Bollards are used in a myriad of applications, for one of various purposes. You need just to keep a sharp eye to view bollards around us each day. In parking lots, driveways, and drive-thru lanes, bollards are utilized to protect buildings, teller machines, utilities including gas meters, electrical equipment and fire hydrants, handicap parking signs, gate entry keypads, and to restrict access to undesired areas. In factories and warehouses, bollards are essential for protecting pedestrians along with guarding storage racks and capital equipment from fork truck collisions.
Other industries which find a heavy utilization of decorative bollards include automated car wash facilities, self-storage facilities, service stations and convenience stores, propane dispensing, and parking garages, amongst others.
Foundation mounted bollards are generally installed in among two ways. The first, least expensive way, is by using a plate mounted bollard. These bollards are steel pipes welded to a flat steel plate which can be anchored to a hard surface using concrete anchors. This technique of installation is fast and inexpensive, requiring the installer to drill four to eight holes within the concrete and bolt on the bollard with expansion or screw anchors.
The downside to this particular installation method, when used with a rigid bollard, would be that the anchors are generally not strong enough to resist anything greater than a minor collision. The plate anchors often are pulled up and perhaps the plate bends, leaving a post which leans and is not in a position to properly serve its purpose. Plate mounted bollards often require constant maintenance and replacement.
The second technique for installing bollards involves utilizing a longer steel pipe and burying a portion of it deep in the ground. This technique affords the bollard far more strength than surface mounted, however it can be extremely expensive to set up in the event the surface is concrete and already poured. Installation in this case requires coring a hole inside the surface using an expensive diamond bladed coring saw. These appliances as well as their blades are expensive and require water cooling, developing a mess during installation. Once the concrete is cored and the bollard is within place, the hole must be backfilled with concrete to secure the bollard. For added strength, these bollards are frequently full of concrete, also. Although the bollard pipe itself is comparatively cheap, this installation strategy is costly and time intensive.
Although very strong, there are significant disadvantages to core installations. Above all, there is not any give to this method upon impact. Though desired in high security applications, any vehicle impacting such a bollard will be significantly damaged along with its passengers in danger of injury. Loads carried by fork trucks can also be thrown because of the jarring impact prone to occur. Further, the bollard or its foundation can be damaged by such an impact, again leaving a tilted and much less effective barrier requiring costly maintenance to correct. Frequently the steel bollard itself is beyond repair and must be replaced having an entirely new bollard.
Another drawback to this type of installation is that it is really a permanent installation with little flexibility for movement. In factory applications, tools are often moved and rearranged. Bollards utilized to protect equipment or storage racks that are core-installed usually are not easily moved. The concrete surrounding the bollard should be broken out and also the large remaining hole filled, leaving a factory floor packed with unsightly patches. When the bollard is reusable after removal, the complete expensive installation process begins over on the new location.
Some designs have been designed to make an effort to solve these complications by using plastic or spring loaded bollards, however these designs suffer from too little strength. In the event the plastic is of insufficient stiffness, the whole purpose of access denial is lost. On the other hand, very stiff plastic designs have gotten difficulty with long term durability. Minor collisions have a tendency to wear away at such devices, as well as in outdoor applications UV degradation turns into a concern.
Designed and patented in Europe by Belgian inventor Gerard Wolters is a unique system which solves many of the problems associated with traditional foundation mounted bollards. To put it simply, the device works with a compressed rubber base to behave as an energy absorbing mass. This elastomer allows the bollard to tilt slightly when impacted, in the plethora of 20 degrees from vertical, then return upright while still stopping the colliding vehicle.
This method is mounted on concrete using concrete anchor screws. These anchors affix the base component over the adapter, which pre-compresses the elastomer from the ground. The base and adapter pieces are made of an exclusive ductile cast iron, making the pieces less brittle than typical cast iron, and has an extremely low (-40 degrees) brittleness temperature. The steel pipe which functions as the bollard post is a typical steel pipe inserted into the adapter. Standard pipe is utilized to give the conclusion user the flexibility to weld fencing using standard components if necessary. Concrete fill is not needed inside the bollard pipe, though is permitted. In fact, sign posts can be inserted in to the post and concrete filled in place.
Upon collision, the pipe and adapter can tilt inside the base, forcing the adapter to help compress the elastomer in the direction of the impact. The elastomer absorbs much of the power of the impact and lengthens the deceleration duration of the vehicle. The elastomer is of sufficient strength to then rebound, usually pushing the car out of the bollard and going back to an upright position. The tilt in the pipe has limitations to approximately 20 degrees at which point the bollard can become rigid.
Bollards are made in a number of sizes, all of which can be suitable for various expected collision speeds and masses. Further, modular connectors which may be used to create fencing and guards away from multiple base units have already been created to eliminate welding. By using multiple base units, the best strength of the rebounding bollard unit may be increased.
These new bollards use the much easier method of surface installation, greatly reducing installation costs, while keeping the flexibleness to maneuver bollards as conditions warrant. This can be accomplished without the normal disadvantage of lack of strength, as the elastomer within the bollard system greatly reduces the maximum impact forces applied to the base anchors. The reason being deceleration of your impacting vehicle is much less severe than during an impact with a rigid bollard. Energy is moved to the elastomer instead of directly to a rigid post, reducing the harsh impact of the relatively immovable object.
This leads directly to the most significant benefits of the new bollard system and that is certainly the lowering of injury to both offending vehicles and to the bollard system itself. Direct harm to vehicles is reduced due to the decrease in peak impact force seen from the vehicle. This will not only avoid harm to the automobile, but also the possibility of injury to a passenger is likewise reduced. In the case of a fork lift in a factory or warehouse, the possibility of a thrown load is additionally reduced, avoiding the chance of bystander injury and stock loss.
Finally, harm to the bollard and its foundation is reduced. Since the post is constructed of strong steel pipe, it maintains its strength, but due to its forgiving nature, much less force is moved to the cornerstone. This simplifies and eliminates maintenance while preserving an great looking facility.
These bollards must be placed on concrete, as an asphalt surface is not really of adequate strength to anchor the bollard system. Thinking about the replacement costs of damaged bollards, however, it could be economical to pour a concrete pad and eliminate numerous years of costly maintenance and asphalt repair. As previously mentioned, each bollard is sized for expected loads in terms of mass and speed. Should that limitation be exceeded, it is actually easy to break a element of the program. Most likely that concerns the post, adapter, or base. Fortunately, the program is modular and simply repaired. Posts can be replaced by loosening several set-screws, wwbpkl and replacing, and re-tightening the set screws. Adapter and Base components may be replaced by carefully removing the concrete screw anchors and replacing the component.
The SlowStop Bollard system is a progressive cool product which solves many of the problems involved with bollard collisions as well as installation and maintenance issues. Damage to vehicles, passengers, vehicle loads, as well as the removable steel bollards themselves is reduced because of the absorption of impact energy by an elastomer hidden inside the bottom of the bollard. This elastomer allows the bollard to tilt when impacted and return upright afterward. SlowStop Bollards are fast and inexpensive to install, flexible because they are easily moved, and uncomplicated to keep up should there be the need. Safety fencing and barriers are easily created using modular connectors, avoiding the need to weld pipe together.