Bollards are utilized in a number of applications, for one of various purposes. You need just to keep a sharp eye to view bollards around us every day. In parking lots, driveways, and drive-thru lanes, bollards are utilized to protect buildings, teller machines, utilities like gas meters, electrical equipment and fire hydrants, handicap parking signs, gate entry keypads, and to restrict access to undesired areas. In factories and warehouses, bollards are essential for protecting pedestrians in addition to guarding storage racks and capital equipment from fork truck collisions.
Other industries which locate a heavy usage 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 typically installed in one of two ways. The first, most inexpensive way, is by using a plate mounted bollard. These bollards are steel pipes welded to your flat steel plate that can be anchored to some hard surface using concrete anchors. This process of installation is quick and inexpensive, requiring the installer to drill four to eight holes in the concrete and bolt down the bollard with expansion or screw anchors.
The down-side to this particular installation method, when used in combination with a rigid bollard, would be that the anchors are usually 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 2nd method for installing bollards involves using a longer steel pipe and burying a percentage from it deep in the ground. This process provides the bollard a lot more strength than surface mounted, however it may be extremely expensive to set up 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 appliances as well as their blades are costly and require water cooling, making 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 more strength, these bollards are frequently filled with concrete, as well. Though the bollard pipe itself is comparatively cheap, this installation technique is costly and time-consuming.
Although quite strong, there are significant disadvantages to core installations. Above all, there is no give this technique upon impact. Though desired in high security applications, any vehicle impacting this kind of bollard is going to be significantly damaged and its passengers vulnerable to injury. Loads carried by fork trucks may also be thrown due to the jarring impact likely to occur. Further, the bollard or its foundation may 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 itself is beyond repair and must be replaced with an entirely new bollard.
Another downside of this type of installation is that it is a permanent installation with little flexibility for movement. In factory applications, devices are often moved and rearranged. Bollards utilized to protect equipment or storage racks which are core-installed are certainly not easily moved. The concrete all around the bollard has to be broken out and also the large remaining hole filled, leaving a factory floor packed with unsightly patches. In the event the bollard itself is reusable after removal, the entire expensive installation process is started over at the new location.
Some designs have already been created to try to solve these problems through the use of plastic or spring loaded bollards, however these designs suffer from an absence of strength. When the plastic is of insufficient stiffness, the entire purpose of access denial is lost. On the other hand, very stiff plastic designs have experienced 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 really a unique system which solves most of the problems related to traditional foundation mounted bollards. In other words, the device utilizes a compressed rubber base to behave as 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 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 made from a unique ductile cast iron, which makes the pieces less brittle than typical cast iron, and has a very low (-40 degrees) brittleness temperature. The steel pipe which serves as the bollard post is actually a typical steel pipe inserted into the adapter. Standard pipe can be used to provide the conclusion 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 can be inserted to the post and concrete filled in place.
Upon collision, the pipe and adapter are permitted to tilt inside the base, forcing the adapter to advance compress the elastomer in the direction of the impact. The elastomer absorbs most of the power from the impact and lengthens the deceleration time of the car. 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 has limitations to approximately 20 degrees after which the bollard can become rigid.
Bollards are designed in a selection of sizes, every one of which can be appropriate for various expected collision speeds and masses. Further, modular connectors which can be used to create fencing and guards from multiple base units happen to be developed to eliminate welding. By using multiple base units, the best strength in the rebounding bollard unit can be increased.
These new bollards make use of the more simple approach to surface installation, greatly reducing installation costs, while maintaining the flexibleness to go bollards as conditions warrant. This can be accomplished with no normal downside of absence of strength, as the elastomer inside the bollard system greatly decreases the maximum impact forces applied to the base anchors. The reason being deceleration of the impacting vehicle is much less severe than during an impact having a rigid bollard. Energy is moved to the elastomer as opposed to straight to a rigid post, reducing the harsh impact of any relatively immovable object.
This leads directly to the most significant features of the brand new bollard system and that is the lowering of harm to both offending vehicles as well as the bollard system itself. Direct harm to vehicles is reduced because of the reduction of peak impact force seen from the vehicle. Not only will this avoid injury to the car, but the probability of trouble for a passenger is likewise reduced. When it comes to a fork lift in a factory or warehouse, the possibility of a thrown load is also reduced, avoiding the opportunity of 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 foundation. This simplifies and eliminates maintenance while preserving an aesthetically pleasing facility.
These bollards should be installed 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 cost effective to pour a concrete pad and eliminate years of costly maintenance and asphalt repair. As previously mentioned, each bollard is sized for expected loads with regards to mass and speed. Should that limitation be exceeded, it really is possible to break a component of the program. Most likely that concerns the post, adapter, or base. Fortunately, the program 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 can be replaced by carefully taking out the concrete screw anchors and replacing the component.
The SlowStop Bollard product is an innovative new product which solves lots of the problems involved with bollard collisions along with installation and maintenance issues. Damage to vehicles, passengers, vehicle loads, and also the removable bollard sleeve themselves is reduced because of the absorption of impact energy by an elastomer hidden inside 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 put in, flexible since they are easily moved, and simple to maintain if there is the necessity. Safety fencing and barriers can be created using modular connectors, avoiding the necessity to weld pipe together.