The prominence of bollards has dramatically increased during the past decade due to heightened concerns about security. They are an easy, practical, and cost-effective method of erecting anti-ram perimeter defense without creating a visual feeling of a fortified bunker. Bollards are popular 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 amounts of access restriction for many different 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, security cameras, bicycle parking or perhaps seating. Decorative bollards are produced in a number of patterns to harmonize with an array of architectural styles. The prevalence of the very common form 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.
What Exactly Is A Bollard?
A bollard is really a short vertical post. Early bollards were for mooring large ships at dock, and they are still being used today. An average marine bollard is produced in cast iron or steel and shaped somewhat just like a mushroom; the enlarged top is made to prevent mooring ropes from slipping off.
Today, the term bollard also describes a variety of structures utilized on streets, around buildings, and in landscaping. According to legend, the initial street bollards were actually cannons – sometimes reported to be captured enemy weapons – planted in the earth as boundary posts and town markers. If the flow of former cannons was utilized up, similarly shaped iron castings were designed to match the same functions. Bollards have since evolved into many varieties which are widely employed on roads, particularly in urban areas, as well as outside supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, shops, government buildings and stadiums.
The most common type of bollard is fixed. The simplest is an unaesthetic steel post, about 914 to 1219 mm (36 to 48 in.) above-grade. Specially manufactured bollards include not only simple posts, but also numerous decorative designs. Some feature square or rectangular cross-sections, but many are cylindrical, sometimes with a domed, angled, or flat cap. They are available in a variety of metallic, painted, and durable powder coat finishes.
Removable bollards are employed 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 are designed so the bollard can easily be collapsed to ground level and quickly re-erected. Both retractable units may be manually operated or automated with hydraulic movements. Movable bollards are large, heavy objects – frequently stone or concrete – that rely on their weight rather than structural anchoring in which to stay place. They are designed to be moved rarely, and after that just with heavy machinery for instance a fork-lift.
Bollards generally belong to three varieties of applications:
Decorative Bollards – decorative bollards for architectural and/or landscaping highlights;
Traffic and Safety Bollards – bollards that 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 be an ornament. As standalone architectural or landscaping features, they can border, divide, or define a space. They may 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 latter lean toward visual simplicity – often straight-sided posts with one or more reveals close to the top. Styles designed to match various historic periods usually have more elaborate shapes and surface details. Such as 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 come with a simple rounded or slanted top to deter passersby from leaving trash or using them for impromptu seating. On the other hand, they may be sometimes made flat and broad specifically to encourage seating. Common decorative bollard materials include iron, aluminum, stainless steel, and concrete.
Ornamental designs with elaborate detail are often made from iron or aluminum casting. Aluminum bollards are desirable for applications where weight is an issue, for instance a removable bollard. Aluminum units tend to be a little more expensive than iron. For applications in which a decorative bollard may be susceptible to destructive impact, ductile iron is actually 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 often manufactured by sand-casting – a traditional foundry technique which is economical and well-suitable for objects this size. However, sand-cast objects frequently bear surface irregularities that often leave the finished product less popular with the attention. If high-finish consistency is desired, seek a manufacturer that can machine 100% of the surface after casting to generate units using a uniform surface for max visual appeal.
Finish is a vital consideration in a decorative bollard, from functional along with aesthetic standpoints. Bollards are, by their nature, vulnerable to being scratched or nicked by pedestrians and vehicles. Those located near roadways are in contact with a fairly 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 surely an especially durable kind of painted finish. The application process increases a coating with very consistent coverage. During coating, any bare metal tends 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 made of aluminum may be a better option than iron. When the finish coat is damaged, aluminum oxidizes to your color that is generally more acceptable compared to red rust produced by iron. Aluminum and stainless can also be found in a variety of bare metal finishes. Functionality could be put into the otherwise decorative bollard. For instance, common option is the chain eye – linking 2 or more bollards with chain, developing a simple traffic direction system. A large metal loop or arm on the side of the post allows parking and locking of bicycles, an extremely popular choice as increasing numbers of people seek alternative green transportation. Bollards may also contain lighting units or security devices, like motion sensors or cameras.