In Slurry Shield TBMs, should high or low slurry pressure be maintained to support excavated face?

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In Slurry Shield TBMs, the slurry supports the wall of tunnel face in a manner similar to diaphragm wall. The bentonite forms a filter cake on the tunnel face on which the slurry exerts its pressure.


The face of a slurry shield tunnel boring machine is stabilized by bentonite slurry, which is kept under pressure. If the slurry pressures provided are too low, instability of the face results with occurrence of large settlements. On the contrary, in case the slurry pressures are kept too high, it leads to an excessive loss of bentonite and significant soil disturbance would occur.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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