What are Bollards?

Bollards: Types, Applications and How to Choose?

Bollards? What are they and why do I need one? If you are having the same type of questions going through your mind then need not worry. This blog talks in detail about everything you need to know about bollards and why you need one?

What are Bollards?

By definition, a bollard is a strong vertical post used for the protection of a store front or a building. You have come across them multiple times but just didn’t know what they are called. They are usually installed in parking spaces or in front of shops. There can be multiple reasons as to why they are used in the first place? It can range from a simple reason of demarking a certain area to a more serious one such as protecting your property.

In earlier times store owners used to use cast iron posts to protect their store fronts from getting damaged. That was because in those times caravans were used. As a caravan would pass a store front some times something would fall down from it and it would damage the store. This concept evolved over time as needs changed and it turned into a steel or a strong wooden post. In less fortunate neighborhoods or in countries where street crime is a big concern, bollards are more commonly used.

Sometimes criminals ram their vehicles into store fronts to cause damage in enmity of the store owner. Sometimes they do that for other purposes. However, the security of the store or any other property is compromised. That is where bollards come in. They come in different shapes and sizes. Al-Safrik Steel manufactures Bollards in UAE from steel that ensures extra strength and durability. This way the store or the property in which the bollard is installed is secured.

What are other applications?

Apart from protecting your store front, bollards serve many other purposes. Let’s talk through them one-by-one:

  • Pedestrian Guide

They are used to demarcate designated walk lanes for pedestrians. They are not as strong or heavy in build but they serve their purpose well. The safety of the pedestrians is very important. The installation of bollards can ensure their safety.

  • Security

These types of bollards are strong and heavy in build. They are installed in front of stores and other properties that need protection. They are always looking for trouble. If you plan on hitting them with a vehicle you better have an insurance. Built to serve as protectors, they serve their purpose well. Their heavy build allows them to stop almost all kinds of unwanted vehicles from smashing into your property.

  • Securing building components

If you have critical components on a site and fear they will get damaged by a vehicle, you need not fear anymore. Bollards can secure those components and make sure they don’t get any unwanted visits from any vehicle. This can be a great way to ensure the protection of critical components.

  • Asset Protection

There have been times in history when revolution hit different parts of the world. Many furious participants decided to damage assets they could set their eyes on. This included ATMs and various other assets. Bollards come in handy specially in such times. They can stop heavy vehicles from ramming into or running over your assets. Be it an accidental hit or an intentional attack, bollards can handle them all.

  • Bicycle security and protection

UAE has been witnessing a great increase in cycling culture. More and more people are taking interest in cycling to live a healthy life. Moreover, it is a very economical way of commuting from point A to point B. Many bollards come with hooks for bicycles to attach to. This serves as an attraction for cyclists as they can shop freely without any worry of their bikes getting stolen. This can prove to be helpful in increasing the over all traffic in your stores and providing them a safe worry-free shopping experience.

  • Marine usage for securing boats and vessels

Yes, you read that right. Bollards are also used for docking and securing your boats or other vessels. They can be secured to a bigger vessel or a docking point on land. Due to their construction, bollards are a very effective way of securing your vessels.

What are the different types of bollards?

They come in different shapes, sizes and designs depending on the purpose they are to be used for. They are enlisted as follows:

  • Embedded Bollards

Their name gives away their construction. These types of bollards are embedded deep into the ground. This ensures extra safety and durability. To install them dig/ drill a hole into the ground and secure them properly. The overall strength of the bollard really comes down to how strong the foundation is. Drilling holes in existing concrete surfaces can weaken the foundation. Similarly embedding bollard in grounds where the mud is soft will also not result in a strong product as the foundation will be weak. For best application, try to find strong foundations while installing them.

  • Surface mounted Bollards

Mechanically mounted on top of a surface, these bollards also look mean. However, they are not as strong as embedded bollards. They are mainly used for demarcation only and are not suitable for security purposes. This is a cost-effective method of installing bollards.

  • Rebounding Bollards

The main purpose of them is not to inflict any damage to the vehicle whilst holding their ground. They enjoy the benefits of both embedded and surface mounted bollards. They have the strength of embedded bollards and the cost efficiency of surface mounted also. The main feature is that they rebound on contact. The energy absorbed upon contact with a vehicle is dissipated in the form of rebound, while causing no damage to the vehicle. This type of bollards is often used on small roads to separate lanes for two-way traffic.

