Cutter head spillage when dredging sand or gravel

Sape Miedema, Bas Nieuwboer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


One of the main types of equipment is the cutter suction dredge (CSD). The theoretical soil production Qc equals the cross section of the cutter head in the bank cutting, perpendicular to the swing velocity vs times the swing velocity vs. If the theoretical soil production is 100%, usually less than 100% will enter the suction pipe. The real production. The difference between the theoretical production and the real production is the spillage. So, this is the percentage of the theoretical production not entering the suction pipe.
Now in practice it is more difficult to define the spillage, because often a number of swings at different levels is necessary to excavate a bank. The spillage of a previous swing may be cut a second time during the current swing and thus enter the suction pipe in the current swing. So, the spillage of one swing does not have to be spillage overall. In this report however just one swing is considered, assuming a fresh bank, where all the soil that does not enter the suction pipe is considered spillage.
The model is derived based on the Euler equation for centrifugal pumps, including inner and outer radii and blade angles. The model is first calibrated based on the limited experimental data mentioned in den Burger (2003). This paper covers the theory and the validation, with many experimental data of Miltenburg (1983), a cold case never published before. This paper shows the state of the art of the spillage modeling.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Dredging Summit and Expo 2019
EditorsDonald F. Hayes
Place of PublicationVancouver, Canada
PublisherWestern Dredging Association
ISBN (Print)978-1-5108-9020-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventDredging Summit and Expo 2019 - Chicago, United States
Duration: 4 Jun 20197 Jun 2019


ConferenceDredging Summit and Expo 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • dredging
  • Spillage
  • Cutterhead
  • Cutting Sand & Gravel
  • Production


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