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SHAFTS; TUNNELS; GALLERIES; LARGE UNDERGROUND CHAMBERS (soil-conditioning or soil-stabilising materials C09K 17/00; drilling or cutting machines for mining or quarrying E21C; safety devices, transport, rescue, ventilation or drainage E21F)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Methods or apparatus for making or lining tunnels, galleries or large underground chambers, using underground mining methods only, i.e. not involving disturbance of the ground surface.

Techniques and tools for stabilising such underground constructions against the pressure of the surrounding soil or rock.

References relevant to classification in this subclass
This subclass/group does not cover:
Soil conditioning or soil stabilising materials
Underground spaces made by foundation engineering, i.e. involving disturbance of the ground surface.
Deep drilling
Drilling or cutting machines for mining or quarrying
Safety devices, transport, rescue, ventilation or drainage
Sinking shafts
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Vertical excavation of shafts from the surface and removal of cuttings:

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Special rules of classification within this group

Shafts can also be used as a starting point for the excavation of tunnels or for the excavation of galleries or horizontal bores for the production of hydrocarbons. Only the specific technical details disclosed relative to each part of the operative sequence should be classified in the corresponding groups.

Raising shafts, i.e. working upwards from the bottom
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Shafts starting from a gallery at a lower level, and which can be made by a single boring machine of by drilling multiple boreholes:

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References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Making drillholes for rock anchors
Lining shafts; Linings therefor (E21D 11/00 takes precedence; {sinking with simultaneous lowering of the lining E21D 1/08} )
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Methods, materials and apparatuses for lining a shaft, regardless of the method of excavation:

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References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Sinking with simultaneous lowering of the lining
Lining tunnels or galleries
Shaft equipment, e.g. timbering within the shaft { (lifts in hoistways or mines B66B 15/00 to B66B 19/00) }
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Equipment installed permanently or removably in the shaft other than excavating or lining equipment

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References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Lifts in hoistways or mines
Shafts not provided for in groups E21D 1/00 to E21D 7/00
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Shafts characterised by features other than the excavation form or the lining installed, such as by a particular layout:

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Tunnels or galleries, with or without linings; Methods or apparatus for making thereof (E02D 29/045, E02D 29/063 take precedence; linings per se E21D 11/00) ; Layout of tunnels or galleries
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Methods or apparatus for excavating tunnels. This includes the stabilisation of the soil prior to the excavation, and the constructive details of the tunnel boring machines:

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References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Tunnel linings per se
Laying of pipes by horizontal earth drilling techniques
Tunnels submerged into, or built in, open water
Tunnels or galleries, built in the open air or by methods involving disturbance of the ground surface all along the location line
Making by using a driving shield, {i.e. advanced by pushing means bearing against the already placed lining (pushing prefabricated elements through the ground from an access pit E21D 9/005) }
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Making by using a driving shield, i.e. advanced by pushing means bearing against the already placed lining; Tunnel boring machines featuring driving shields with a cutting action or for protection against collapse of the tunnel:

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Making by using boring or cutting machines (E21D 9/08 takes precedence; mining picks E21C 35/18)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Tunnel boring machines for which no driving shield is mentioned:

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Lining tunnels, galleries or other underground cavities, e.g. large underground chambers; Linings therefor; Making such linings in situ, e.g. by assembling (E21D 15/00 to E21D 23/00 take precedence; specially for shafts E21D 5/00; {driving shields in combination with means for lining the tunnel E21D 9/06} ; lining pressure water galleries, linings therefor E02B 9/06)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Materials, methods and machines for lining the surface of an excavated tunnel:

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Relationship between large subject matter areas

E21D 9/06 has several subgroups relative to a combination of driving shield and devices for lining the tunnel. The specific details of the lining operation are also classified in the corresponding subgroup under E21D 11/00.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Setting anchoring bolts
Anchoring bolts
Linings specially for shafts
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Driving shields in combination with means for lining the tunnel
Lining pressure water galleries, linings therefor
Special rules of classification within this group

Documents mentioning aspects of lining, but focussing on the details covered by groups E21D 15/00 to E21D 23/00 are classified only in those groups.

