The popularity of bollards has dramatically increased during the past decade due to heightened concerns about security. They are a simple, practical, and cost-effective way of erecting anti-ram perimeter defense without creating a visual sense of a fortified bunker. Bollards are widely used for traffic direction and control, and in purely decorative applications. However, bollards can serve many functions beyond security. They can be used for purely aesthetic purposes, performing as landscaping elements. Bollards can make visible boundaries of a property, or separate areas within sites. They can control traffic and are often arranged to allow pedestrian access while keeping entry of vehicles.
Removable and retractable bollards can allow different amounts of access restriction for many different circumstances. They frequently inform us where we are able to and cannot drive, park, bike, or walk, protect us from crime, shield vehicles and property from accidents, and add aesthetic features to the building exteriors and surrounding areas. Bollards can incorporate other functions such as lighting, security cameras, bicycle parking or even seating. Decorative bollards are produced in a selection of patterns to harmonize with a variety of architectural styles. The prevalence of the very common form of safety bollards, the concrete-filled steel pipe, has encouraged the manufacturing of decorative bollards designed to fit as covers over standard steel pipe sizes, adding pleasing form for the required function.
Exactly What Is A Bollard?
A bollard is a short vertical post. Early bollards were for mooring large ships at dock, plus they are still used today. An average marine bollard is created in cast iron or steel and shaped somewhat like a mushroom; the enlarged top was created to prevent mooring ropes from slipping off.
Today, the phrase bollard also describes a number of structures applied to streets, around buildings, and then in landscaping. In accordance with legend, the initial street bollards were actually cannons – sometimes reported to be captured enemy weapons – planted in the ground as boundary posts and town markers. Once the availability of former cannons was used up, similarly shaped iron castings were created to match the same functions. Bollards have since evolved into many varieties which can be widely employed on roads, specifically in urban areas, in addition to outside supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, shops, government buildings and stadiums.
The most frequent form of bollard is fixed. The simplest is an unaesthetic steel post, about 914 to 1219 mm (36 to 48 in.) above-grade. Specially manufactured bollards include not merely simple posts, but also a multitude of decorative designs. Some feature square or rectangular cross-sections, but most are cylindrical, sometimes using a domed, angled, or flat cap. They come in a number of metallic, painted, and sturdy powder coat finishes.
Removable bollards are used where the need to limit access or direct traffic changes occasionally. Both retractable and fold-down styles are employed where selective entry is often needed, and they are designed therefore the bollard can easily be collapsed to ground level and quickly re-erected. Both retractable units might be manually operated or automated with hydraulic movements. Movable bollards are large, heavy objects – frequently stone or concrete – that rely on their weight as opposed to structural anchoring in which to stay place. They are made to be moved rarely, and then just with heavy machinery for instance a fork-lift.
Bollards generally belong to three kinds of applications:
Decorative Bollards – decorative bollards for architectural and landscaping highlights;
Traffic and Safety Bollards – bollards that provide asset and pedestrian safety, in addition to traffic direction; and
Security Bollards and Post Covers – decorative, impact-resistant bollard enhancements
Some bollards are intended purely to become an ornament. As standalone architectural or landscaping features, they could border, divide, or define an area. They may also be accents, sentries, or supporting players to larger, more dramatic architectural gesture.
Decorative bollards are produced to harmonize with both traditional and contemporary architectural styles. The second lean toward visual simplicity – often straight-sided posts with a number of reveals close to the top. Styles made to match various historic periods will often have more elaborate shapes and surface details. These include flutes, bands, scrolls as well as other ornamentation.The post-top is actually a distinctive feature; traditional bollard design often includes elaborate decorative finials, whereas contemporary versions frequently come with a simple rounded or slanted top to deter passersby from leaving trash or utilizing them for impromptu seating. On the contrary, these are sometimes made flat and broad specifically to encourage seating. Common decorative bollard materials include iron, aluminum, stainless, and concrete.
Ornamental designs with elaborate detail are usually manufactured from iron or aluminum casting. Aluminum bollards are desirable for applications where weight is a problem, like a removable bollard. Aluminum units are generally slightly more expensive than iron. For applications in which a decorative bollard could be subjected to destructive impact, ductile iron is a safer choice than more brittle metals, as force will deform the metal as opposed to shatter and transforming it into possible hazardous flying projectiles.
Iron and aluminum bollards are frequently manufactured by sand-casting – a conventional foundry technique that is economical and well-suitable for objects this size. However, sand-cast objects frequently bear surface irregularities that tend to leave the finished product less popular with the eye. If high-finish consistency is desired, seek a manufacturer which will machine 100% of the surface after casting to create units having a uniform surface for maximum visual appeal.
Finish is an important consideration in a decorative bollard, from functional as well as aesthetic standpoints. Bollards are, by their nature, vulnerable to being scratched or nicked by pedestrians and vehicles. Those located near roadways are in contact with a relatively aggressive environment; petrochemical residues and splashes of diluted road de-icing salts may compromise zuhjvq painted finishes. Factory-applied powder coating – which is seen on iron, aluminum, and steel – is definitely an especially durable kind of painted finish. The application process builds up a coating with very consistent coverage. During coating, any bare metal has a tendency to attract the powder, eliminating pinholes in coverage. The baking procedure that completes the finish gives it additional toughness and abuse resistance.
In applications where greater physical abuse is predictable, decorative bollards made of aluminum may be a better option than iron. If the finish coat is damaged, aluminum oxidizes to a color that is generally more acceptable compared to the red rust made by iron. Aluminum and stainless steel are also available in a number of bare metal finishes. Functionality may be put into the otherwise decorative bollard. As an example, common option is the chain eye – linking several bollards with chain, developing a simple traffic direction system. A big metal loop or arm on the side in the post allows parking and locking of bicycles, an increasingly popular choice as more people seek alternative green transportation. Bollards could also contain lighting units or security devices, like motion sensors or cameras.