What are bollards and what do bollards do?
Bollards are sturdy vertical posts used to control or restrict vehicular traffic, provide crowd control and security, and enhance the aesthetics of both architecture and landscaping. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials and are commonly found in public spaces, parking lots, and along roads and sidewalks. Altogether there are about 40 different types of bollard, ranging from conventional yellow steel bolt-down bollards to galvanized pipe that can be buried in the ground and enclosed in a plastic cover. This article outlines some of the most common types of bollard and their uses.
Fixed bollards are permanent traffic control posts. They are ideal for forming barriers around building entrances or parking lots and provide permanent collision protection and a visual deterrent for unwanted traffic. Usually made of steel or concrete, fixed bollards protect areas that no vehicles should ever access. Fixed bollards are available in both embedded and surface-mounted models, the former generally being more robust and the latter providing more flexibility with regards to usage. The picture above is an example of a shallow-mount array of fixed bollards.
Removable bollards are designed to be easily removed and replaced when necessary. They are ideal for locations with changing access needs. Removable bollards are typically installed in a sleeve or socket set into the ground and can be taken out using a key or specialized tool. They are used in a variety of settings, including:
- Emergency access: To provide access for emergency vehicles when necessary, while still maintaining restricted access in normal conditions.
- Event management: To manage traffic and pedestrian flow during events such as festivals, concerts, or parades.
- Retail or business settings: To control access to parking lots or loading areas for delivery trucks.
- Seasonal changes: To restrict vehicles from areas that are only closed off during certain seasons, such as snow removal areas or summer patios.
Automatic Retractable bollards
Automnatic retractable bollardsare a convenient medium to heavy-duty temporary barrier, as the bollards can be raised and lowered using an electromechanical or hydraulic operation method. These bollards can be operated with the push of a button, RFID card reader, or it can be easily integrated with existing control systems. Retractable bollards are an economical and flexible solution to reduce or redirect traffic to keep pedestrians safe. They are typically used in high-security areas or areas where frequent access is required, such as:
- Government and military facilities: To control access to secure areas such as military bases or government buildings.
- Public spaces: To manage pedestrian and vehicle traffic in spaces such as city centers, parks, and squares.
- Retail or commercial settings: To control access to loading docks or parking areas for delivery trucks.
- Emergency access: To allow emergency vehicles such as fire trucks or ambulances to pass.
Anti-terrorism bollards are K-rated or M-rated bollards, designed and tested to stop a vehicle that is being driven at a certain speed. They can be fixed, removable or automatic. The “K” or “M” rating of a bollard refers to its ability to withstand impact from a vehicle traveling at a certain speed, measured in kilometers per hour (km/h) or miles per hour (mph). For example, a bollard with a K4 rating is designed to stop a vehicle weighing up to 6,800 kg (15,000 lbs) traveling at 50 km/h (30 mph), while a K12 bollard is designed to stop a vehicle weighing up to 6800 kg (15,000 lbs) traveling at 80 km/h (50 mph).
K-rated or M-rated bollards are commonly used in high-security areas such as government buildings, military bases, airports, and other critical infrastructure sites where protection against vehicle-borne threats is necessary.
Decorative bollards are designed to enhance the visual appeal of an area while still providing traffic control. They are often used in pedestrian areas, parks, and plazas. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials and can be customized to fit a specific theme or architectural style.
Illuminated bollards are decorative bollards that are equipped with lighting elements, such as LED lights, to provide illumination for outdoor spaces. These bollards are typically used to enhance the visibility and safety of pedestrian walkways, parking lots, parks, and other public areas.’
Flexible bollards are a type of traffic control device that is designed to bend or flex upon impact, instead of remaining rigid like traditional bollards. They are typically made of durable materials such as polyurethane, PVC, or rubber, and are often used to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
Ontario Bollards specializes in the supply, servicing and installation of asset protection equipment and systems. With over 40 years of combined experience in the field, our knowledge of bollards and their applications is vast. Contact Ontario Bollards to help us help you.