Dos Santos International is pleased to announce the award of its latest patent.  The DSI TBM Trailing Sandwich conveyor (US Patent number 11,148,885 BI) was awarded on October 19, 2021.

Muck disposal from the largest TBMs (Tunnel Boring Machines) is now predominantly by conventional trailing conveyors.  The large continuous volumes must then be elevated to the surface, then conveyed and discharged at a holding area, to be removed to permanent fill locations.

The TBM tunnels are typically along horizontal runs and modest slopes but not always.  Occasionally high slope angles are required that are beyond the slope angle capabilities of conventional open trough trailing conveyors.  A 2019 Australian project required the TBM to produce a large (10 meters diameter) tunnel along a path that began horizontally then ascended to an incline angle of 25 degrees and ultimately transitioned back to a horizontal path. The Sandwich Belt high angle conveyor solution could easily solve the high angle conveying problem, but such a system must include all of the features of the conventional trailing conveyor.  

Other unique challenges arise when the loading station must be placed on the the TBM trailing deck and the conveyor must continuously extend.  Necessity being the mother of invention, Joe Dos Santos responded to the challenge and developed a TBM trailing Sandwich Belt high angle conveyor with all of the needed features for that project.  The invention however, goes beyond the requirements of that project and extends to any possible incline.

The DSI TBM Sandwich Belt Trailing Conveyor promised to revolutionize muck clearance from TBM’s that excavate at any high angle.  

Additionally, to elevate the high volumetric rates to the surface, DSI offers Sandwich Belt high angle and vertical conveyors.   Joe Dos Santos engineered and supplied vertical Sandwich Belt high angle conveyors for many tunneling projects.  The latest, for the Paris Expansion project where two DSI Sandwich Belt high angle conveyors were used.

This TBM Trailing Sandwich Belt high angle conveyor with all of its features and implications include:

  • the belt storage units for top and bottom belts,
  • the head discharge details,
  • the intermediate conveyor structure as it changes with the increasing conveying angle,
  • the tail drives and loading section on the TBM trailing deck,
  • the manner and sequence of adding intermediate conveyor structure at the trailing deck, as the TBM advances.  This includes the provisional means of hugging the bulk material while the permanent means is being added.