Horizontal directional drilling: State-of-the-art review of theory and applications

Xufeng Yan, Samuel Ariaratnam, Shun Dong, Cong Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Historically, new underground utility pipelines have typically been installed by traditional open-cut methods, which sometimes results in environmental impacts or damage to existing infrastructure such as roadways and other surface structures. Furthermore, open-cut construction possesses challenges for installing pipelines beneath water bodies such as rivers and lakes. Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) provides a method for installing underground utility pipelines in conditions where open-cut methods are unsuitable. The adoption of HDD has increased over the past decade, as new pipelines are being installed in crowded urban areas. Subsequently, researchers have sought to develop basic engineering theoretical models and technological innovations to further increase its adoption. This paper provides a state-of-the-art review and evaluation on trends in the theoretical development of pullback loads, borehole stability and borehole mud pressure estimation models. Innovative techniques and new pipe materials are discussed that have served to expand the technological envelope of HDD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-173
Number of pages12
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Horizontal directional drilling
  • Models
  • State-of-the-art
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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