The popularity of bollards has dramatically increased in the past decade as a result of heightened concerns about security. They may be an easy, practical, and cost-effective method of erecting anti-ram perimeter defense without developing a visual feeling of a fortified bunker. Bollards are commonly used for traffic direction and control, and in purely decorative applications. However, bollards can serve many functions beyond security. They can be used for purely artistic purposes, functioning as landscaping elements. Bollards can create visible boundaries of a property, or separate areas within sites. They can control traffic and they are often arranged to permit pedestrian access while preventing entry of vehicles.
Removable and retractable bollards can allow different levels of access restriction for a number of circumstances. They frequently tell us where we could and cannot drive, park, bike, or walk, protect us from crime, shield vehicles and property from accidents, and add aesthetic features to our own building exteriors and surrounding areas. Bollards can incorporate other functions including lighting, surveillance cameras, bicycle parking as well as seating. Decorative bollards are produced in a variety of patterns to harmonize with a wide range of architectural styles. The prevalence of the very common kind of security bollard, the concrete-filled steel pipe, has encouraged the manufacturing of decorative bollards designed to fit as covers over standard steel pipe sizes, adding pleasing form to the required function.
Exactly What Is A Bollard?
A bollard is a short vertical post. Early bollards were for mooring large ships at dock, and they are still being used today. A normal marine bollard is created in cast iron or steel and shaped somewhat like a mushroom; the enlarged top is designed to prevent mooring ropes from slipping off.
Today, the term bollard also describes a variety of structures used on streets, around buildings, and in landscaping. In accordance with legend, the first street bollards were actually cannons – sometimes said to be captured enemy weapons – planted in the earth as boundary posts and town markers. Once the flow of former cannons was used up, similarly shaped iron castings were made to match the same functions. Bollards have since become many varieties which can be widely employed on roads, especially in urban areas, along with outside supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, shops, government buildings and stadiums.
The most common kind of bollard is fixed. The most basic is an unaesthetic steel post, about 914 to 1219 mm (36 to 48 in.) above-grade. Specially manufactured bollards include not just simple posts, but in addition a multitude of decorative designs. Some feature square or rectangular cross-sections, but many are cylindrical, sometimes using a domed, angled, or flat cap. They come in a variety of metallic, painted, and sturdy powder coat finishes.
Removable bollards are utilized where the necessity to limit access or direct traffic changes occasionally. Both retractable and fold-down styles are employed where selective entry is frequently needed, and therefore are designed and so the bollard can easily be collapsed to ground level and quickly re-erected. Both retractable units might be manually operated or automated with hydraulic movements. Movable bollards are large, heavy objects – frequently stone or concrete – that rely on how much they weigh rather than structural anchoring to remain in place. They are created to be moved rarely, and then simply with heavy machinery such as a fork-lift.
Bollards generally fall into three kinds of applications:
Decorative Bollards – decorative bollards for architectural or landscaping highlights;
Traffic and Safety Bollards – bollards which provide asset and pedestrian safety, along with traffic direction; and
Security Bollards and Post Covers – decorative, impact-resistant bollard enhancements
Some bollards are intended purely to get an ornament. As standalone architectural or landscaping features, they could border, divide, or define a place. They can also be accents, sentries, or supporting players to larger, more dramatic architectural gesture.
Decorative bollards are manufactured to harmonize with both traditional and contemporary architectural styles. The second lean toward visual simplicity – often straight-sided posts with several reveals near the top. Styles created to match various historic periods usually have more elaborate shapes and surface details. These include flutes, bands, scrolls and other ornamentation.The post-top is actually a distinctive feature; traditional bollard design often includes elaborate decorative finials, whereas contemporary versions frequently include a simple rounded or slanted top to discourage passersby from leaving trash or utilizing them for impromptu seating. On the other hand, they are sometimes made flat and broad specifically to encourage seating. Common decorative bollard materials include iron, aluminum, stainless, and concrete.
Ornamental designs with elaborate detail are usually made of iron or aluminum casting. Aluminum bollards are desirable for applications where weight is a problem, like a removable bollard. Aluminum units tend to be slightly more expensive than iron. For applications in which a decorative bollard may be subjected to destructive impact, ductile iron is a safer choice than more brittle metals, as force will deform the metal rather than shatter and transforming it into possible hazardous flying projectiles.
Iron and aluminum bollards are usually manufactured by sand-casting – a regular foundry technique which is economical and well-suitable for objects this size. However, sand-cast objects frequently bear surface irregularities that tend to leave the finished product less popular with the eye. If high-finish consistency is desired, seek a manufacturer that can machine 100% of the surface after casting to generate units with a uniform surface for maximum visual appeal.
Finish is a crucial consideration in a decorative bollard, from functional in addition to aesthetic standpoints. Bollards are, by their nature, susceptible to being scratched or nicked by pedestrians and vehicles. Those located near roadways are subjected to a relatively aggressive environment; petrochemical residues and splashes of diluted road de-icing salts may compromise wygcgg painted finishes. Factory-applied powder coating – which is available on iron, aluminum, and steel – is an especially durable form of painted finish. The application form process increases a coating with very consistent coverage. During coating, any bare metal has a tendency to attract the powder, eliminating pinholes in coverage. The baking method that completes the finish gives it additional toughness and abuse resistance.
In applications where greater physical abuse is predictable, decorative bollards manufactured from aluminum can be a better choice than iron. In the event the finish coat is damaged, aluminum oxidizes to some color that is generally more acceptable than the red rust produced by iron. Aluminum and stainless-steel are also available in a number of bare metal finishes. Functionality can be added to the otherwise decorative bollard. For example, common option is the chain eye – linking two or more bollards with chain, making a simple traffic direction system. A large metal loop or arm on the side from the post allows parking and locking of bicycles, an increasingly popular choice as increasing numbers of people seek alternative green transportation. Bollards may also contain lighting units or security devices, such as motion sensors or cameras.