The popularity of bollards has dramatically increased in the past decade as a result of heightened concerns about security. They are a simple, practical, and cost-effective means of erecting anti-ram perimeter defense without developing a visual sense of a fortified bunker. Bollards are widely 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 amounts of access restriction for a variety of 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 our 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 number 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 created to fit as covers over standard steel pipe sizes, adding pleasing form to the required function.
What Exactly Is A Bollard?
A bollard is actually a short vertical post. Early bollards were for mooring large ships at dock, and they are generally still being used today. An average marine bollard is manufactured in cast iron or steel and shaped somewhat just like a mushroom; the enlarged top was created to prevent mooring ropes from slipping off.
Today, the term bollard also describes a number of structures utilized on streets, around buildings, and in landscaping. Based on legend, the very first street bollards were actually cannons – sometimes said to be captured enemy weapons – planted in the ground as boundary posts and town markers. Once the availability of former cannons was utilized up, similarly shaped iron castings were created to match the same functions. Bollards have since become many varieties that are widely employed on roads, particularly in urban areas, as well as outside supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, shops, government buildings and stadiums.
The most frequent form of bollard is fixed. The most basic is definitely an unaesthetic steel post, about 914 to 1219 mm (36 to 48 in.) above-grade. Specially manufactured bollards include not merely simple posts, but also a multitude of decorative designs. Some feature square or rectangular cross-sections, but a majority of are cylindrical, sometimes using a domed, angled, or flat cap. They are offered in a variety of metallic, painted, and durable powder coat finishes.
Removable bollards are used where the need to limit access or direct traffic changes occasionally. Both retractable and fold-down styles are employed where selective entry is often needed, and they are designed and so the bollard can be simply 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 depend on their weight as opposed to structural anchoring to stay in place. They are created to be moved rarely, and then simply with heavy machinery like a fork-lift.
Bollards generally belong to three types of applications:
Decorative Bollards – decorative bollards for architectural and/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 be 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 second lean toward visual simplicity – often straight-sided posts with several reveals nearby the top. Styles created to match various historic periods usually have more elaborate shapes and surface details. Such as flutes, bands, scrolls along with other ornamentation.The post-top is 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 using 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 often manufactured from iron or aluminum casting. Aluminum bollards are desirable for applications where weight is a concern, such as a removable bollard. Aluminum units tend to be a little more expensive than iron. For applications in which a decorative bollard could be subjected to destructive impact, ductile iron is actually 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 often manufactured by sand-casting – a regular foundry technique that is certainly economical and well-fitted to 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 will machine 100% from the surface after casting to produce units with a uniform surface for maximum visual appeal.
Finish is a vital 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 subjected to 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 on iron, aluminum, and steel – is definitely an especially durable form 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 can be a better option than iron. In the event the finish coat is damaged, aluminum oxidizes to a color which is generally more acceptable compared to the red rust produced by iron. Aluminum and stainless steel are also available in a variety of bare metal finishes. Functionality could be included in the otherwise decorative bollard. For example, common choice is the chain eye – linking several bollards with chain, making a simple traffic direction system. A large metal loop or arm on the side in 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, including motion sensors or cameras.