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What are the situations which warrant the use of pipe ramming instead of other trenchless methods?

There are two main distinct advantages of pipe ramming:

(i) Settlement and heaving of existing ground.
Where a pipe have to be installed under an existing railway or heavily-trafficked highway, it is almost impossible to install the pipes by open excavation. In particular, if the pipes to be installed are of shallow depth, the use of some trenchless methods (e.g. pipe jacking and heading) may cause considerable ground settlement because the soil loss within shallow zone would induce larger settlement. As such, the use of pipe ramming could resolve this concern. Pipe ramming is a displacement method which generally would not result in ground loss. For open-ended steel casing, the soils inside the pipe are not removed until the entire casing is installed in place.


(ii) Muck Disposal
For microtunneling, spoils are removed from the excavation face in a slurry so that the spoil are wet. Hence, sufficient space has to be provided to allow for drying of spoils or the wet spoils have to be removed off site immediately. For pipe ramming slurry is not used so that the spoil retains only it natural moisture content. Therefore, it is easier to handle in-situ soils than wet spoils. On the other hand, the amount of spoil produced by pipe ramming is smaller when compared with pipe jacking and microtunneling

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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