Bollards are utilized in a myriad of applications, for one of various purposes. One needs just to keep a sharp eye to view bollards around us every single day. In parking lots, driveways, and drive-thru lanes, bollards are used to protect buildings, teller machines, utilities such as gas meters, electrical equipment and fire hydrants, handicap parking signs, gate entry keypads, and to restrict use of undesired areas. In factories and warehouses, bollards are essential for safeguarding pedestrians as well as guarding storage racks and capital equipment from fork truck collisions.
Other industries which find a heavy usage of steel bollards include automated car wash facilities, self-storage facilities, gasoline stations and convenience stores, propane dispensing, and parking garages, amongst others.
Foundation mounted bollards are generally placed in among two ways. The very first, most affordable way, is by using a plate mounted bollard. These bollards are steel pipes welded to a flat steel plate which can be anchored to some hard surface using concrete anchors. This technique of installation is quick and inexpensive, requiring the installer to drill four to eight holes inside the concrete and bolt on the bollard with expansion or screw anchors.
The down-side for this installation method, when used with a rigid bollard, is the fact that anchors are generally not strong enough to withstand anything over a minor collision. The plate anchors often are pulled up and perhaps the plate bends, leaving a post which leans and is not able 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 ground. This technique affords the bollard a lot more strength than surface mounted, however it can be very expensive to set up in the event the surface is concrete and already poured. Installation in this instance requires coring an opening within the surface using an expensive diamond bladed coring saw. These machines and their blades are expensive and require water cooling, creating a mess during installation. Once the concrete is cored as well as the bollard is in place, the hole must be backfilled with concrete to secure the bollard. For additional strength, these bollards tend to be loaded with concrete, also. Even though the bollard pipe itself is comparatively cheap, this installation method is costly and time-consuming.
Although very strong, there are significant disadvantages to core installations. Above all, there is not any give this method upon impact. Though desired in high security applications, any vehicle impacting such a bollard will be significantly damaged and its passengers at risk of injury. Loads carried by fork trucks may also be thrown due to the jarring impact very likely to occur. Further, the bollard or its foundation may be damaged by such an impact, again leaving a tilted and fewer effective barrier requiring costly maintenance to improve. Usually the steel bollard is beyond repair and must get replaced with the entirely new bollard.
Another downside of this type of installation is it is actually a permanent installation with little flexibility for movement. In factory applications, equipment is often moved and rearranged. Bollards used to protect equipment or storage racks that are core-installed usually are not easily moved. The concrete all around the bollard has to be broken out as well as the large remaining hole filled, leaving a factory floor filled with unsightly patches. In the event the bollard itself is reusable after removal, the entire expensive installation process begins over in the new location.
Some designs have been developed to attempt to solve these problems by using plastic or spring loaded bollards, however these designs have problems with an absence of strength. If the plastic is of insufficient stiffness, the complete function of access denial is lost. On the contrary, very stiff plastic designs have gotten difficulty with long-term durability. Minor collisions have a tendency to wear away at such devices, and then in outdoor applications UV degradation becomes a concern.
Designed and patented in Europe by Belgian inventor Gerard Wolters is actually a unique system which solves most of the problems associated with traditional foundation mounted bollards. In other words, the system utilizes a compressed rubber base to do something as being an energy absorbing mass. This elastomer allows the bollard to tilt slightly when impacted, in all the different 20 degrees from vertical, then return upright while still stopping the colliding vehicle.
This system is connected to concrete using concrete anchor screws. These anchors affix the base component on the adapter, which pre-compresses the elastomer against the ground. The base and adapter pieces are made from a special ductile cast iron, which 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 to the adapter. Standard pipe can be used to offer the conclusion user the flexibility to weld fencing using standard components if needed. Concrete fill is not needed inside the bollard pipe, though is permitted. In reality, sign posts could be inserted into the post and concrete completed place.
Upon collision, the pipe and adapter are permitted to tilt within the base, forcing the adapter to help compress the elastomer in the direction of the impact. The elastomer absorbs a lot of the energy in the impact and lengthens the deceleration period of the vehicle. The elastomer is of sufficient strength to then rebound, usually pushing the automobile out of the bollard and returning to an upright position. The tilt of the pipe is restricted to approximately 20 degrees at which point the bollard will become 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 could be used to create fencing and guards out of multiple base units have been created to eliminate welding. By using multiple base units, the greatest strength in the rebounding bollard unit can be increased.
These new bollards make use of the more simple method of surface installation, greatly reducing installation costs, while maintaining the flexibleness to go bollards as conditions warrant. This is accomplished with no normal disadvantage of insufficient strength, as the elastomer within the bollard system greatly cuts down on the maximum impact forces applied to the base anchors. It is because deceleration of an impacting vehicle is far less severe than throughout an impact with a rigid bollard. Energy is moved to the elastomer rather than straight to a rigid post, reducing the harsh impact of the relatively immovable object.
This leads straight to the most important features of the newest bollard system and that is the decrease in injury to both offending vehicles as well as the bollard system itself. Direct injury to vehicles is reduced due to the lowering of peak impact force seen from the vehicle. Not only will this avoid damage to the vehicle, but also the possibility of injury to a passenger is likewise reduced. With regards to a fork lift in a factory or warehouse, the chance of a thrown load can also be reduced, avoiding the potential for bystander injury and stock loss.
Finally, harm to the bollard as well as its foundation is reduced. As the post is constructed of strong steel pipe, it maintains its strength, but due to the forgiving nature, significantly less force is transferred to the foundation. This simplifies and eliminates maintenance while preserving an attractive facility.
These bollards has to be placed on concrete, as an asphalt surface will not be of adequate strength to anchor the bollard system. Taking into consideration the replacement costs of damaged bollards, however, it might be affordable to pour a concrete pad and eliminate many years of costly maintenance and asphalt repair. As previously mentioned, each bollard is sized for expected loads when it comes to mass and speed. Should that limitation be exceeded, it is actually possible to break a component of the program. Most likely which involves the post, adapter, or base. Fortunately, the system is modular and simply repaired. Posts could be replaced by loosening several set-screws, wwbpkl and replacing, and re-tightening the set screws. Adapter and Base components can be replaced by carefully removing the concrete screw anchors and replacing the component.
The SlowStop Bollard product is a revolutionary cool product which solves lots of the problems included in bollard collisions in addition to installation and maintenance issues. Injury to vehicles, passengers, vehicle loads, and the locking bollards themselves is reduced as a result of absorption of impact energy by an elastomer hidden in the lower bollard. This elastomer allows the bollard to tilt when impacted and return upright afterward. SlowStop Bollards are fast and inexpensive to install, flexible as they are easily moved, and straightforward to keep up if there is the requirement. Safety fencing and barriers are often created using modular connectors, avoiding the need to weld pipe together.