Large underground chambers; Methods or apparatus for making them (lining E21D 11/00)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Underground chambers having a three-dimensional volume, in contrast with vertical linear cavities (shafts) or with horizontal linear cavities (tunnels)

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References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Modification of passages or chambers for storage purposes
Linings per se
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Storing fluids in natural or artificial cavities or chambers in the earth
Modification of mine passages or chambers for storage purposes, especially for liquids or gases
Props (in the building art E04G 25/00) ; Chocks, {e.g. made of flexible containers filled with backfilling material}
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Props: elongated supports to prop the roof of tunnels or galleries.

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Chocks: roof support formed by fillable bags or stapled cribs:

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References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Props in the building art
Special rules of classification within this group

Props forming part of supports for step-by-step movement are classified in E21D 23/00. If one such prop contains specific details not covered by E21D 23/00, then it should also be classified in E21D 15/00.

Caps for supporting mine roofs
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

A cap is understood as the roof or top piece in a three-piece , support or beam set used for tunnel support. A piece of plank, timber, support or beam placed on top of a prop, stull, or post. The horizontal member of a set of timber, support or beam used as a roadway support:

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Provisional protective covers for working space (E21D 9/06, E21D 23/00 take precedence)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Means for protecting a work area from rocks falling from the roof or tunnels other than the final lining. This temporary roof support can be in the form of movable shields, caps or covers, of mobile or temporary roof supports, or of linings fixed to the walls and intended to be supplemented by additional lining at a subsequent stage:

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Special rules of classification within this group

Documents mentioning aspects of provisional support by way of a driving shield for tunnels, or of mine roof supports for step-by-step movement, are classified instead in E21D 9/06 and in E21D 23/00 respectively.

Setting anchoring-bolts (anchoring bolts for shafts, tunnels or galleries E21D 21/00; means for anchoring structural elements or bulkheads specially adapted to foundation engineering E02D 5/74; dowels or other devices fastened in walls or the like by inserting them in holes made therein for that purpose F16B 13/00)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Methods and machines for installing anchoring bolts or rock bolts, including machines for drilling a hole and inserting an bolt in combination. Under this main group is also classified the use of resins or mortars for fixing anchoring-bolts:

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References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Means for anchoring structural elements or bulkheads specially adapted to foundation engineering
Anchoring bolts for shafts, tunnels or galleries
Dowels or other devices fastened in walls or the like by inserting them in holes made therein for that purpose
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Removing dust
Cleaning by suction
B25D17/18
Anchoring-bolts for roof, floor {in galleries or longwall working} , or shaft-lining protection ( {ground anchors E02D 5/80; anchorings for building constructions E04B 1/41, E21D2/30} ; dowels or other devices fastened in walls or the like by inserting them in holes made therein for that purpose F16B 13/00; {bolts with visible load G01L 1/00} )
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Anchoring bolts, also known as rock bolts or roof bolts, characterised by their construction or by additional elements forming part of them, such as washer or anchoring heads.

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References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Ground anchors E02D 5/80
Anchorings for building constructions
Dowels or other devices fastened in walls or the like by inserting them in holes made therein for that purpose
Bolts with visible load
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Lining anchored in the rock
Mine roof supports for step- by- step movement, e.g. in combination with provisions for shifting of conveyers, mining machines, or guides therefor [ (N: transport of mine roof support units E21F 13/008; shifting of mine conveyers at the working face E21F 13/08) ]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Hydraulic jacks and frame for supporting the roof of the coal seam, as in longwall mining. A shearer cuts the coalface ahead of the support, and the support moves forward as the cutting progresses. The overburden collapses behind the support after passage of the same:

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Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Coal ploughs
Guiding a mining machine along a conveyer for cut mineral
Props
Transport of mine roof support units
Scraper chain conveyers
Shifting of mine conveyers at the working face
Details of hydraulic circuits
This page is owned by Office of Patent Classification.
Last Modified: 10/11/2013