Directional boring, also called horizontal directional drilling (HDD), is a modern construction method that uses trenchless technology to mount conduits, underground utility pipes, and cables. The technique involves drilling of a preliminary pilot hole along a pre-arranged path from a point from the surface. The process is preferred by many because of its easier preparation, and disruption to the environment is only minimum.
Since excavation and trenching is also not practical on busy sites, more contractors favour this method. Here are some essential things that you may want to know about HDD.
The main process
Generally, horizontal directional drilling involves a three-step process. The first phase is the creation of a primary or pilot hole, then followed by the main drilling activity using a reamer. The final step is in the setting of the casing pipe or the material in the finished shaft.
The driller features a directional control that makes it easier for the rig operator to apply changes in the direction of the head. Such is also possible by the use of drilling fluid, which also helps in pipeline greasing, borehole stabilization, and preventing the cutting head from overheating.
The main purpose
Directional boring is commonly applied for installing substructures such as power cables, telecommunications, sewers, water pipes, and pipelines. The HDD method is ideal when working in locations where there are roadways, waterways crossing, and busy or overcrowded areas.
Over other drilling techniques, HDD is favoured because it requires minimal traffic interruption, safety, shorter work duration, and less cost to complete.
Reference point and guidance
Planning and pre-determination of the hole to be drilled is a vital part of the process before the operation commences. Clearly, the drilling head will be submerged underground throughout the drilling operation.
Without this guide, the activity can potentially cause an error and lead to unnecessary damage. For this purpose, drilling contractors utilize two types of approaches to achieve the ideal results; the first one is the walk-over locating technology, and the second one is a wireline locating system.
In both technologies, a transmitter is installed behind the boring head, and such will track and record important data during the underground activity. Information such as rotation, temperature, and angle is logged and sent to the system above ground to serve as a guide for the operator.
The advantages of horizontal directional drilling
As mentioned, the HDD method is favoured by projects for its convenience and cost. Other than this, some of the benefits of using HDD include disruption by conditions on the surface, pipe length flexibility, bore entry, and exit spots are the only ones that need isolation, and no further excavations are necessary.
The open cut technique is the conventional way of drilling and installing downpipe systems. Contractors and the public find this method more disturbing and causes excessive damage to the surroundings. And the more facilities are affected, additional costs are incurred not only with the restoration but also with the work duration as well. Thus, horizontal directional drilling is so far the best option for any related project.