  • Retractable Bollards

Mainly used in places that often need to provide and deny access to traffic. Their applications can be in food streets that need to provide traffic inflow during the day but not at night. Military bases are also an example of applications of these bollards.

  • Mooring Bollards

They are also known as marine bollards. These types are used for anchoring vessels along jetties etc. They are a bit different in construction as they have thicker diameter at the top to prevent rope slippage. This is very important, because if the rope slips it can lead to big disasters. Thus, only mooring bollards should be used for such jobs.

There are quite a few variations among mooring bollards as well. Depending on the job, types are as follows:

  • T Bollards

They have their top shaped like a T. This type of mooring bollard is used because it can handle higher line road. It can handle up to 300 tones of weight. Since it is a capable tool for the job, it has been used all across the world.

  • Kidney shaped Bollard

As the name suggests, this type of mooring bollard is shaped like a kidney. It is a very effective option for areas where the tides remain between a range of low to medium. It is an economical solution, but is not suitable for securing mooring lines at a higher angle. It is also not recommended to be used if the user intends to secure multiple mooring lines to a single bollard.

  • Cleats

They are used for smaller vessels with a mooring line capacity of  5 to 35 tones. It is used for light commercial use. For Example: tying up boats. It is a convenient and easy solution for small vessels such as boats etc.

  • Double bit Bollard

These bollards have a thing for space saving. The smaller base area allows them to be used in smaller areas. This comes in handy for situations where space is an issue. The double bit bollard is the ultimate space saver. Apart from space saving, it is also useful for high density mooring lines. This makes it a suitable candidate for ship mooring and shifting.

  • Single bit Bollard

The design and build of this mooring bollard allow it to be used in areas where tidal range variations are large. It comes with the added benefit of accepting steep mooring line angles. Its design allows it to accept multiple mooring lines at a time. Moreover, it comes with the added capability of being bolted onto existing bolt patterns, which can be a deal breaker for many.

  • Pillar Bollards

This type of bollards is extremely useful in areas where tidal variations are small. They are used to their full potential in areas where berths need to be repositioned. Their high build quality makes them strong enough to withstand all kinds of harsh weather conditions.

Al-Safrik Steel manufactures a wide variety of bollards to fulfill the needs of all. No matter what you need them for, we build them. Choose from our wide range of highly durable steel bollards to protect your businesses. The use of bollards in the UAE and Saudi Arabian market is becoming a trend. Become a trend setter, order your bollards today.

How to choose the correct type of bollard for your needs?

While choosing a bollard, you first need to identify the purpose it will be needed to fulfill. If you want one for pedestrian line demarcation or for parking spaces you don’t need a heavy-duty bollard. However, if you want to secure your business/ property a bollard of the types of rebounding bollards would not do the job. Identifying what you need the bollard for will help you in deciding which type of bollard to go for.

While choosing mooring bollards or marine bollards, there are a few extra variables to look out for. In order to get the right bollard, you will need to answer the following questions

  1. What kind of mooring line do I need to run?
  2. What will be the average wind speed in the area where the bollard will be installed? Can I expect my bollard to be used in harsh conditions?
  3. What maximum load size will I be putting on the bollard?
  4. What angles of mooring lines will the bollard be used in?

Note: It is important to choose the right type of bollard for the mooring angle it will be used in.

Will I need to change my bollard often?

It all depends on the way you use it. All tools need to be regularly maintained. If you wish to get the most amount of life out of your bollards, a regular maintenance will go a long way. This is true for all types of tools and machinery. You should also perform durability tests regularly. Make sure the foundation where the bollard is to be installed is not weak.

Al-Safrik Steel and our love for ultra-durable products

Al-Safrik Steel has been manufacturing steel products for a while. We want to provide ultra-durable and high-quality products to the UAE and middle east market. Our vast range of steel products has allowed us to make a name in this industry. No matter the kind and application you are looking for, we have it all. Our 100% steel made bollards don’t rust even in the most humid conditions. Prioritize the safety and security of your business and customers. Get your bollards today!

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