Directional boring has applications in many industries like highway construction, oil and gas, telecommunications and more. It is used to construct tunnels, gas pipelines, water lines, telecommunications, etc, when digging long trenches on the surface is not possible. Steerable trenchless technology is an option used by general contractors working on utilities, electrical contractors, plumbing contractors and others.
What is HDD?
Horizontal Directional Drilling is a technique of trenchless technology used where digging trenches is not possible or when surface disruption must be minimized. Steerable trenchelss technology is used to lay underground utility pipelines, conduits and cables for services like electric power, solar, wind, telephone, satellite, cable, TV, Internet, wi-fi, fiber optic, gas, petroleum, steam, sewer, drains and water.
The pipelines can be of any length and large or small diameter. Without disturbing the surface, pipe runs can be installed under surfaces like concrete slabs, driveways, roadways and sidewalks. Directional boring can be done under different kinds of terrain like dirt, clay, rock and sand. Experienced directional boring contractors can run pipelines under trees, railway tracks, roads, bridges and even rivers.
How HDD boring works
Pipe boring contractors begin by creating a pilot bore along the pathway designed. The pilot bore is widened to the appropriate diameter and then the pipe or cable is pulled along the bore hole for the final installation. The 2017 Horizontal Directional Drilling Survey reports that the type of pipe that is most commonly used is high density polyethylene or HDPE. Nearly half, or 49.7% of projects use HDPE pipes.
Steerable trenchless technology causes less disruption on the surface, and can be a better solution for the environment. For property owners, it saves time and money compared to open cut landscape and concrete and asphalt trenching.
Applications of steerable trenchless technology
HDD often has the lowest costs per foot for projects that need pipes placed underground. Government agencies and projects like TXDOT, railroads, utilities, and construction companies all have projects that need pipeline boring. Projects involving sewers, water, and gas main construction, drainage and culvert installation, and electric and telecom cable installation, where surface disruption must be minimized are all suitable for HDD.
The HDD market in telecommunications installation is driven by the fiber-to-the-premises wave. The 2017 Horizontal Directional Drilling Survey reports that the HDD market increased to 24.4% in this field in 2017. Globally, the HDD market is projected to increase to $14.95 billion by 2022.
HDD or steerable trenchless technology finds applications in many industries. It is used in projects where underground pipes, cables or conduits must be laid down without surface disruption. This is often the best option for the environment and for property owners, minimizing the disruption associated with trench digging.