Bollards are utilized in a myriad of applications, for one of several purposes. One needs just to keep a sharp eye to view bollards around us every day. In parking lots, driveways, and drive-thru lanes, bollards are used to protect buildings, teller machines, utilities including 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 as well as guarding storage racks and capital equipment from fork truck collisions.
Other industries which locate a heavy use of commercial 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 typically installed in one of two ways. The initial, most inexpensive way, is to use a plate mounted bollard. These bollards are steel pipes welded to some flat steel plate which can be anchored to some hard surface using concrete anchors. This method of installation is fast 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 downside for this installation method, when used in combination with a rigid bollard, would be that the anchors are typically not sufficiently strong enough to resist anything over a minor collision. The plate anchors often are pulled up and perhaps the plate bends, leaving a post which leans and is no longer capable of properly serve its purpose. Plate mounted bollards often require constant maintenance and replacement.
The next way of installing bollards involves employing a longer steel pipe and burying a portion of this deep in the earth. This technique affords the bollard much more strength than surface mounted, however it can be extremely expensive to set up in the event the surface is concrete and already poured. Installation in this case requires coring a hole in the surface utilizing an expensive diamond bladed coring saw. These appliances and their blades are expensive and require water cooling, developing a mess during installation. After the concrete is cored and the bollard is within place, the hole should be backfilled with concrete to secure the bollard. For additional strength, these bollards are frequently full of concrete, as well. Though the bollard pipe itself is comparatively cheap, this installation method is costly and time intensive.
Although quite strong, you can 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 this type of bollard is going to be significantly damaged along with its passengers vulnerable to injury. Loads carried by fork trucks may also be thrown due to the jarring impact prone to occur. Further, the bollard or its foundation may be damaged by this kind of impact, again leaving a tilted and fewer effective barrier requiring costly maintenance to correct. Often the steel bollard is beyond repair and must get replaced with an entirely new bollard.
Another downside of this kind of installation is it is actually a permanent installation with little flexibility for movement. In factory applications, tools are often moved and rearranged. Bollards employed to protect equipment or storage racks that are core-installed are certainly not easily moved. The concrete all around the bollard should be broken out as well as the large remaining hole filled, leaving a factory floor full of unsightly patches. If the bollard itself is reusable after removal, the entire expensive installation process begins over on the new location.
Some designs happen to be created to attempt to solve these issues with the use of plastic or spring loaded bollards, however these designs suffer from too little strength. In the event the plastic is of insufficient stiffness, the entire function of access denial is lost. On the other hand, very stiff plastic designs have had difficulty with long lasting durability. Minor collisions have a tendency to wear away at such devices, and in outdoor applications UV degradation becomes a concern.
Designed and patented in Europe by Belgian inventor Gerard Wolters is really a unique system which solves many of the problems associated with traditional foundation mounted bollards. Simply put, the device works with a compressed rubber base to behave as 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 method is attached to concrete using concrete anchor screws. These anchors affix the base component within the adapter, which pre-compresses the elastomer against the ground. The base and adapter pieces are made of a unique ductile cast iron, which makes the pieces less brittle than typical cast iron, and also has an extremely low (-40 degrees) brittleness temperature. The steel pipe which functions as the bollard post is a typical steel pipe inserted to the adapter. Standard pipe is utilized to offer the end user the flexibleness to weld fencing using standard components if required. Concrete fill is not required inside the bollard pipe, though is permitted. In fact, sign posts could be inserted in to the post and concrete filled in place.
Upon collision, the pipe and adapter can tilt inside the base, forcing the adapter to help compress the elastomer in the direction of the impact. The elastomer absorbs a lot of the power of the impact and lengthens the deceleration duration of the automobile. The elastomer is of sufficient strength to then rebound, usually pushing the automobile from the bollard and going back to a vertical position. The tilt of the pipe has limitations to approximately 20 degrees at which point the bollard will end up rigid.
Bollards are made in a variety of sizes, all of which can be appropriate for various expected collision speeds and masses. Further, modular connectors which could be used to create fencing and guards from multiple base units have already been designed to eliminate welding. By making use of multiple base units, the best strength in the rebounding bollard unit can be increased.
These new bollards utilize the much simpler approach to surface installation, greatly reducing installation costs, and keep the flexibility to move bollards as conditions warrant. This is accomplished minus the normal disadvantage of absence of strength, as the elastomer in the bollard system greatly decreases the maximum impact forces applied to the base anchors. The reason being deceleration of an impacting vehicle is much less severe than throughout an impact using a rigid bollard. Energy is moved to the elastomer rather than straight to a rigid post, decreasing the harsh impact of the relatively immovable object.
This leads directly to the most crucial features of the new bollard system and that is the lowering of harm to both offending vehicles and to the bollard system itself. Direct damage to vehicles is reduced due to the lowering of peak impact force seen from the vehicle. It will not only avoid damage to the vehicle, but also the probability of injury to a passenger is likewise reduced. In the case of 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 because of its forgiving nature, much less force is transferred to the cornerstone. This simplifies and eliminates maintenance while preserving an aesthetically pleasing facility.
These bollards has to be installed on concrete, being an asphalt surface is not really of adequate strength to anchor the bollard system. Considering the replacement costs of damaged bollards, however, it might be economical to pour a concrete pad and eliminate many 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 actually possible to break a component of the system. Probably that involves the post, adapter, or base. Fortunately, the program 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 may 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 many of the problems included in bollard collisions along with installation and maintenance issues. Damage to vehicles, passengers, vehicle loads, and the removable lockable bollards themselves is reduced due to the absorption of impact energy by an elastomer hidden within the bottom 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 up if there is the necessity. Safety fencing and barriers are easily created using modular connectors, avoiding the necessity to weld pipe together.