The popularity of bollards has dramatically increased during the past decade due to heightened concerns about security. They may be an easy, practical, and cost-effective method of erecting anti-ram perimeter defense without making a visual sense 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 purely aesthetic 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 degrees of access restriction for many different circumstances. They frequently tell us where we can and cannot drive, park, bike, or walk, protect us from crime, shield vehicles and property from accidents, and add aesthetic features to the building exteriors and surrounding areas. Bollards can incorporate other functions like lighting, surveillance cameras, bicycle parking or perhaps seating. Decorative bollards are created in a selection of patterns to harmonize with a variety of architectural styles. The prevalence of the very most common type 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 for the required function.
What Exactly Is A Bollard?
A bollard is a short vertical post. Early bollards were for mooring large ships at dock, and they are still used today. An average marine bollard is produced 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 phrase bollard also describes a variety of structures applied to streets, around buildings, and in landscaping. Based on legend, the very first street bollards were actually cannons – sometimes reported to be captured enemy weapons – planted in the ground as boundary posts and town markers. If the availability of former cannons was utilized up, similarly shaped iron castings were made to fulfill the same functions. Bollards have since become many varieties which can be widely employed on roads, specifically in urban areas, as well as outside supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, shops, government buildings and stadiums.
The most frequent form of bollard is fixed. The easiest is an unaesthetic steel post, about 914 to 1219 mm (36 to 48 in.) above-grade. Specially manufactured bollards include not merely simple posts, but additionally a wide variety of decorative designs. Some feature square or rectangular cross-sections, but a majority of are cylindrical, sometimes having a domed, angled, or flat cap. They come in a number of metallic, painted, and sturdy powder coat finishes.
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Removable bollards are used where the necessity to limit access or direct traffic changes occasionally. Both retractable and fold-down styles are employed where selective entry is often needed, and therefore are designed and so the bollard can be simply collapsed to ground level and quickly re-erected. Both retractable units could be manually operated or automated with hydraulic movements. Movable bollards are large, heavy objects – frequently stone or concrete – that depend on how much they weigh rather than structural anchoring to stay in place. They are designed to be moved rarely, and after that just with heavy machinery such as a fork-lift.
Bollards generally fall into three types of applications:
Decorative Bollards – decorative bollards for architectural and/or landscaping highlights;
Traffic and Safety Bollards – bollards that provide asset and pedestrian safety, as well as 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 are able to border, divide, or define a space. They can 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 latter lean toward visual simplicity – often straight-sided posts with a number of reveals nearby the top. Styles made to match various historic periods usually have more elaborate shapes and surface details. Included in this are flutes, bands, scrolls as well as other ornamentation.The post-top is really a distinctive feature; traditional bollard design often includes elaborate decorative finials, whereas contemporary versions frequently feature a simple rounded or slanted top to discourage passersby from leaving trash or utilizing them for impromptu seating. On the other hand, these 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 manufactured from iron or aluminum casting. Aluminum bollards are desirable for applications where weight is an issue, such as a removable bollard. Aluminum units are usually a little more expensive than iron. For applications where a decorative bollard might be subjected to destructive impact, ductile iron is really a safer choice than more brittle metals, as force will deform the metal as opposed to shatter and transforming it into possible hazardous flying projectiles.
Iron and aluminum bollards are frequently manufactured by sand-casting – a conventional foundry technique that is certainly economical and well-suited to objects this size. However, sand-cast objects frequently bear surface irregularities that tend to leave the finished product less appealing to the eye. If high-finish consistency is desired, seek a manufacturer which will machine 100% in the surface after casting to create units using a uniform surface for optimum visual appeal.
Finish is an important consideration in a decorative bollard, from functional along with aesthetic standpoints. Bollards are, by their nature, prone to being scratched or nicked by pedestrians and vehicles. Those located near roadways are in contact with a reasonably aggressive environment; petrochemical residues and splashes of diluted road de-icing salts may compromise wygcgg painted finishes. Factory-applied powder coating – which can be seen on iron, aluminum, and steel – is definitely an especially durable kind of painted finish. The application form process builds a coating with very consistent coverage. During coating, any bare metal tends to attract the powder, eliminating pinholes in coverage. The baking procedure that completes the finish gives it additional toughness and abuse resistance.
In applications where greater physical abuse is predictable, decorative bollards manufactured from aluminum might be a better choice than iron. In the event the finish coat is damaged, aluminum oxidizes to some color that is certainly generally more acceptable compared to the red rust made by iron. Aluminum and stainless can also be found in a number of bare metal finishes. Functionality could be put into the otherwise decorative bollard. As an example, common option is the chain eye – linking several bollards with chain, developing a simple traffic direction system. A big metal loop or arm on the side from the post allows parking and locking of bicycles, a progressively popular choice as more people seek alternative green transportation. Bollards could also contain lighting units or security devices, including motion sensors or cameras.