Royal IHC technology word of the month: Outbreak angle

The key tool installed on cutter suction dredgers is known as the cutter head which cuts the soil into chunks. This mechanical cutting action is accomplished using replaceable chisels or pick-points, said Royal IHC.

Royal IHC photo

“Through the study of rock chip formation in the Royal IHC Laboratory, we examine the physical processes that occur when a chisel penetrates the rock,” said the company.

Examination of the groove reveals that, when using a scaled rectangular chisel, the bottom of the groove follows the contour of the chisel.

However, at a certain height relative to the chisel tip, a crack is initiated and starts growing towards the free surface.

By utilizing a 3D scanner, the average angle over the length of the groove can be determined, known as the sideways outbreak angle.

The sideways outbreak angle is a crucial parameter in cutter head design as it determines the chisel spacing.

By choosing the correct chisel spacing, cracks propagate towards the adjacent cuts, leading to optimizing the amount of cutting action required for efficient production, said Royal IHC.