B& B TeleCable Inc. has been in business since 1977. Directional boring, commonly called horizontal directional drilling or HDD, is a steerable trenchless method of installing underground pipes, conduits and cables in a shallow arc along a prescribed bore path by using a surface launched drilling rig, with minimal impact on the surrounding area. Directional boring is used when trenching or excavating is not practical. Directional boring minimizes environmental disruption. It is suitable for a variety of soil conditions and jobs including road, landscape and river crossings. Installation lengths up to 6,500' (2,000m) have been completed, and diameters up to 56" (1,200mm) have been installed in shorter runs. Pipes can be made of materials such as PVC, polyethylene, Ductile iron, and steel if the pipes can be pulled through the drilled hole.
Directional boring is used for installing infrastructure such as telecommunications and power cable conduits, water lines, sewer lines, gas lines, oil lines, product pipelines and environmental remediation casings. It is used for crossing waterways, roadways, shore approaches, congested areas, environmentally sensitive areas, and areas where other methods are costlier. It is used instead of other techniques to provide less traffic disruption, lower cost, deeper and/or longer installation, no access pit, shorter completion times, directional capabilities, and environmental safety.
The technique has extensive use in urban areas for developing subsurface utilities as it helps in avoiding extensive open cut trenches. The use however necessitates that the operator must have the complete information about the existing utilities so that he can plan his whole alignment to avoid damaging those utilities. Since uncontrolled drilling can lead to such damages different agencies/government authorities owning the urban 'right-of-way' or the utilities have formed their rules for safe work execution. For standardization of the techniques different trenchless technology promoting organizations have developed guidelines for this technique.
The method comprises a three stage process wherein first stage drills a pilot hole on the designed path and the second stage enlarges the hole by passing a larger cutting tool known as the back reamer. The third stage places the product or casing pipe in the enlarged hole. The directional control capabilities assist the rig operator in making necessary changes in the directions of the drilling head.
Horizontal directional drilling is done with the help of a viscous fluid known as drilling fluid. It is a mixture of water and, usually, bentonite or polymer continuously pumped to the cutting head or drill bit to facilitate the removal of cuttings, stabilize the bore hole, cool the cutting head, and lubricate the passage of the product pipe.
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