Groundbreaking tunnel-boring tech for faster, cheaper tunneling and trenching
EarthGrid™ is developing the world’s first way to tunnel, trench, and excavate using our patented plasma tunnel-boring technology. Compared to traditional tunneling, trenching, and excavation methods, this technology has the potential to:
– Work exponentially faster
– Save dramatically in costs
Our machines will employ high-power plasma torches that can vaporize and break up rock, clay, and obstacles into small fragments (known as spallation).
How does tunnel-boring techology work?
The tunnel and trenching machines will use torches powered by plasma created from electricity and airflow. The plasma plumes can:
- Reach up to 10,832 to 18,033 degrees Fahrenheit (6,000 to 10,000 degrees Celsius)
- Bore quickly via vaporization and spallation
The machines will be able to bore deeply — approximately 10 to 100 feet (3 to 30 meters) below the surface to avoid the existing “spaghetti” of underground utilities.
Why is the tunnel-boring tech faster?
The machines will be able to bore easily through different geologies without slowing down, which is not the case for traditional boring methods. For example, if an EarthGrid machine encountered clay, the plasma torches can keep going. Other boring machines might become clogged and delay the project.
Why is this tunnel-boring technology so much cheaper?
EarthGrid’s machines will have far lower operating costs than traditional methods.
For example, there is:
- No need to change out drill bits and cutter heads multiple times each day
- Much lower energy consumption
- Fewer workers due to robotics
- No drilling mud and/or drilling chemicals to dispose of
- Easier spoils removal (the spoils can then be sold for road and concrete manufacturing, etc.)