Bollards are used in a number of applications, for one of various purposes. One needs only to keep a sharp eye to see 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 usage of undesired areas. In factories and warehouses, bollards are very important for protecting pedestrians along with guarding storage racks and capital equipment from fork truck collisions.
Other industries which look for a heavy use of bollards include automated car wash facilities, self-storage facilities, gas stations and convenience stores, propane dispensing, and parking garages, among others.
Foundation mounted bollards are usually set up in among two ways. The first, most inexpensive way, is to use a plate mounted bollard. These bollards are steel pipes welded to your flat steel plate that may be anchored to your hard surface using concrete anchors. This process 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 downside to this installation method, when used in combination with a rigid bollard, is the fact that anchors are usually not sufficiently strong enough to stand up to anything over a minor collision. The plate anchors often are pulled up and possibly the plate bends, leaving a post which leans and is not in a position 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 part from it deep in the ground. This technique gives the bollard a lot more strength than surface mounted, however it can be very costly to put in in the event the surface is concrete and already poured. Installation in this instance requires coring a hole inside the surface employing an expensive diamond bladed coring saw. These appliances along with their blades are pricey and require water cooling, creating a mess during installation. Once the concrete is cored and also the bollard is at place, the hole should be backfilled with concrete to secure the bollard. For added strength, these bollards tend to be full of concrete, too. Even though the bollard pipe is relatively inexpensive, this installation method is costly and time consuming.
Although quite strong, you can find significant disadvantages to core installations. Most significantly, there is not any give to 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 in danger of injury. Loads carried by fork trucks can be thrown due to 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 less effective barrier requiring costly maintenance to improve. Frequently the steel bollard itself is beyond repair and must be replaced with the entirely new bollard.
Another drawback to this sort of installation is that it is actually a permanent installation with little flexibility for movement. In factory applications, tools are often moved and rearranged. Bollards used to protect equipment or storage racks which are core-installed are not easily moved. The concrete around the bollard must be broken out and the large remaining hole filled, leaving a factory floor full of unsightly patches. In the event the bollard itself is reusable after removal, the whole expensive installation process begins over on the new location.
Some designs happen to be designed to make an effort to solve these issues with the use of plastic or spring loaded bollards, however these designs are afflicted by a lack of strength. If the plastic is of insufficient stiffness, the entire function of access denial is lost. On the other hand, very stiff plastic designs have gotten difficulty with long lasting durability. Minor collisions tend to wear away at such devices, as well as in outdoor applications UV degradation turns into a concern.
Designed and patented in Europe by Belgian inventor Gerard Wolters is really a unique system which solves many of the problems related to traditional foundation mounted bollards. To put it simply, the device utilizes a compressed rubber base to act as 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 mounted on concrete using concrete anchor screws. These anchors affix the base component on 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 a very low (-40 degrees) brittleness temperature. The steel pipe which may serve as the bollard post is really a typical steel pipe inserted to the adapter. Standard pipe is used to provide the end user the flexibility to weld fencing using standard components if necessary. Concrete fill is not needed in the bollard pipe, though is permitted. Actually, sign posts can 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 help 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 from the bollard and returning to a vertical position. The tilt in the pipe is restricted to approximately 20 degrees after which the bollard will become rigid.
Bollards are made in a variety of sizes, all of which can be right for various expected collision speeds and masses. Further, modular connectors which could be used to create fencing and guards out of multiple base units happen to be developed to eliminate welding. By using multiple base units, the ultimate strength in the rebounding bollard unit could be increased.
These new bollards use the more simple way of surface installation, greatly reducing installation costs, while keeping the flexibleness to go bollards as conditions warrant. This can be accomplished with no normal downside of insufficient strength, since the elastomer within the bollard system greatly decreases the maximum impact forces put on the base anchors. This is because deceleration of an impacting vehicle is much less severe than during an impact having a rigid bollard. Energy is transferred to the elastomer instead of directly to a rigid post, decreasing the harsh impact of a relatively immovable object.
This leads directly to the most significant features of the new bollard system and that is certainly the lowering of injury to both offending vehicles as well as the bollard system itself. Direct damage to vehicles is reduced due to the reduction of peak impact force seen through the vehicle. Not only will this avoid damage to the vehicle, but the possibility of injury to a passenger is likewise reduced. In the case of 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, damage to the bollard as well as its foundation is reduced. Since 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 building blocks. This simplifies and eliminates maintenance while preserving an aesthetically pleasing facility.
These bollards has to be placed on concrete, as being an asphalt surface is not really of adequate strength to anchor the bollard system. Considering the replacement costs of damaged bollards, however, it could be affordable to pour a concrete pad and eliminate numerous years of costly maintenance and asphalt repair. As earlier mentioned, each bollard is sized for expected loads with regards to mass and speed. Should that limitation be exceeded, it is easy to break a part of the system. More than likely that involves the post, adapter, or base. Fortunately, the system is modular and easily repaired. Posts can 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 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 lockable bollards themselves is greatly reduced due to the absorption of impact energy by an elastomer hidden in the base of the bollard. This elastomer allows the bollard to tilt when impacted and return upright afterward. SlowStop Bollards are quick and inexpensive to put in, flexible as they are easily moved, and uncomplicated to keep should there be the necessity. Safety fencing and barriers are often created using modular connectors, avoiding the necessity to weld pipe together.