What is Reaming and Why it is Required?

When it comes to trenchless projects, remote tools are one of the most efficient ways in order to have a project with a very low level of waste disposal. It is significantly different from boring as the tasks, and the method for completion is entirely different in both processes. On the one hand, boring is a simple process of creating a hole in a surface and using that space to lay specific pipelines.

But reamers, are put into use after the hole has already been bored. To put it simply, a reamer is tasked with making the existing hole larger in order to accommodate the installation of new pipelines. This has made HDD rock reamers an integral portion of most underground drilling projects and this is also why reamers are also known as hole openers.

Necessity Of Reaming

Many trenchless projects tend to occur in areas with a significant distribution of soil. If one were to conduct a wide boring project in the soil, there is a significant risk of the hole collapsing. In order to prevent this danger, workers are usually assigned to remove the dirt on a gradual level. This enables them to stabilise the hole and use a reamer. However, the most important use of HDD rock reamers comes in pipe replacement projects. In these projects reaming becomes an absolute necessity as rather than creating a new hole in the soil, the purpose is to increase the size of the hole while placing a new pipe. Today, in most projects the existing pipe that has already been placed is removed through a breakdown process that is conducted by a pipe reamer, that is attached to a horizontal directional drilling machine. This enables a new pipeline to easily slide into place, allowing workers to remove the previous pipes, broken rubble, at the exit point. There are three primary types of reamers, in the market. They are:

Compaction Reamers

These types of reamers are often used in areas where there is soft soil, which has a high chance of collapsing in on itself. Compaction reamers rely on the action of forcing drilling fluid into the soil that surrounds the hole. This is done through a bentonite filter cake. The filter cake, essentially forces or injects the drilling fluid into the surrounding soil, providing a level of support that prevents collapse.

Hole Openers

Hole openers are reamers that make the existing holes larger and allows individuals to replace or install additional pieces into the hole. Hole openers, use rolling cutters when it comes to rock formations for reaming. This is why they are also known as HDD rock reamers as they are consistently used in horizontal directional drilling.

Mixing Reamers

In the event of harder ground conditions, or when trying to ream a borehole, in a ground that is predominantly made up of clay, one needs to employ mixing reamers. These reamers have a variety of threads that include flag cutters and rippers. When activated these rippers can easily break down soil and displace the cuttings from the hole. They require a special kind of drilling fluid additives, which makes them inadvisable to be used as a substitute for HDD rock reamers.