Application of Soft Computing Techniques to Estimate Cutter Life Index Using Mechanical Properties of Rocks

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The wear of cutting tools is critical for any engineering applications dealing with mechanical rock excavations, as it directly affects the cost and time of project completion as well as the utilization rate of excavators in various rock masses. The cutting tool wear could be expressed in terms of the life of the tool used to excavate rocks in hours or cutter per unit volume of excavated materials. The aim of this study is to estimate disc cutter wear as a function of common mechanical rock properties including uniaxial compressive strength, Brazilian tensile strength, brittleness, and density. To achieve this goal, a database of cutter life was established by analyzing data from 80 tunneling projects. The data were then utilized for evaluating the relationship between rock properties and cutter consumption by means of cutter life index. The analysis was based on artificial intelligence techniques, namely artificial neural networks (ANN) and fuzzy logic (FL). Furthermore, linear and non-linear regression methods were also used to investigate the relationship between these parameters using a statistical software package. Several alternative models are introduced with different input variables for each model, to identify the best model with the highest accuracy. To develop these models, 70% of the dataset was used for training and the rest, for testing. The estimated cutter life by various models was compared with each other to identify the most reliable model. It appears that the ANN and FL techniques are superior to standard linear and non-linear multiple regression analysis, based on the higher correlation coefficient (R2) and lower Mean square error (MSE).

Original languageEnglish
Article number1446
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Brittleness
  • Cutter life index
  • Rock excavation
  • Rock strength
  • Soft computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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