Bollards are used in a myriad of applications, for one of several purposes. You need just to keep a sharp eye to see bollards around us every day. In parking lots, driveways, and drive-thru lanes, bollards are utilized to protect buildings, teller machines, utilities such as gas meters, electrical equipment and fire hydrants, handicap parking signs, gate entry keypads, and to restrict usage of undesired areas. In factories and warehouses, bollards are very important for protecting pedestrians along with guarding storage racks and capital equipment from fork truck collisions.
Other industries which look for a heavy use 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 usually installed in certainly one of two ways. The initial, least expensive way, is by using a plate mounted bollard. These bollards are steel pipes welded to a flat steel plate that may be anchored to a hard surface using concrete anchors. This method of installation is fast and inexpensive, requiring the installer to drill four to eight holes within the concrete and bolt down the bollard with expansion or screw anchors.
The downside to this particular installation method, when combined with a rigid bollard, would be that the anchors are usually not strong enough to stand up to anything greater than a minor collision. The plate anchors often are pulled up and possibly the plate bends, leaving a post which leans and is no longer in a position to properly serve its purpose. Plate mounted bollards often require constant maintenance and replacement.
The 2nd technique for installing bollards involves using a longer steel pipe and burying a portion of this deep in the earth. This technique gives the bollard a lot more strength than surface mounted, however it may be very expensive to install in the event the surface is concrete and already poured. Installation in this case requires coring an opening in the surface utilizing an expensive diamond bladed coring saw. These machines as well as their blades are pricey and require water cooling, developing a mess during installation. Once the concrete is cored and the bollard is in place, the hole should be backfilled with concrete to secure the bollard. For additional strength, these bollards are often filled with concrete, too. Although the bollard pipe is relatively inexpensive, this installation strategy is costly and time intensive.
Although quite strong, you will find significant disadvantages to core installations. Most significantly, there is absolutely no give this system upon impact. Though desired in high security applications, any vehicle impacting such a bollard will likely be significantly damaged along with its passengers at risk of injury. Loads carried by fork trucks can also be thrown given the jarring impact likely to occur. Further, the bollard or its foundation could be damaged by this kind of impact, again leaving a tilted and much less effective barrier requiring costly maintenance to correct. Often the steel bollard is beyond repair and must get replaced having an entirely new bollard.
Another downside of this sort of installation is it is a permanent installation with little flexibility for movement. In factory applications, devices are often moved and rearranged. Bollards used to protect equipment or storage racks which can be core-installed are not easily moved. The concrete all around the bollard should be broken out and also the large remaining hole filled, leaving a factory floor full of unsightly patches. If the bollard is reusable after removal, the whole expensive installation process is started over in the new location.
Some designs happen to be designed to make an effort to solve these problems by using plastic or spring loaded bollards, however these designs are afflicted by an absence of strength. If the plastic is of insufficient stiffness, the complete purpose of access denial is lost. On the contrary, very stiff plastic designs have had difficulty with long lasting durability. Minor collisions tend to wear away at such devices, and then in outdoor applications UV degradation turns into a concern.
Designed and patented in Europe by Belgian inventor Gerard Wolters is actually a unique system which solves many of the problems connected with traditional foundation mounted bollards. In other words, the system uses a compressed rubber base to behave being an energy absorbing mass. This elastomer allows the bollard to tilt slightly when impacted, in the range of 20 degrees from vertical, then return upright while still stopping the colliding vehicle.
This system is mounted on concrete using concrete anchor screws. These anchors affix the base component within the adapter, which pre-compresses the elastomer up against the ground. The base and adapter pieces are made of a special ductile cast iron, that makes the pieces less brittle than typical cast iron, and also has a very low (-40 degrees) brittleness temperature. The steel pipe which functions as the bollard post is actually a typical steel pipe inserted in to the adapter. Standard pipe is used to give the end user the flexibleness to weld fencing using standard components if needed. Concrete fill is not required within the bollard pipe, though is permitted. In fact, sign posts can be inserted to the post and concrete filled in place.
Upon collision, the pipe and adapter can tilt inside the base, forcing the adapter to advance compress the elastomer in the direction of the impact. The elastomer absorbs a lot of the vitality of the impact and lengthens the deceleration period of the car. The elastomer is of sufficient strength to then rebound, usually pushing the car from the bollard and returning to a vertical position. The tilt in the pipe has limitations to approximately 20 degrees at which point the bollard will end up rigid.
Bollards are designed in a variety of sizes, each of which is appropriate for various expected collision speeds and masses. Further, modular connectors which may be used to create fencing and guards out of multiple base units have been designed to eliminate welding. By utilizing multiple base units, the best strength in the rebounding bollard unit can be increased.
These new bollards make use of the much simpler way of surface installation, greatly reducing installation costs, while maintaining the flexibleness to move bollards as conditions warrant. This can be accomplished minus the normal downside of absence of strength, because the elastomer within the bollard system greatly cuts down on the maximum impact forces placed on the base anchors. The reason being deceleration of your impacting vehicle is far less severe than throughout an impact using a rigid bollard. Energy is moved to the elastomer as opposed to right to a rigid post, reducing the harsh impact of a relatively immovable object.
This leads right to the most crucial features of the new bollard system and that is certainly the decrease in harm to both offending vehicles and to the bollard system itself. Direct injury to vehicles is reduced due to the decrease in peak impact force seen from the vehicle. Not only will this avoid damage to the automobile, but also the chance of trouble for a passenger is likewise reduced. When it comes to a fork lift in a factory or warehouse, the risk of a thrown load can also be reduced, avoiding the potential for bystander injury and stock loss.
Finally, injury to the bollard and its foundation is reduced. As 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 building blocks. This simplifies and eliminates maintenance while preserving an great looking facility.
These bollards must be installed on concrete, as being an asphalt surface is not really of adequate strength to anchor the bollard system. Taking into consideration the replacement costs of damaged bollards, however, it might be economical to pour a concrete pad and eliminate years of costly maintenance and asphalt repair. As earlier mentioned, each bollard is sized for expected loads when it comes to mass and speed. Should that limitation be exceeded, it is possible to break a component of the device. Probably which involves the post, adapter, or base. Fortunately, the device is modular and easily repaired. Posts could 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 taking out the concrete screw anchors and replacing the component.
The SlowStop Bollard product is a revolutionary new product which solves many of the problems involved with bollard collisions in addition to installation and maintenance issues. Damage to vehicles, passengers, vehicle loads, and the removable bollards with locks themselves is reduced as a result of absorption of impact energy by an elastomer hidden within the base 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 since they are easily moved, and simple to keep if there is the requirement. Safety fencing and barriers are easily created using modular connectors, avoiding the need to weld pipe together.