Bollards are utilized in a number of applications, for one of various purposes. One needs just to keep a sharp eye to see bollards around us every single 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 important for protecting pedestrians along with guarding storage racks and capital equipment from fork truck collisions.
Other industries which look for a heavy utilization of plastic safety bollards include automated car wash facilities, self-storage facilities, gas stations and convenience stores, propane dispensing, and parking garages, amongst others.
Foundation mounted bollards are usually placed in certainly one of two ways. The initial, least expensive way, is with a plate mounted bollard. These bollards are steel pipes welded to some flat steel plate which can be anchored to your hard surface using concrete anchors. This method of installation is quick 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 down-side to this particular installation method, when used with a rigid bollard, would be that the anchors are typically not sufficiently strong to stand up to anything over a minor collision. The plate anchors often are pulled up and perhaps the plate bends, leaving a post which leans and has stopped being in a position to properly serve its purpose. Plate mounted bollards often require constant maintenance and replacement.
The next method for installing bollards involves utilizing a longer steel pipe and burying a percentage of it deep in the ground. This process provides the bollard far more strength than surface mounted, however it may be very expensive to set up in the event the surface is concrete and already poured. Installation in cases like this requires coring a hole within the surface using an expensive diamond bladed coring saw. These appliances and their blades are expensive and require water cooling, making a mess during installation. After the concrete is cored and the bollard is in place, the hole should be backfilled with concrete to secure the bollard. For added strength, these bollards are frequently filled with concrete, also. Even though the bollard pipe is comparatively cheap, this installation strategy is costly and time consuming.
Although very strong, you can find significant disadvantages to core installations. Most significantly, there is no share with this method upon impact. Though desired in high security applications, any vehicle impacting this type of bollard is going to be significantly damaged and its passengers vulnerable to injury. Loads carried by fork trucks may also be thrown given the jarring impact likely to occur. Further, the bollard or its foundation could be damaged by this type of impact, again leaving a tilted and less effective barrier requiring costly maintenance to improve. Usually the steel bollard is beyond repair and should get replaced having an entirely new bollard.
Another disadvantage of this kind of installation is it is 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 are not easily moved. The concrete surrounding the bollard must be broken out and also the large remaining hole filled, leaving a factory floor packed with unsightly patches. If the bollard itself is reusable after removal, the whole expensive installation process begins over on the new location.
Some designs happen to be created to attempt to solve these problems by using plastic or spring loaded bollards, however these designs are afflicted by too little strength. When the plastic is of insufficient stiffness, the entire function of access denial is lost. On the contrary, very stiff plastic designs have had difficulty with long-term durability. Minor collisions tend to wear away at such devices, as well as 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 related to traditional foundation mounted bollards. In other words, the system utilizes a compressed rubber base to act being 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 system is connected to 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 from a unique ductile cast iron, that makes 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 in to the adapter. Standard pipe is utilized to offer the final user the flexibleness to weld fencing using standard components if required. Concrete fill is not needed within the bollard pipe, though is permitted. Actually, sign posts could be inserted to the post and concrete filled in place.
Upon collision, the pipe and adapter are allowed to tilt within the base, forcing the adapter to further compress the elastomer in the direction of the impact. The elastomer absorbs a lot of the power in the impact and lengthens the deceleration duration of the automobile. The elastomer is of sufficient strength to then rebound, usually pushing the automobile out of the bollard and returning to a vertical position. The tilt of the pipe is restricted to approximately 20 degrees after which the bollard will become rigid.
Bollards are designed in a selection of sizes, every one of that is suitable for various expected collision speeds and masses. Further, modular connectors which can be used to create fencing and guards out of multiple base units happen to be created to eliminate welding. By making use of multiple base units, the ultimate strength from the rebounding bollard unit could be increased.
These new bollards make use of the much easier approach to surface installation, greatly reducing installation costs, while keeping the flexibility to maneuver bollards as conditions warrant. This is accomplished minus the normal disadvantage of absence of strength, as the elastomer in the bollard system greatly cuts down on the maximum impact forces applied to the base anchors. This is because deceleration of the impacting vehicle is far less severe than during an impact using a rigid bollard. Energy is transferred to the elastomer as opposed to directly to a rigid post, decreasing the harsh impact of any relatively immovable object.
This leads directly to the most crucial advantages of the newest bollard system and that is certainly the lowering of harm to both offending vehicles and to the bollard system itself. Direct harm to vehicles is reduced due to the lowering of peak impact force seen from the vehicle. It will not only avoid damage to the automobile, but the probability of trouble for a passenger is likewise reduced. With regards to a fork lift in a factory or warehouse, the risk of a thrown load is additionally reduced, avoiding the potential for 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 because of its forgiving nature, a lot less force is transferred to the foundation. This simplifies and eliminates maintenance while preserving an aesthetically pleasing facility.
These bollards must be set up on concrete, as being 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 cost effective to pour a concrete pad and eliminate numerous years of costly maintenance and asphalt repair. As mentioned before, each bollard is sized for expected loads when it comes to mass and speed. Should that limitation be exceeded, it is easy to break a component of the program. Most likely that concerns the post, adapter, or base. Fortunately, the program 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 could be replaced by carefully taking out the concrete screw anchors and replacing the component.
The SlowStop Bollard system is a progressive cool product which solves most of the problems involved with bollard collisions as well as installation and maintenance issues. Injury to vehicles, passengers, vehicle loads, as well as the removable lockable bollards themselves is greatly reduced due to the 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 quick and inexpensive to install, flexible as they are easily moved, and uncomplicated to keep if there is the requirement. Safety fencing and barriers are easily created using modular connectors, avoiding the need to weld pipe together.