South Ural State University and TEK-Spetsmash manufacturing company are working on import substitution of tunneling mine carts required for metro construction, with a volume of at least 7.5 m³ and a load capacity of at least 20 tons, used as part of a mechanized tunneling shield system.
The joint project “Flexible intelligent manufacturing of machine-building components for critical technologies of the Russian industry providing technological security of the country”, implemented under the Ural Interregional Research and Educational Center for Advanced Production Technologies and Materials (UIREC), is aimed, among other things, at creating in the Chelyabinsk Region a high-tech import-substituting production of mine carts for rolling back rocks during shield tunneling.
“Last year we received a request from the group of companies “Mosproekt-3” about the possibility of manufacturing and supplying mine carts to support the operation of the tunneling system “LOVAT” under the Chelyabinsk Metrotram tunnel construction project, because at the moment in Russia due to import restrictions that arose in 2022, the existing foreign systems cannot be promptly provided with carts, which require constant renewal due to increased load. Thus, there was a need to create a high-tech facility in the Chelyabinsk Region focused on the production of competitive import-substituting industrial products: key devices of the rock rolling system for shield tunneling,” says Pavel Shibkov, head of TEK-Spetsmash.
The upcoming mine cart differs in principle from those manufactured in Russia by the simultaneous presence of the following elements: removable body, pneumatic brake system and automatic Willison coupler.
“During 2023, the university staff will carry out the preliminary and technical design stages with the necessary calculations to confirm the functional capability of the design. And in 2024, the development of design documentation for all elements and components of the prototype will be completed,” says Ruslan Peshkov, Head of the Laboratory of Launch Vehicles, Space and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles at SUSU.
As part of the preparation of the results of intellectual activity, it is planned to create a computer system for selecting preliminary parameters of braking forces, estimating losses from rock sticking, analyzing dynamic loads of the mine cart, as well as patents for a braking system with one-sided pressure on the wheel and a tilting removable body.
“Taking into account preliminary agreements with potential customers from Chelyabinsk, Voronezh, Krasnoyarsk and Nizhny Novgorod, the planned production volume is from 16 to 32 units annually with the minimum required sales volume to meet the project performance indicators being 7 mine carts per year,” says Pavel Shibkov.
In 2022, the project received a grant from the Chelyabinsk Region Government. It also involves funding from the industrial partner’s own resources. As part of co-financing, TEK-Spetsmash will design model and process tooling in 2023 with subsequent manufacturing in 2024. Technical re-equipment is planned for the manufacturing of a prototype and future launch of production.