Boring Techniques for Construction To Consider In 2023

June 29, 2023

Construction is primarily a technical matter. It involves many steps. Each has its importance and utility. But the first and foremost important phase of construction is soil testing. Soil testing gives a complete picture of the construction site.

It is a comprehensive report about the physical and chemical properties of a site. It includes the type, texture, moisture level, strength, and stability of the land at the construction site. Soil testing is not an examination of the ground or surface of the earth; it is the sub-surface of the site that matters in construction.

For this, the engineers need soil samples from different depths. The process of collection of soil samples is known as soil boring. Boring is a technique that involves digging a hole in the earth and collecting samples to determine the physical and chemical condition of the land. The entire construction depends on this sampling.

Importance Of Boring In Construction

Boring is an essential part of any construction project. It is used to collect samples from the subsurface soil and bedrock of the construction site. The purpose of the collection of these samples is to determine the properties of the earth and to ascertain whether this site is fit for construction or not.

Soil properties such as type and stability, are of key importance. Similarly, the chemical composition of the land is equally important. A careful analysis of all these factors helps the construction engineers to decide what type of building can be constructed on this land.

It also determines the height of the building and the material to be used in construction. The whole construction process starts with boring and at the same time decides the fate of the whole project.

Understanding Boring Techniques

Boring is a method of digging a hole in the earth. It is done with a rotating or twisting boring head. Boring is mainly of two types, vertical and horizontal. Regarding construction projects, vertical boring is used to collect samples for soil testing.

Horizontal or to be more precise, horizontal directional boring is used for various phases of a construction project, mainly for laying pipelines. The machine used for this purpose is known as a rig. Rigs are of various types and sizes depending on the scale of boring required at a particular construction site.

Types Of Boring Techniques In 2023

There are so many boring techniques in practice these days in construction projects. Every construction engineer has to decide what type of boring will be suitable for which phase of his construction project. Here are some of the most commonly used boring techniques that engineers prefer in 2023.

1. Rotary Boring

Rotary Drilling is one of the most commonly used techniques for boring or drilling. As the name suggests, it is a method where a rotating drilling tool or a drilling bit is used for cutting the soil and rocks. It is a vertical type of boring.

Normally it is used to collect subsurface earth samples at the construction site. This technique is useful for lands having rocky subsurfaces. It is also useful for the lands characterized by sand and silt.

The drilling tool is mounted on the bottom end of a drilling rod. The drilled soil and rock are simultaneously pumped up through the drilling tube with the help of injecting a drilling fluid known as bentonite. Bentonite is mixed with water to make a slurry.

This drilling fluid is a multipurpose material. It helps to pull up the drilled soil and rock fragments and on the other hand, provides stability and strength to the borehole.

2. Percussion Boring

Percussion boring is useful where the soil is hard and rocky. It is known as an alternative technique to Rotary Drilling. Contrary to rotary drilling, we use a heavy cutting tool lifted and released to drop down with its weight, thus cutting the hardest of the soil.

This action is done repeatedly. It is also a vertical type of boring. In this type of boring, they normally inject sand to facilitate drilling. While it can be used on almost every soil type, it has a basic disadvantage, especially when collecting samples.

The soil is disturbed with consistent percussion action of the heavy cutting head. We need an undisturbed soil sample for better soil testing, which is impossible with this technique.

3. Auger Boring

Auger boring is a relatively less expensive technique of boring. Additionally, it is a fast method of vertical boring. It is useful on lands that have soft soil. It is not workable in the case of hard and rocky construction sites. It cannot be used in the case of very soft or sandy soils, as well. The reason is that the soft soil tends to flowing-in, which can choke the borehole.

A twisting boring head, known as an auger, is inserted in the earth till it reaches the desired depth. The samples collected by this technique are also disturbed but can be used for soil testing. Another utility of this boring type is that it can ascertain the depth of the underground water table.

4. Wash Boring

The wash boring technique is useful if the construction site comprises cohesive and rough soil. It is a process of drilling where a steel pipe known as a casing pipe is inserted into the ground. Then a very strong stream of water is injected into this casing, displacing the soil.

The best part of this technique is its low cost and limited equipment required for this boring. That makes it one of the most popular boring methods. It is suitable for collection of soil samples.

5. Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD)

So far, we have discussed the vertical type of boring techniques, mainly used for sampling and soil testing. Horizontal Directional Drilling or HDD is a different type of boring used in construction projects for various purposes.Unlike vertical drilling, the bore runs horizontally, parallel to the ground surface, at a pre-determined path.

The process is simple but quite technical. First, an open pit is made and the cutting head is driven into it. The cutting head then moves ahead to make a horizontal hole in the earth, ultimately getting out of the ground on its other end.

This boring type is useful for laying underground pipelines, conduits, and electric cables. It is also useful to lay pipelines and cables underneath roads and waterways. It is the best technique for boring or drilling without disturbing the surface of a construction site.

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