Roadheaders play a vital role in underground construction and mining projects, resulting in efficient and controlled excavation of tunnels and other underground spaces. Today, we will dive into this topic and explain the details of roadheaders, including the definition, components, types, and how to choose.
What is a roadheader?
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A roadheader is essentially an excavator that is frequently employed in tunneling. It is a type of heavy equipment used for excavating mines, tunnels, and other underground spaces. Equipped with a large rotating cutting head that is mounted on a boom, a roadheader can break through various materials, such as rocks and soil. It is designed to work in high precision, thus creating tunnels with exactly the required size. Besides, it offers higher efficiency and more safety, making it preferred over traditional excavation methods.
In the 1970s, roadheaders were first used in a civil engineering project. Before that, it was mainly employed in coal mining projects.
Typically, a roadheader consists of several key components. A cutting head is mounted on a boom or arm. It contains a rotating drum and several cutting teeth, called roadheader picks. These picks or cutting teeth are designed to break the rock or soil. Apart from the normal cutting heads, there are other types of cutting heads that can be mounted on a roadheader, such as slicer heads. The boom or arm supports the cutting head, allowing the operator to position the cutting head at the desired location. Roadheaders are powered by hydraulic systems that provide the necessary force and control for the machine’s various functions. The hydraulic system operates the cutting head, arm, and other moving parts. A conveyor system delivers the excavated material away from the cutting area. Crawlers enable the equipment to move along the tunnel, providing stability. Additional components are also very important such as dust suppression system, ventilation system, and safety features.
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How to choose
When it comes to selecting the right roadheader for your project, there are several factors you should remember: your budget, cutting material, above or underground, the cutting head type, type of drive power, and more.