Pipe jacking

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Pipe jacking

Pipe jacking is a no-dig technique used for installing utility pipes underground with minimal disruption to the surface. It is a cost effective and time saving alternative to open cut methods when installing pipes below 5 metres depth or under surface obstacles undesirable to be disturbed such as roads and railroads.

Conventional auger boring

A specialized pipe jacking technique is auger boring. This age old and simple method is applicable in a wide range of ground conditions from sand, through clay to solid rock. It provides ready to be used water-tight pipelines of steel, reinforced concrete or unglazed vitrified clay.

Creating the bore for the utility pipe involves pushing a string of steel casings along the planned direction while excavation takes place by means of rotating auger flights.

Conventional auger boring provides limited steerability. Where cm accuracy is critical the specialized technique of guided auger boring is available.

Guided auger boring

Guided auger boring provides cm accurate jacking of concrete, clay or steel pipes even with a span length of up to 100 metres.

The system is often used as a three pass installation. Preceding jacking of the final pipe the method involves setting the axis by drilling a pilot bore from the launch to the reception shafts. The bore is done by pushing a drillhead through the ground on the end of a string of drill pipes. Target is kept by realtime control of the drill head. On completion of the bore a series of temporary steel casings containing augers are jacked along the axis enlarging the hole and simultaneously pushing the pilotrods into the receiving shaft. The augers remove the spoil into the launch shaft and are removed after the steel casings are installed. The process ends by jacking the final steel or reinforced concrete pipes from the launch shaft while removing the steel casings into the receiving shaft.

This pipe jacking system is only applicable in self supporting and compressible soils with no large obstacles along the path of the pilot bore.

Sycons Ltd. has considerable expertise in conventional auger boring and guided auger boring. We have undertaken a track record of turnkey utility pipe installations underground. Diameters from 200mm to 1400mm are achievable with single drive lengths of 100 metres depending on soil properties. Our complete range of guided boring equipment enables us to carry out full service constructions as far as 800 kilometers from Hungary installing a 40 metres length span in around 10 days.

We use this type of horizontal thrust boring maschines:

  • Witte BPR80
  • American Augers 60-1200
  • Boretech 300P
  • Witte 8/160

Pipe jacking: auger boring and guided auger boring

Download auger boring brochure



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Sycons is able to provide top-class references in pipe jacking projects.

  • Bence-valley, Hungary, construction of the water reservoir's drainage system. Steel 1000 mm diameter pipe jacked with a span length of 87 metres. The pipe drains water from the reservoir. Prefabricated shafts installed at both ends of the pipe. Surface drainage trench reconstructed to remove water from the end shaft.
    2009 - Tatai Környezetvédelmi Kft. - 87 m
  • Budapest, Hungary - Metro Line 4. Underground utility installation under main train station of Kelenföld, 600 mm diameter steel pipe with a span length of 96 metres jacked under the railroads.
    2009 - FORCE Kft. - 96m
  • Budapest, Hungary - Liszt Ferenc International Airport Terminal 2, expansion project. Construction of warm water utility pipes. Two parallel steel pipes with diameters 406mm and 324 mm jacked under two runways. Span lengths are 2*57metres and 2*84,5 metres.
    2008 - TERRA 21 Kft. - 196m

More references