Compressed-air work is entering the field of high pressures.

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Compressed-air work is entering the field of high pressures.

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Title: Compressed-air work is entering the field of high pressures.
Author: Le Pechon, JC; Gourdon, G
Abstract: Since 1850, compressed-air work has been used to prevent shafts or tunnels under construction from flooding. Until the 1980s, workers were digging in compressed-air environments. Since the introduction of tunnel boring machines (TBMs), very little digging under pressure is needed. However, the wearing out of cutter-head tools requires inspection and repair. Compressed-air workers enter the pressurized working chamber only occasionally to perform such repairs. Pressures between 3.5 and 4.5 bar, that stand outside a reasonable range for air breathing, were reached by 2002. Offshore deep diving technology had to be adapted to TBM work. Several sites have used mixed gases: in Japan for deep shaft sinking (4.8 bar), in The Netherlands at Western Scheldt Tunnels (6.9 bar), in Russia for St. Petersburg Metro (5.8 bar) and in the United States at Seattle (5.8 bar). Several tunnel projects are in progress that may involve higher pressures: Hallandsas (Sweden) interventions in heliox saturation up to 13 bar, and Lake Mead (U.S.) interventions to about 12 bar (2010). Research on TBMs and grouting technologies tries to reduce the requirements for hyperbaric works. Adapted international rules, expertise and services for saturation work, shuttles and trained personnel matching industrial requirements are the challenges.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine : Journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/9534
Date: 2010

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