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#worldtunnelday - ACTIVITY REPORT

For the second time, ABTUS-BVOTS organised a meeting with its members (approx. 40 attendees) on 4 December. Of course, the fourth of December was not chosen randomly. On this day our sector celebrates Sint-Barbara. She is the patron of miners, tunnellers, armourers, military engineers, gunsmiths, and anyone else who worked with cannon and explosives. She is invoked against thunder and lightning and all accidents arising from explosions of gunpowder. Just like last year, one of our members was allowed to put together the welcoming and the programme. (hereby already an open call to other members who want to receive us on December 4, 2020).

Denys, with headquarters in Ghent, is a multidisciplinary group specialised in water, energy, mobility, architecture, restoration and special techniques. Because of this unique diversification they brought together an attractive program. They presented the development of the Wallslotrobot, an Automated Trench Digger, a technique that lets a machine do the dirty work. The system has many advantages, besides the obvious one of working in comfort and safety. While manual excavation usually requires a week to complete, this technique takes just two days, one for the excavation and one to cast the concrete. The technique also enables the consecutive excavation of neighbouring shafts. And, unlike with slurry walls, the concrete casing makes for a clean wall surface. We also saw the realisation of an underground car park under the Antwerp Handelsbeurs. A historic building, where work had to be done in very difficult circumstances. Finally, a work in progress was also highlighted. The Leopold II-tunnel (Brussels) is in the construction phase and a state of advancement of the work was presented.

We thank Denys and their employees once again for their hospitality and wish that all tunnel builders can once again receive a lot of protection from our patron saint St. Barabara during 2020.

Here is also a reminder - SAVE THE DATE - for our annual study day, 24th March 2020 (Brussels). We chose "Mechanized tunneling in a urban context" as a central theme. If you think you can contribute to this topic, please feel free to send an application to We are looking for lectures with the following focus points: - Vertical drilling (shafts) - Innovative techniques as square sections (for collectors) - New techniques in the control / pressure / open and closed fronts - Innovation in materials (injections, finishing) - Techniques for limited length (very superficial drilling)

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