image: https://pixabay.com/photos/worker-hardhat-helmet-gauges-659879/

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) contributes to significant environmental advantages over the traditional cut and cover utility fixings. The method is consistently utilised when traditional trenching or unearthing is not feasible or when a minimal surface disturbance is required. This technique is considered more than other means to provide less traffic disruption, cheaper expenses, more profound and longer set-up and installation, no access pit, shorter completion timelines, directional capabilities, and environmental safety. In the long run, many technological advancements are bound to happen when it comes to this kind of mechanical drilling. Here are some of those:

HDD in five to ten years from now

Experts say that the advancement of the horizontal directional drilling industry will continue to reach greater heights. They expect a significant increase, most notably in the corporate metropolitan areas where customers look forward to the impacts of construction on their respective communities. Constant improvements linked to wireless and telecommunication technology will eventually be incorporated into HDD projects, as well as the progression of hybrid methods which will advance to surmount the challenges connected with HDD.

Directional drilling companies are already studying methods which merge the benefits of HDD and micro tunnelling to design unique trenchless substitutes and integrating systems like directional guidance and annular pressure monitoring.

 

Future areas of improvements and enhancements

Since there may be intricacies with horizontal directional drilling installation in gravelly loams, it is essential to build precise stratigraphic profiles and properties of the soil so suitable strategic measures can be put in place in consideration of the path design of the drill, as well as the engagement of mitigation approaches during construction that can consist of site-specific drilling fluid management and drilling practices.

Moreover, bore design is critical, and that’s why software applications have been developed to take the user through the design and planning process of an HDD bore in a sequential manner. Beside accurate forecasting, engagement with the project and communication with the customers are some of the critical items to the successful design and execution of HDD. The growth of a comprehensive mud management design is a crucial factor in any approach, aiming at lessening plan interruptions and cost overruns, especially on large pipeline crossings in sensitive environment zones.

Anticipated technological advancements

There are constant studies and expansion of methodologies and navigation systems providing augmented accuracy, tighter course-plotting tolerances and consistency of borehole position at essential depths. The advancement of technologies in the past years has helped a lot in constructing new designs for larger bores and equipment. Also, navigation and tracing apparatus will further develop—integrating GPS coordinates into a bore record is an example.

In the civil engineering field, most owners, contractors and designers prioritise finding safer and faster approaches to complete projects with a minimal effect and impact on nature. That is why we must always seek technological advancements that won’t compromise and destroy the gift that was given to us.