Bollards are used in a multitude 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 like 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 locate a heavy use of security bollards include automated car wash facilities, self-storage facilities, gasoline stations and convenience stores, propane dispensing, and parking garages, and others.
Foundation mounted bollards are generally placed in one of two ways. The first, least expensive way, is by using a plate mounted bollard. These bollards are steel pipes welded to some flat steel plate that can be anchored to some hard surface using concrete anchors. This method 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 to this installation method, when used with a rigid bollard, is that the anchors are generally not strong enough to withstand anything more than 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 method for installing bollards involves employing a longer steel pipe and burying a percentage from it deep in the earth. This process gives the bollard a lot more strength than surface mounted, however it may be very costly to put in in the event the surface is concrete and already poured. Installation in cases like this requires coring an opening within the surface using an expensive diamond bladed coring saw. These machines and their blades are pricey and require water cooling, developing a mess during installation. Once the concrete is cored and also the bollard is in place, the hole should be backfilled with concrete to secure the bollard. For added strength, these bollards tend to be loaded with concrete, too. Though the bollard pipe is relatively inexpensive, this installation method is costly and time intensive.
Although very strong, you will find significant disadvantages to core installations. Above all, there is not any give this technique upon impact. Though desired in high security applications, any vehicle impacting such a bollard will be significantly damaged along with its passengers at risk of injury. Loads carried by fork trucks can be thrown because of the jarring impact very likely to occur. Further, the bollard or its foundation may be damaged by this type of impact, again leaving a tilted and much less effective barrier requiring costly maintenance to improve. Frequently the steel bollard is beyond repair and should get replaced having an entirely new bollard.
Another drawback to this kind of installation is that 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 that are core-installed are certainly not easily moved. The concrete surrounding the bollard has to be broken out and the large remaining hole filled, leaving a factory floor packed with unsightly patches. When the bollard is reusable after removal, the entire expensive installation process begins over at the new location.
Some designs happen to be developed to make an effort to solve these problems by using plastic or spring loaded bollards, however these designs have problems with too little strength. If the plastic is of insufficient stiffness, the whole purpose of access denial is lost. On the other hand, very stiff plastic designs have had difficulty with long lasting durability. Minor collisions often wear away at such devices, and then in outdoor applications UV degradation gets to be a concern.
Designed and patented in Europe by Belgian inventor Gerard Wolters is a unique system which solves lots of the problems related to traditional foundation mounted bollards. To put it simply, the device uses a compressed rubber base to do something 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 technique is attached to concrete using concrete anchor screws. These anchors affix the base component on the adapter, which pre-compresses the elastomer from the ground. The base and adapter pieces are created from a unique ductile cast iron, that makes the pieces less brittle than typical cast iron, and has a really 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 provide the final user the flexibleness to weld fencing using standard components if required. Concrete fill is not required within the bollard pipe, though is permitted. In reality, sign posts may be inserted in to the post and concrete completed place.
Upon collision, the pipe and adapter can tilt in the base, forcing the adapter to further compress the elastomer in the direction of the impact. The elastomer absorbs much of the vitality from 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 going back to an upright position. The tilt from the pipe is restricted to approximately 20 degrees at which point the bollard will end up rigid.
Bollards are designed in a number of sizes, each of that is right for various expected collision speeds and masses. Further, modular connectors which could be used to create fencing and guards from multiple base units have been developed to eliminate welding. By making use of multiple base units, the ultimate strength in the rebounding bollard unit can be increased.
These new bollards utilize the much simpler method of surface installation, greatly reducing installation costs, while keeping the flexibleness to move bollards as conditions warrant. This really is accomplished without the normal drawback to absence of strength, since the elastomer inside the bollard system greatly decreases the maximum impact forces applied to the base anchors. The reason being deceleration of an impacting vehicle is far less severe than throughout an impact with a rigid bollard. Energy is transferred to the elastomer as opposed to right to a rigid post, reducing the harsh impact of any relatively immovable object.
This leads directly to the most crucial benefits of the new bollard system and that is certainly the reduction of harm to both offending vehicles and to the bollard system itself. Direct harm to vehicles is reduced because of the decrease in peak impact force seen by the vehicle. It will not only avoid damage to the vehicle, but also the probability of injury to a passenger is likewise reduced. With regards to a fork lift in a factory or warehouse, the possibility of a thrown load can also be reduced, avoiding the opportunity 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, a lot less force is transferred to the foundation. This simplifies and eliminates maintenance while preserving an great looking facility.
These bollards has to be set up 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 could be economical to pour a concrete pad and eliminate years of costly maintenance and asphalt repair. As mentioned before, each bollard is sized for expected loads in terms of mass and speed. Should that limitation be exceeded, it really is easy to break a element of the system. More than likely that concerns the post, adapter, or base. Fortunately, the system is modular and easily repaired. Posts may 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 eliminating the concrete screw anchors and replacing the component.
The SlowStop Bollard method is a progressive new product which solves most of the problems involved with bollard collisions along with installation and maintenance issues. Injury to vehicles, passengers, vehicle loads, and the removable steel bollards themselves is greatly reduced because of the absorption of impact energy by an elastomer hidden in the bottom of the bollard. This elastomer allows the bollard to tilt when impacted and return upright afterward. SlowStop Bollards are quick and inexpensive to install, flexible because they are easily moved, and straightforward to keep up should there be the need. Safety fencing and barriers are easily created using modular connectors, avoiding the requirement to weld pipe together.