When should I choose pipe ramming as my preferred trenchless method?
Pipe ramming is a trenchless construction technique used to install horizontal underground pipes, ducts, and culverts. This method involves using a ramming tool (which is essentially an enclosed piston) to drive the structure into the ground, from the launch pit to the exit pit, by applying continuous high-frequency percussive blows.
One of the main reasons to consider pipe ramming is when installations are required to occur under existing infrastructure such as roadways, buildings, railways, etc. Pipe ramming can also be used to install utilities under protected natural landscapes such as rivers and forested areas. Conventional open-cut methods of pipeline installation are highly destructive and occupy a large site footprint.
This can lead to inconvenient disruptions, extensive restoration works, and non-compliance with environmental standards in some applications. Pipe ramming allows underground installations to occur with minimal ground disturbance, thus resulting in less impact on the surrounding environment and significantly reduced restoration costs.
Although other trenchless techniques, such as horizontal directional drilling, can be used to perform underground pipe and utility installations, there are situations where pipe ramming methods may be more appropriate. One of the main concerns with trenchless boring methods is soil heaving. The removal of soil during boring relieves the stresses in the soil, resulting in an upward movement in some soil types.
Settlement is also known to occur, since the removal of soil from can also cause layers above bore to move downward due to diminished support and weakened soil structure. These are phenomena mainly present in over-excavations associated with horizontal directional drilling.
In pipe ramming, the limits of the excavation are limited to within the pipe or casing, with the “excavated” soil removed from the casing’s interior after installation. This results in minimal disturbance to surrounding soil and no over-excavations; thus, any settlement likely to occur as a result of ramming is negligible. Additionally, soil heaving is generally not an issue during pipe ramming since very little soil is displaced as the casing is advanced.
More Q&As from our experts
- What are the best trenchless rehabilitation procedures to consider?
- Why Is a steel casing pipe recommended for pipe ramming in the horizontal boring method?
- What is the role of bypass pumping and when is it used?
- Pipe Jacking
- Pipe Ramming
- Impact Ramming
- Pneumatic Pipe Ramming
- Hydraulic Pipe Ramming
- Trenchless Construction
- Underground Utilities
- Launch Pit
- Exit Pit
Don’t Miss the Latest From Trenchlesspedia!
Subscribe to our newsletter to get expert advice and top insights into every aspect of trenchless construction and rehabilitation. We create top educational content for and about the trenchless industry, insuring you have the knowledge you need for successful trenchless projects.
- QUIZ: Find out how much you really know about the pipe bursting method
- We Want You to Write For Trenchlesspedia
- The Ultimate Guide to Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles and Robots
- QUIZ: All About Robotic Crawlers (12 Questions to Test Your Pilot Prowess)
- QUIZ: Think You Know HDD? Prove It!
- A Mud Engineer's Ultimate Guide to Drilling Fluids
- Buried Water & Wastewater Pipes: Installation, Replacement and Rehabilitation Tips and Techniques
- Upcoming Free Webinar: Trenchless Underground Asset Rehabilitation| Thursday, October 17 at 11AM (ET)
- Free Webinar: Trenchless Underground Asset Rehabilitation
- Free Webinar: Trenchless Underground Asset Rehabilitation | Thursday, October 17, 2019 11:00 AM (EST)