Trenchless boring technologies are quickly gaining popularity within the underground drilling industry. Horizontal directional boring provides an attractive alternative to surface trenching systems. Traditionally, laying underground conduits required tearing up the landscapes with deep trenches where the piping lay.
If the pre-determined path passed through roads, the asphalt surface would be dug up, with traffic flow interrupted until the project was complete. Texas HDD services can help minimize surface disruptions, drastically reducing construction costs and the execution time.
Horizontal Directional Boring
The process involves using a surface-launched drilling rig to lay conduits with minimal civil disturbances. Most utility companies have adopted the technology in laying pipes for gas, water, electricity, and telecommunication cables. The surface of the landscape remains intact as the drill bits push soil aside rather than bringing it to the surface.
Technological advancement in the industry have come with next-generation guidance systems, allowing for precise directional boring. Fully autonomous guidance systems can offer high precision rates with minimal deviations of less than one meter from the pre-determined drill path.
The procedure is an interactive three-step technique that includes:
1. Pilot Hole Dredging
The first step in horizontal directional boring is drilling a pilot hole that acts as the entrance pit. The hole allows for the collection of drilling fluid to reduce wastage and keep the operation cost low. The drilling fluid is continuously pumped to the drill head to facilitate the removal of the cuttings. The viscous fluid stabilizes the bore and cools the bits during the operation.
The drill rig operator utilizes a transmitter attached to the drill head to track the drill stem through the pilot hole. The guidance system allows the location engineer to have the exact coordinates of the drill head and align it to the pre-determined bore path.
Once the drill emerges from the exit end, the bit is detached and replaced by a reamer. The Texas HDD contractor will then enlarge the pilot hole to a size suitable for the product conduit. Pre-reaming utilizes successively larger diameters where the reamer attaches to the drill string on the opposite end.
The drilling fluid suspends the solid cuttings, preventing blockage of the bore. Contractors may use Bentonite additives to ensure a clean and stable hole as the pipe is laid. Polymer additives break up clay soil, aiding in the drilling process.
3. Pipe Pullback
Once the enlarging of the pilot hole is complete, the product piping can be pulled through. The reamer attaches to the drill stem connected to the conduit via a swivel. The swivel allows the reamer to rotate without the product turning. The trenchless drilling rig then starts pulling the drill string until the reamer exits the bore path, leaving the pipeline in place. Drill fluid provides lubrication to the conduit as the pullback operation goes on. The contractors conduct a pressure test to determine the integrity of the pipe laid.
Horizontal directional boring is an excellent alternative to the dug trenches for conduit laying. Are you searching for a Texas HDD contractor? American Directional Boring specializes in underground utility installations within Texas and nationwide.