Friday, October 3, 2008

What is directional boring?

Directional boring is commonly used for installing infrastructure such as telecommunications, power, water and gas lines. It can be used for crossing waterways, roadways, congested areas, environmentally sensitive areas, and areas where other methods are costlier.

Directional boring involves a three stage process where the initial pilot hole is drilled 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.

Location and guidance of the drill head is the key to success during the directional boring process. A transmitter is located behind the bore head that registers angle, rotation, direction and temperature data. This information is encoded into an electro-magnetic signal and transmitted through the ground to the surface in a walk-over system. At the surface a receiver (usually a hand-held 'locator') is manually positioned over the transmitter, providing information to the operator for directional guidance.

Click on the following link to view an animation of the directional boring process.