Allowable Bend Radius

Published: January 28, 2018 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Allowable Bend Radius Mean?

The allowable bend radius is defined as the acceptable degree of deflection or curvature that a product pipe, drill pipe, mud motor or wireline system can safely tolerate without risk of significant damage to the component in question.

The bend radius is usually expressed as the forward distance, expressed in feet, required for the component to complete a 90-degree turn.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Allowable Bend Radius

Determining the allowable bend radius of a product pipe, drill pipe, mud motor or wireline system is one of the most important aspects before the start of any Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) project. It is a critical input used in the calculation of the entry and exit points, the achievable depth and drill path directional changes.

If the allowable bend radius of the drill pipe is exceeded the useful serviceable life of the drill pipe can be significantly reduced. The damage done to this drilling component can sometimes be barely noticeable, however, failure can occur after several subsequent drillings.

Exceeding the bend radius of the product pipe can not only result in damage to the pipe, but it can also result in difficult pullback operations. Subjecting the pipe to tight bends increases the chance of the pipe becoming stuck during pullback.

Determining and ensuring that the component remains within the allowable bending radius ensures quicker pullbacks, fewer boring errors, less downtime and increased drill string service life.


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