Steel Pipe Bollards

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Steel Pipe Bollards (Central NJ)

What is a bollard?

A bollard is a short pillar usually made of iron or steel that is often used today to direct traffic or for security purposes. Although this is their use today, bollards weren’t always used for this purpose. In the 17th century, steel pipe bollards were mainly for maritime use to help dock a ship. Bollards originally began as the bottom end of an old cannon in which the unused cannon was buried to about two-thirds its original height and the bottom of the cannon would stick out in order for ships to attach their ropes to when pulling into a port or dock. These bollards would either mark a town or boundary for the ship and they were made of either iron or wood. Beginning in the 19th century, separate manufacturing of bollards began and the bollards produced largely resembled the cannons they were inspired by. On the occasion, an old cannon functioning as a bollard can still be found today. Over time, the use of bollards transitioned from maritime use to traffic use. The earliest bollards used for traffic were made out of wood, but as modes of transportation changed from horse and buggy to motorized vehicles, bollards were made from iron instead. Iron is very durable and long-lasting, making it the right material for modern traffic use, now that vehicles today are much more powerful.

Steel pipe bollards

Uses of Bollards

Steel pipe bollards have many different purposes today. Firstly, they are used by stores as an added form of security. Steel pipe bollards can be found outside of banks, restaurants, government agencies, convenience stores and more. Steel pipe bollards are used as a way of preventing “car ramming attacks” by blocking cars from being able to drive right through a store either with the intention to rob the store, or simply someone being under the influence of alcohol which would be dangerous to the customers inside as well as costly to the business because of damages or possible robbery. Bollards can also serve to protect against vehicle-based terrorist attacks--they are known to increase general homeland security. Steel pipe bollards used for protection are often decorated. In addition to security, steel pipe bollards are used to moderate traffic which reduces the number of accidents. Steel pipe bollards are used to tell both vehicles and pedestrians where to go to ensure safety. Bollards can reduce the amount of traffic by limiting the space available for vehicles to move or stopping certain vehicles from entering an area altogether. In addition to being practical, bollards can be decorative. Some are decorated to resemble a certain historic period and others have an ornamental design with lots of detail using the method of iron or aluminum casting.

Size of bollards

Though there are many different possible uses for steel pipe bollards, they are mainly used to direct traffic in parking garages by regulating parking and preventing accidents. These bollards are large steel pipes that are fixed into the ground and secured by using concrete. The steel pipe bollards can either resemble, accent, or stand out in its surroundings--there is a lot of flexibility on what they can look like. Most often, steel pipe bollards come in 4-inch, 6-inch, or 8-inch in diameter and 36 inches high, however this can vary. Depending on the project and what is needed, steel pipe bollards can have a large range of different heights and diameters. The pipe is either filled with concrete and given a dome, or it is given a flat or rounded cap.

Types of bollards

There are several different types of main bollards used in everyday life.

  • Traffic Bollards

    Traffic bollards are tall and much thinner than other types of bollards. They are often orange or red and have reflective tape on them. They are a better alternative to traffic cones which are too easily removable. They are often found on the side of highways to mark the shoulder of the road.

  • Illuminated Bollards

    Illuminated bollards are lit up from a base light unit that is located inside of the bollards. They are often used in roundabout intersections to separate traffic that is entering from traffic that is exiting and slow down the flow of traffic in the intersection. They are also very helpful during times of low visibility (fog, rain, snow, etc.).

  • Bell Bollards

    A bell bollard is (as indicated by its name) shaped like a bell and is specifically designed to deflect the tires of a vehicle. It has a larger base and becomes increasingly smaller at the top which deters the wheels of vehicles. Other bollards may be ineffectual or damaged when hit with a vehicle tire, so the bell bollard provides a good alternative.

  • Removable Bollards

    Removable bollards are able to be folded to have a vehicle drive over them and they have padlocks at their base so only vehicles that are authorized are able to remove them and drive over them.

  • Flexible Bollards

    Flexible bollards are made of synthetic plastic or rubber and they bend when hit by a vehicle then return to their original position. This reduces damages to the vehicles that strike them. Some, however, are not meant to reduce damage to the vehicles, but rather, offer a clear visual sign that drivers should not be near a certain area.

  • Racing Bollards

    Racing bollards are used on street courses to keep participants in the race within their lane or the designated area. They are designed to be highly visible, very lightweight, and they break off at the base if hit so that they do not damage the vehicle that hits them. If they are hit, the vehicle is unharmed but the driver loses points in the race for going beyond the track limits.

How to Buy Steel Piple Bollards in Central New Jersey

J.M. Ahle offers high quality steel pipe bollards in a variety of sizes and shapes for various uses in the Central New Jersey area. If you would like to buy them or have some questions, please contact us at (732) 238-1700.