Elon Musk’s tunneling startup, The Boring Company, will use custom concrete rings for its tunneling projects. According to a request for tax exclusion that the company submitted to the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority last December, the Boring Co. tunnels will use a type of concrete that is superior to the industry standard.
As stated in the company’s documents, The Boring Company intends to build a batch plant and a carousel system to manufacture and transport concrete rings — tunnel walls made up of multiple segments that are linked together. The tunneling startup expects that the rings it will be producing would be able to withstand earthquakes and over 100 years of continuous use.
The Boring Company noted that it would utilize “advanced materials” to manufacture its tunnels’ concrete walls. The concrete that the company intends to produce would be durable as well, with the startup stating that the segments are expected to reach strengths in excess of 6,500 pounds per square inch.
Apart from this, the startup’s concrete also has a setting time of just 1-7 days, substantially shorter than the industry standard of 28 days. The Boring Company further noted that the concrete it would be using is formulated in a way that would make the segments incredibly dense, making the Boring Co.’s rings less permeable and more resistant to corrosion.
The concrete rings for the Boring Company tunnels are only as effective as the machine that makes and sets them, however. In this light, the tunneling startup stated that it would be using a fully-automated carousel system that is designed to transport and set the concrete rings without human intervention.
“The system used to produce the concrete rings has been customized by The Boring Company, and the company represents that it is the world’s first fully-automated carousel system. This equipment requires precise engineering and will allow for higher precision and speeds than what is currently on the market, according to the TBC.
“Additionally, the fully-automated carousel will enable the production and transportation of the rings without human intervention, but The Boring Company represents that the process will still be monitored by staff for safety and quality from a control center. TBC represents this carousel system, and the specialized moulds will produce rings that are lighter than standard concrete rings, while maintaining their strength.”
The document also revealed that The Boring Co. would be making the manufacturing facility of the concrete rings fully electric. Apart from being more environmentally-friendly than conventional systems that use fossil fuels, an all-electric manufacturing process for the company’s concrete segments is expected to result in a 20% decrease in energy consumption.
The Boring Co. expects to purchase the property for its batch plant within the next 12 months.
While only a year old, the Boring Company has taken some considerable strides this year so far. Just recently, we reported on the startup raising $113 million in a funding round. The startup has also managed to take a step forward in its efforts to build a 2.7-mile proof-of-concept tunnel under Sepulveda Boulevard in West LA and Culver City, with the LA City Council Public Works Committee exempting the company from environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).