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Fluted Reamer

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ZLCONN Fluted Reamer

From hardpan and soft rock to cobble, fluted reamers are one of the most productive and popular reamer options for horizontal directional drilling contractors. As the teeth of the reamer grinds up material, the fluted channels flow material to the backside of the hole, and the reamer’s tapered body creates a strong wall.

Used on small utility horizontal directional drills all the way up to pipeline maxi rigs, the fluted reamer is a universal tool found in the tooling fleet of most HDD crews.

However, did you know that while most fluted reamers may look the same, there is a significant difference in the quality of body construction among tooling manufacturers? How a fluted reamer is made can impact performance, rebuild-ability and the overall life of the tool. 

ZLCONN Fluted Reamer Cast body design

A cast fluted reamer body is formed by pouring molten metal into a mold. When the metal cools, and the mold is removed, what is left is a single solid flute body. While the molds come at a significant investment for manufacturers, each reamer produced is identical and balanced for optimal performance. A drill spud is inserted into the reamer and is welded securely.

ZLCONN Fluted Reamer Fabricated body design

Fabricated fluted reamer bodies are built by welding together several pieces of metal onto a drill spud. It’s a highly manual process that requires skill and attention to detail. If a fabricated reamer isn’t balanced, it may not rotate rotation evenly in the hole and potentially cause premature wear. 

ZLCONN Fluted Reamer Impact on performance

Welding is involved when creating any piece of HDD tooling; however, the number of welds to produce a tool can impact your productivity and profitability.

Fewer welds on fluted reamers also mean there are fewer failure points. Aggressive ground conditions can lead to a lot of wear on a reamer. As the reamer’s teeth wear down, the fluted body design becomes critical. Fabricated bodies with more welds can tear apart, while a single casted body will wear evenly. 

ZLCONN Fluted Reamer Impact on rebuild-ability

When it comes time to rebuild your reamer, making new welds on top of old ones is not recommended. The connections won’t be as durable, thus reducing the amount of time between rebuilds. Those shorter rebuild intervals will cost you time and money, and potentially reduce the life expectancy of your reamer.

Since cast reamers only have welds connecting the reamer body to the spud, it’s much easier and faster to perform a rebuild and if implemented correctly, it should last longer than what you would get with a fabricated flute body. 

ZLCONN Fluted Reamer Available sizes

There are many advantages to selecting a cast body fluted reamer. As you shop around, keep in mind that many companies only offer cast body options up to a 16-inch model. After that, the reamer is fabricated.

Fluted Reamer (Φ200-Φ2000)
Usage: Suitable for sand and medium to very hard soil strata.
Structure: Steel Casting.
Connection with drill rod: direct connection with drill rod, octagonal connection.
Connection with pipeline: with and without swivel.


ZLCONN Quality Control

Our quality team’s work begins by ensuring a consistently high standard of raw material: checking every batch on delivery against the technical team’s strict criteria for dimensional accuracy and steel chemistry. Once approved for production, every item of material is issued a work number that allows us to track it through every subsequent step of the manufacturing process. The completed product is finally issued and stamped with a serial number that enables 100% traceability of all that manufacturing data.

We break open samples from every batch of pipe to check the steel’s mechanical properties are up to S135
standard. Just as importantly, our trained QC staff carry out 100% physical and non-destructive inspections of every forged end.This ensures there are no internal cracks, sharp transitions or underfills – any of which could lead to rapid propagation of stress cracks. No pipe is released to market without a quality report verifying compliance with all destructive and non destructive testing criteria.

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