Pipe Ramming Launch Picture

Compressed air is used to pipe ram the casing into the ground

Ramming is brute but effective

Pipe Ramming

Pipe ramming is a very brute but effective form of utility installation. Its name comes from the fact that the ground is actually pushed out of the way as the casing is "rammed" through the earth. Spoils are removed only after the casing pipe is installed. Because of the impact forces involved, steel casing pipe is predominately used with this method.

Many of the pipe ramming bores at Aaron Enterprises would involve the use of a GrundoRam® that is operated by an air compressor. This type of bore would be open ended (meaning the spoils are "swallowed" during pipe installation) with the lead piece of casing having an over-cut band on it. A bentonite mud mixture is often used to reduce friction during installation. Once the casing is in place there are several techniques used to remove the spoils. The two most common practices involve the use of a pig to push the material out one end of the pipe, or simply by augering out the material with a boring machine.

Installation Considerations:

• Overhead Power Lines – Generally pipe ramming requires the use of an excavator in order to dig the pit and extract spoils from the pit.

• Soil Conditions – The utilization of pipe ramming is very dependent on soil conditions. Pipe ramming is most effective when dealing with the following materials: soft to hard clay, silts, soft shales, loose to dense sand, weathered rock, cemented soils, gravels and cobbles.

• Lubrication – Occasionally soil conditions require the use of a bentonite mud mixture in order to reduce the skin friction between the casing pipe and the material that surrounds it.

• Grade Control – This aspect becomes critical when ramming around existing structures. Grade is also crucial when installing certain utilities such as gravity sewer systems.

• Ground Water Conditions – After the excavation of a launching pit, crews often find themselves below the water table. A well point can be installed in order to control the influx of water.