Historically, bollards were shaped posts used to tie up watercraft on the marina. When they moved inland, they were adapted to be stylish posts placed near stone work to prevent carriage wheels from rubbing and doing damage. These bollards were the first asset-protection bollards, providing impact protection at low speeds.
As vehicles became powered, bollards took on additional engineering to survive higher impacts. On roads and in parking lots, bollards are often sunk deep into concrete to guard against vehicle crashes. This installation requires oversight to make sure that the steel and concrete pipe is sturdy enough, when sunk in substrate, to deal with the impact forces of vehicle traffic.
Even as some bollards have evolved to cope with tougher situations, the need for low-impact resistance and protection still exists. In retail and warehousing spaces, furnishings need protection from floor cleaners, forklifts, or electric scooters. Even unpowered vehicles such as bicycles, strollers, or wheelchairs can cause wear and scuffing. Asset-protection bollards do not need to be driven deeply into the ground to be effective. Bolt-down or surface mounting into concrete is plenty to resist the low-impact force brought with the lesser weights and speeds of low-speed vehicles. Indoor and outdoor low-impact bollards can provide visual guidance as well as physical protection.
Style options for asset protection bollards
As with high-impact bollards, these lower-impact bollards come in several styles, from classically decorative to high-visibility. They come in different footprints and heights, so that they can be chosen to fit the needs of the location.
Stainless steel is a popular choice, matching chrome assets like freezers, fridges, or shelving. 316 grade has a brighter finish, and resists spotting or corrosion even in salty, corrosive environments. It is a good choice for food manufacturing facilities, or outdoors, near sea-spray or de-icing chemicals. 304 grade stainless steel bollards are corrosion resistant in non-saline environments. They have a more matte, understated finish than the 316 line, thanks to an anti-graffiti coating that helps prevent vandalization or accidental marking. The sealant makes these 304 bollards immune to virtually all types of graffiti. Spray paint can be removed with a chemical cleaner and felt pen markings simply wiped away. The coating is also non-porous, which increases the bollards’ water resistance.
Asset-protection bollards can also be powder coated. Powder coating seals a bollard using an electrostatic technique that prevents all pinholes or other material gaps on the surface. This coating also resists dings and scrapes, and is available in a range of colors that allow facilities managers to find bollards that match or complement their site.
Mounting options for asset protection bollards
Asset protection bollards are generally surface mounted. Some models include internal mounts, in which a threaded mounting is bolted to the floor. The bollard is twisted on and locked with a set screw. Other bolt-down bollards have a flanged base and are secured with concrete bolts.
Occasionally, these bollards are installed with removable mountings, in which case the bollards’ anchors are put into new cement.
Good value for facility maintenance
After they are installed, these bollards require very little in terms of ongoing care and therefore offer a great return on investment—their cost is recouped by one prevented accident or potential lawsuit! They also keep the furnishings they protect free of the wear caused by being bashed by powered small machines or human-driven wheels, extending the usable life.
A bolt-down bollard may not be able to stop a car, but it can prevent inventory loss caused by an out-of-control floor polisher or forklift by diverting those machines. It can help other assets safe from scuffing and wear. These bollards are an easy-to-install, easy-to-maintain addition to retail and wholesale facility maintenance plans.