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Патент USA US2404605

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July 23, 1946. _ _
Filed Oct. '7, 1944
3 Sheets-Sheet 1
4 ?m/Q/v
July 23, 194-6,
Filed Oct. 7, 1944
5 Sheets-Sheét 2
._ BY. 4,
July 23, 1946.
f Filed Oct. '1, 1944
s Sheets-Sheet 3
INVENToR; ‘ -'
Patented July 23, 1946
Howard 0. Thompson, San Francisco, Calif.
Application October 7, 1944, Serial No. 557,662
8 Claims.
(01. 262-7)
The present invention relates to improvements
in tunnel boring machines, and its principal ob
tached without departing from the spirit of ‘the '
Referring to the drawings in detail, my tunnel
ject is to provide a machine of the character de
scribed that will bore the full area of the tunnel
in one operation.
boring machine comprises in its principal fea
tures, a vehicle I, a housing 2 mounted longitudi
nally thereon with freedom of endwise motion,
a shaft 3 revolvable within the housing, a plate
carried by the‘ shaft, a‘pair of drill bits or cutters
For the purposes of my invention it is proposed
to use a compound drilling arrangement, in which
a, pair‘of drill bits mounted’ alongside of one an
other are made to rotate about their own axes \ 5 carried by the disc and gearing between the
and are also made to revolve about an intermedi 10 cutters and the housing. '
The vehicle I may be of any suitable type, and
ate axis, thus drilling a cylindrical tunnel of twice
preferably comprises a bed plate ‘I and one or
the drill bit diameter and of four times the drill
more pairs of wheels 8“ supporting the bed plate
through suitable links 9 which allow the wheels
It is further proposed to mount this drill bit
to be retracted, as shown in the dotted line posi
arrangement on a vehicle which is provided with
tion, and to be placed'in ‘any suitable working
means for anchoring the same, against the tunnel
position, depending upon the size of the tunnel
Wall and also with means for advancing the drill
to be bored. Suitable means (not shown) may
bit arrangement toward the tunnel wall under
be used for adjusting the links and for locking
steady pressure for feeding the drill bits.
It is further proposed’to provide a vehicle which 20 the same in adjusted position.
The vehicle is preferably provided'with a suit
may be readily advanced from time to time, as
able number of stingers In which may be driven
the drill bits reach the end of their active travel
into the wall of the tunnel for holding the vehicle
so that a complete tunnel maybe bored by suc
in place. Any suitable ‘means (not shown) may
cessive alternate drilling operations and advances
of the vehicle.
25 be used for driving and for retracting the Stingers,
and, in fact, any other suitable means may be
A further object of my invention is to provide
used for holding the, vehicle in position during
a suitable driving arrangement whereby the com
bit area.
pound movement of the drill bits about their own
drilling operations.
The housing 2 is mounted on the bed plate of
fected by the single drive selected of relatively 30 the vehicle with freedom of endwise motion and
is guided in any suitable manner as by rails ll
simple character.
' '
projecting into slots l2 in the'bed plate.
And ?nally, I propose to provide a special type
The housing is made essentially in the form of
of drill bit particularly designed to cooperate
a sleeve l3 having a cylindrical inner face [4
with its companion in drilling the entire area and
in throwing the cut material outward.
35 and an angular outer face l5. The forward end
of the sleeve is guided by the similarly shaped
Further objects and advantages of my tunnel
bearing [6, whilethe rear end of the sleeve ter- ‘
boring machine will appear as the specification
minates in an enlargement l‘l carrying the rails
proceeds, and the novel features of the same will
be fully de?ned in the claims hereto appended.
The enlargement in the rear of the housing
The preferred form of my invention is illus 40
and the bearing 16 for the front of the housing
trated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
are dimensioned to support the'housing in spaced
Figure 1 shows a front view of myTtunnel bor
and parallel relation to the bed plate, and are
ing machine;
constructed to hold-the housing against rotary
Figure 2, a longitudinal section taken along line
2--2 of Figure 1;
45 motion while, allowing‘ of endwise movement.
axes and about an intermediate axis may be ef
Figure 3, a cross-section taken along line 3-3
of Figure 2, looking in a forward direction;
Figure 4, a cross-section taken along line 4—4
of Figure 2, looking in a rearward direction; and
Figure 5, a sectional detail view taken along
line 5—5 of Figure 2.
