Cutter Suction Dredgers

“Facts About Cutter Suction Dredgers” describes a type of hydraulic dredger that can dredge nearly all kinds of soils, especially hard ground and rock.

Cutter suction dredgers (CSDs) are classified as hydraulic dredgers and are the most common vessels in the hydraulic/mechanical category. They have the ability to dredge nearly all kinds of soils – sand, clay, rock – and are used where the ground is too hard for trailing suction hopper dredgers.

Some cutters have a pontoon hull without the means of propulsion (non-propelled), and others, shaped like a ship, are self-propelled and seagoing.
Regardless of size, all cutter suction dredgers are equipped with a rotating cutter head, which is able to cut hard soil or rock into fragments. The cutter head is a mechanical device, mounted in front of the suction head which rotates along the axis of the suction pipe. The working principle of the cutter suction dredger is that it disintegrates or breaks the cohesion of the soil to be dredged mechanically by this rotating cutter head, with a half dozen ‘toothed blades’, which vary in size and type depending on the material to be dredged.

Cutter suction dredgers come in a variety of sizes and types with a total installed power ranging from 200 kW on the smallest dredgers to some 30,000 kW for the largest. The dredging depth depends on the size of the dredger. Smaller ones can dredge in less than 2 metres depth, whilst some of the biggest CSDs can reach depths of more than 35 metres.

“Facts About Cutter Suction Dredgers” answers essential questions such as:

  • What is a cutter suction dredger?
  • What characterises a cutter suction dredger?
  • How does the cutter suction dredger work?
  • Are cutter suction dredgers flexible?
  • When are cutter suction dredgers used?
  • How do cutter suction dredgers work?
  • How does the cutter head work?
  • Which cutter head is suitable for which type of soil?
  • What influences a cutter suction dredger’s production rate?
  • What is a spud pole?
  • How do cutter suction dredgers offload or discharge dredged material?
  • How big are cutter suction dredgers?
  • What are the disadvantages of a cutter suction dredger?
  • What are the advantages of a cutter suction dredger?
  • What safety factors should be considered?
  • When is a cutter suction dredger the appropriate choice for dredging?