What Are Bollards Made Of?

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Bollards are sturdy, short vertical posts designed to provide perimeter protection in public and private spaces. They have many potential uses, including traffic management and hostile vehicle mitigation.

Some types of bollards act mainly as a visual deterrent. Others are built to withstand heavy impact. Basic bollards may be made of plastic or concrete, while more advanced models are typically constructed from steel.

At Macs Bollards, we specialise in robust, high-quality security bollards. In this article, we will explore the most common bollard materials, their advantages and disadvantages, and their applications.

Polyurethane Bollards

Plastic and polyurethane bollards are lightweight, making them easy to transport, install and move. They are often used for visual guidance and can be produced in various colours to match surrounding environments.

These basic bollards are among the cheapest to purchase. However, plastic bollards may not provide the same level of durability and strength as other materials. They are more suitable for low-impact situations and may not offer sufficient protection in high-risk areas.

Polyurethane bollards are commonly used in driveways, car parks, pedestrian areas, and cycle lanes for demarcation purposes.

Concrete Bollards

Concrete bollards provide a higher level of impact resistance than polyurethane. They are an affordable, low-maintenance option with a long lifespan, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, however, concrete bollards do have some downsides. For example:

  • Most concrete bollards are fixed and cannot be moved or relocated.
  • They are extremely heavy, which can make installation more time-consuming and expensive.
  • Concrete can be susceptible to weathering, cracks and chipping over time.
  • Concrete tends to break on impact rather than bending, meaning concrete bollards may not be suitable for hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM) purposes.

Concrete bollards are often used to control traffic and protect pedestrians and structures from minor vehicle collisions. They are frequently seen in urban landscapes and public spaces.

Cast Iron Bollards

Cast iron is the most common bollard material used for fixed bollards, having been used in their construction for several decades. Traditional cast iron bollards offer a classic, ornamental appearance, and may be painted or coated for added aesthetics. They are heavy and durable, with good resistance to impact, mechanical wear and corrosion.

The main downside of cast iron is the cost. Solid iron bollards can be expensive compared to other materials, and their weight may make installation challenging. They may also be prone to cracking and shattering on impact.

Cast iron bollards are commonly used in historic or conservation areas, as well as in city centres to provide both protection and visual appeal.

Steel Bollards

Steel is a common material used in the manufacture of crash rated bollards. Steel bollards are incredibly strong and offer excellent impact resistance, while being lighter than iron for easier installation.

Though steel can be prone to rust, it can be powder-coated or galvanised for added protection. Steel bollards come in many styles and can also be painted to blend in with the surrounding architecture.

Steel bollards are widely used in various settings, such as industrial areas and public venues, where high levels of security are required.

Stainless Steel Bollards

Stainless steel is another popular material used for HVM and security bollards. Stainless steel bollards offer several advantages over other types of bollards:

  • A modern, sleek, functional appearance which requires little maintenance.
  • Can be powder-coated if a different colour or finish is desired.
  • High impact resistance – ideal for protection against vehicular attacks and terrorism.
  • Excellent durability and resistance to corrosion, rust, staining and discolouration.

Stainless steel bollards can be more expensive than other metal bollards due to the material’s premium qualities. However, with regular bollard servicing and maintenance, they can last for many years.

As well as fixed, removable and semi-automatic models, many automatic bollards are constructed from steel and stainless steel. Automatic bollards can lower into the ground when activated by remote control or other method of access control, allowing authorised vehicles to pass through.

At Macs Bollards, our automatic bollard systems integrate with the latest PLC control panel technology including our PLC-based bollard control units. We offer a wide range of styles, sizes and features including flashing LED lights for additional visibility.

Why Choose Macs Bollards?

If you are looking for robust, high-quality traffic-calming or HVM bollards, Macs Bollards can help. We supply a wide range of vehicle security barriers including fixed, removable, semi-automatic and automatic bollard systems.

Contact our experts today to discuss your requirements and explore your options. We will work with you to determine the most suitable bollards for your needs, at a price that suits you. We offer fast turnaround times and have qualified engineers on hand to provide ongoing servicing and repairs.

To find out more about our reliable, cost-effective bollard solutions, contact Macs Bollards today. Fill in our enquiry form, email enquiries@macs-bollards.com or call us on 0161 320 6463.

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