Postconstruction evaluation of horizontal directional drilling installations

Samuel Ariaratnam, Ivan J. Beljan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Recently, questions have arisen concerning the compactive nature of drilling fluids within the annular space during horizontal directional drilling (HDD) operations. To address these concerns, a field and laboratory study was conducted to provide both a qualitative and a quantitative assessment of the annular space. The study consisted of installing 61 m (200 ft) bore lengths of 100 mm (4 in.), 200 mm (8 in.), and 300 mm (12 in.) SDR 17 high density polyethylene pipe in two different soil mediums: clay and sand. Subsequently, the pipes were excavated with visual and strength measures of each of the installations taken at time periods of 1 day, 1 week, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 1 year after installation to assess the annular space region over time. Additionally, samples of the drilling fluid were evaluated both in the field and at a laboratory. This paper presents the results of this research initiative and provides qualitative and quantitative information on borehole annular space integrity during HDD installations. The study revealed that: (1) the integrity of the annular space was maintained, as little evidence of voids was present; and (2) the strength properties increased over time through apparent consolidation, or equalization, with the native soil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-126
Number of pages12
JournalPractice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2005


  • Drilling
  • Performance evaluation
  • Pipelines
  • Trenchless technology
  • Underground construction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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