The prominence of bollards has dramatically increased in the past decade because of heightened concerns about security. They are a simple, practical, and cost-effective method of erecting anti-ram perimeter defense without developing a visual feeling 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 as 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 levels of access restriction for many different circumstances. They frequently tell us where we are able to 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 made in a variety of patterns to harmonize with a wide range of architectural styles. The prevalence of the very common type 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 towards 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 generally still 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 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 supply of former cannons was utilized up, similarly shaped iron castings were made to fulfill the same functions. Bollards have since evolved into many varieties which can be widely employed on roads, particularly in urban areas, in addition to outside supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, shops, government buildings and stadiums.
The most common form of bollard is fixed. The simplest is definitely an unaesthetic steel post, about 914 to 1219 mm (36 to 48 in.) above-grade. Specially manufactured bollards include not just simple posts, but additionally a multitude of decorative designs. Some feature square or rectangular cross-sections, but a majority of are cylindrical, sometimes with a domed, angled, or flat cap. They are available in a number of metallic, painted, and sturdy powder coat finishes.
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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 frequently needed, and therefore are designed so the bollard can be easily 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 their weight as opposed to structural anchoring in which to stay place. They are made to be moved rarely, and after that only with heavy machinery for instance a fork-lift.
Bollards generally fall under three varieties of applications:
Decorative Bollards – decorative bollards for architectural and/or landscaping highlights;
Traffic and Safety Bollards – bollards which 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 can border, divide, or define a place. They may also be accents, sentries, or supporting players to larger, more dramatic architectural gesture.
Decorative bollards are produced to harmonize with both traditional and contemporary architectural styles. The latter lean toward visual simplicity – often straight-sided posts with one or more reveals nearby the top. Styles created to match various historic periods normally have more elaborate shapes and surface details. Included in this are flutes, bands, scrolls along with 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 deter passersby from leaving trash or using them for impromptu seating. On the contrary, 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 frequently made of iron or aluminum casting. Aluminum bollards are desirable for applications where weight is a concern, such as a removable bollard. Aluminum units are usually a little more expensive than iron. For applications when 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 traditional foundry technique that is economical and well-fitted to objects this size. However, sand-cast objects frequently bear surface irregularities that often leave the finished product less attractive to the eye. If high-finish consistency is desired, seek a manufacturer that can machine 100% from the surface after casting to produce units with a uniform surface for max looks.
Finish is an important consideration in a decorative bollard, from functional as well as 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 – that is available on iron, aluminum, and steel – is an especially durable type of painted finish. The application form process builds up 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 might be a better choice than iron. If 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 are also offered in a number of bare metal finishes. Functionality could be added to the otherwise decorative bollard. For example, common choice is the chain eye – linking two or more bollards with chain, creating a simple traffic direction system. A sizable metal loop or arm on the side of the post allows parking and locking of bicycles, an extremely popular choice as more people seek alternative green transportation. Bollards could also contain lighting units or security devices, including motion sensors or cameras.