While I have shown only the preferred form
of my invention, I wishto have it understood,
that various changes or modi?cations may be
The front end of the housing projects beyond the
bed plate and carries the gear wheel l8; , >
The shaft 3 extends clear through the housing
2 and is supported therein in suitable bearings
l9. The rear end of the shaft is preferably sup
ported in an additional bearing 20 mounted on
the bed plate.
The shaft is revolvablein the housing and is
held against endwise movement therein by a‘ col
made Within the scope of the claims hereto at 55 lar 2| on the shaft riding in an annular recess
‘ 22 in the enlargement of the housing.
It is ro
revolving at the same time so as to cover the
entire face of tunnel and an area four times the
tated by means of gearing 23-24 connecting it
to the motor 25 carried by the housing.
size of the individual drill bits.
With the motor 39 started, the plunger 35
exerts steady forward pressure against the tun
nel wall and feeds the drilling apparatus forward
until the latter has reached the end of its forward
travel, which is controlled by the length of the
slots I2. When this point has been reached, the
' The front end of the shaft 3 projects beyond
the housing 2 and carries the plate 4, which may
be splined thereto as at 26. The plate has two
stub shafts 21 mounted therein at diametrically
‘ opposed points and with freedom of rotary move
jment, and these shafts carry the drill bits or
cutters 5.
10 motors are stopped, the anchoring means are dis
connected and the vehicle is pushed forward by
The drill bits are of speci?c construction.
any suitable means, as by a tractor, and is re—
‘ Their outer edges are scalloped or waved so as
anchored for renewed operation of the'drilling
" to present alternate crests 28 and depressions 29
and they are dimensioned for meshing at the
. apparatus.
centerline, with a relatively loose ?t so as to be 15
adapted for accommodating a certain amount of
dirt and loose material between the same.
Each of the bits has as many cutting edges
Thus the drilling operation is continued by suc
cessive alternate drilling and advancing of the
vehicle to provide a tunnel of uniform diameter.
I claim:
1. In a tunnel boring machine, a main drive
ting edge runs from the center of the bit to the 20 shaft, a pair of revolvable drill‘ bits offset with
respect to the shaft, means for rotating the drill
center of the crest in the periphery. It is curved
bits on their own axes and means for revolving
‘ in the direction of rotation so as to fling the sepa
the drill bits about the axis of the main shaft,
rated material outward through centrifugal force.
‘ 30 as it has crests in its periphery and each cut
the drill bits being substantially in contact with
The cutting edges, which are made of specially
hardened, material, descend into depressions, 25 one another so as to drill the entire circular area
de?ned by their combined diameter and having
R which are ‘generally indicated at 3|, and are
adapted to carry the dirt outward. The lowest
lines of the depressions run from the center of
peripheral edges formed with shallow waves in
termeshing with one another for crushing the ,
material therebetween.
‘the bit substantially to the centers of the de
2. In a tunnel boring machine, a main drive
pressions in the wave of the periphery.
shaft,‘ a pair of revolvable drill- bits offset with
It should be noted that the cutting edges may
respect to the shaft, and a driving connection
be made removable, in the form 0f blades em
between the'shaft and the bits whereby thelatter
bedded in the bit material.
are rotated on their own axes/and are revolved .
Dueto this construction, it will be noted that‘
the cutting‘ edges, reaching clear to the outer 35 about the axis of the. main shaft the drill bits
having cuttingedges in the faces thereof curved '
portions of the crests 28, overlap at the centerline
in the direction of rotation'for guiding the ma
and are sure to,cut away 'all the material from
terial outward and having peripheral edges
the central area of the tunnel face being worked
formed with shallow waves interconnecting with
_j on,‘ when the bits are rotated.
.The two drill bits revolve about the center of 40 one another for crushing the material therebe
the main shaft due to their mounting in the plate
At the same time they revolve about their own
3. In a tunnel boring machine, a main drive
shaft, a pair of revolvable drill bits offset, with
respect to, the shaft, and a driving connection be
The gear trains 6 include the gear wheels 32 45 tween the shaft and the bits whereby the latter
are rotated in opposite directions about their own’
on the stub shafts 2'! and idlers 33 interposed
axes through the gear trains 6 connecting the
same to the gear I8 on the housing.
