed within the tunnel to provide electrical power and lighting. This equipment ensures a safe working environment.
- Communication and Safety Equipment: Devices and systems used to establish communication and ensure safety within the tunnel. This can include fire-fighting equipment, emergency exit signs, and communication systems.