With its main bearing for the Chinese tunnel boring machine (TBM) system supplier Shanghai Tunnel Engineering (STEC), Liebherr has reached a new level in the field of tunnel construction. With a diameter of almost 8 m and a weight of 44 tons, the roller bearing is a true heavyweight product used in one of the largest tunnel boring machines. At the same time, this bearing is the largest TBM main bearing of its kind produced by Liebherr so far.
When a main bearing weighs 44 small cars at the same time, it is expected to be able to do a lot. Used on the cutter head of the TBM, it helps to drill a tunnel about 6 stories high. This is possible thanks to double rollers in the bearing track, extremely precise internal gears, and 20 pinions that drive the bearings on the inner ring.
In addition to the main bearings, Liebherr also manufactures and installs bearings for the aforementioned tunnel boring machines. With a diameter of 7.3m and a weight of 5.7 tons, it may not look that big in comparison, but it still plays an important role in tunnel construction. It is located behind the cutter head, ensuring that the precast concrete elements are placed around the wall during tunnel excavation. The main task of the concrete element is to fix the tunnel. In the second step, these concrete members support the TBM as it advances.
The 8-kilometer tunnel in Foshan, southern China, is 15.5 meters high and will ensure that vehicles can drive back and forth in three lanes on two superimposed roads. In more and more cities, infrastructure is being newly developed and expanded. Therefore, the global demand for subway construction and road tunnels is growing. In addition, tunnel systems for mining, hydropower, and supply and disposal systems are currently in great demand and are showing strong growth. Therefore, for Liebherr, the production of TBM main bearings is a step in the right direction.
Liebherr has completed several projects with STEC. However, through this task, Liebherr-Components contributed to the success of the main project.
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