' ‘axes and are revolved about the aXis of the main
between the same and the gear l8.
shaft, the bits having waved circumferential sur~
It will be noted that I provide one idler for one
faces meshing with one another.
. '
of the drill bits and two for the other. This has
4. In a tunnel boring machine, a bed plate, a
‘been done. to cause rotation of the drill bits in 50
housing slidable thereon, a shaft revolvable in
opposite directions without changing their rela
the housing, means for holding the shaft against
endwise movement in the housing, a disc attached
to the shaft, a pair of drill bits revolvably mount
drill bit arrangement may be advanced on the 55 ed in the disc, means for revolving the shaft
whereby the drill bits are revolved about the axis
‘vehicle toward the face of the tunnel by any
tive distances from the axis of theshaft 3, which
distancesshould be alike for proper balancing,
The housing 2 with the main shaft 3 and the
of the shaft, a gear on the housing, and gear
suitable means exerting steady forward pressure,
ing, between the latter gear and the drill bits'for
‘as by a plunger 35 (see Figure 5) bearing on a
rotating the latter about their own axes in oppo
flange 36 whichlatter rides in a central slot 31
in the bed plate 1. The plunger may be driven 60 site directions, the bits having waved circumfer
ential surfaces meshing with one another.
by hydraulic pressure through the pump'38 driven
5. In a tunnel boring machine, a vehicle bed
by a motor'39 and subject to a control indicated
schematically at 40. ‘
The operation of my machine is as follows:
having a bearing in its front end and a. bearing
in its rear end, a carriage supporting the bed in
The vehicle I is ?rst ?rmly anchored against 65 horizontal position, a sleeve housing-non-revolw' .
ably and slidably mounted in the front bearing.
and having a motor mounted thereon, coopera
‘the wall of the tunnel by means of the stingers
l t! or in any other suitable manner. The motor
‘25 is then started. This‘causes the shaft 3 to
rotate-which again causes the plate 4 to rotate
and to revolve the two cutters or drill bits about 70
‘the axis of the main shaft. '
, At the 'same'time rotary motion is imparted
‘to the drill bits on their own axes through the
gearing 6. Thus the drill bits cut into the tun
tive guide members on the sleeve and the bed, a
shaft revolvable in the housing and supported
in’ the rear bearing, meansfor holding the shaft
against endwise movement in the housing,’ a driv
ing connection between the motor and the shaft
, for rotating the latter, a disc mounted on the
front end‘ of the shaft, a pair of cutters carried
‘nelwall'in a- compound movement, cutting and 75 by the disc, cooperative means on the cutters and
the housing for rotating the cutters in opposite
directions, and fluid pressure means bearing on
the housing for exerting forward pressure on the
6. In a tunnel boring machine, a vehicle bed
having a housing non-rotatably mounted there
on, a shaft revolvable in the housing and ex
tending beyond the same, a gear wheel on the
housing, and a drill head mounted on the shaft
the other end with‘ a flat face riding or‘ the ve
hicle bed, a shaft revolvable in the housing and
held against endwise movement therein, a gear
wheel on the housing, and a drill head on the
shaft having a, pair of drill bits and means co
operable with the gear wheel for revolving the '
drill bits in ‘opposite directions.
8. In a tunnel boring machine, a vehicle bed
having a bearing thereon, a sleeve housing hav
adjacent the gear wheel, the drill head compris 10 ing one end slidably and non-revolvahly sup
ported in the bearing and having an enlargement
ing a disc ?xed to the shaft, a pair of cutters
at the other end with a ?at face riding on the
revolvably mounted upon the front of the disc,
vehicle bed, a shaft revolvable in the housing
and gearing mounted upon the rear of the disc
and held against endwise movement therein, a
and cooperating with the gear wheel in revolv
gear wheel on the housing, and a drill head on
ing the cutters in opposite directions when the
shaft is revolved, and the drill head forming a V the shaft having a pair of drill bits and means
cooperahle with the gear wheel for ‘revolving the
drill bits in opposite directions, the bed having a
removal as a unit.
guide groove therein and the enlargement having
7. In a tunnel boring machine, a vehicle bed
having a bearing thereon, a sleeve housing having 20 a rail extending into the guide groove.
one end slidably and non-revolvably supported
in the bearing and having an enlargement at
unitary structure operable for attachment and
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