Directional Boring Fort Loramie, Ohio
Directional Boring is a specialized drilling technique designed for installing cables, pipes and utility lines underground with minimal disturbance to the surface area above. Also commonly known as Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), this technique uses a directional boring machine to steer steel pipes along a predetermined bore path. Directional drill operators can avoid obstacles such as buildings, waterways, roads, utility lines and landscaping by guiding drill head over, under and around them. Directional boring works well in a variety of soil conditions, and is often used when trenching or other methods are not practical or cost-effective. The process is best utilized in residential or commercial zones where obstacles are numerous and space is tighter. It is imperative that the boring machine operator has complete and accurate information about any existing utilities or other hidden obstacles before drilling begins.
Directional boring is commonly used for installing infrastructure, such as telecommunications, power cables, gas lines, water lines, sewer lines, and conduits. The advantages of directional drilling over other drilling techniques include:
- Ability to bore under trees, instead of removal or root damage
- Minimal traffic disruption
- Deeper and/or longer installations
- Shortened completion times
- The ability to steer drill head around obstacles
- Reduction in time, cost, and extent of cleanup
The Directional Boring Process
First, the operator drills a pilot hole that follows the preplanned path.
Second, the hole is made wider by passing a larger cutting tool, called a Back Reamer, back through the pilot hole.
Third, the machine operator guides the desired pipe or conduit into the enlarged hole.
All of this is done with the help of drilling fluid, which is pumped continuously through the drill pipe, to the drill head or bit. Drilling fluid is a mixture of water and usually either bentonite or polymer. The drilling fluid helps to remove loose cuttings, stabilize the bore hole, cool the cutting head and lubricate the pipe or conduit to make insertion easier.