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SlowStop bollards explained

SlowStop is a revolutionary, rebounding bollard, made in Texas, USA that provides a high-quality and durable solution for protecting assets and infrastructure. It’s designed to absorb the impact of a collision by using an elastomer that is hidden in the base of the unit. This reduces damage to your floor, vehicle and the bollard itself, saving ongoing maintenance costs and minimising operational delays. While a crash with a traditional rigid bollard will typically result in a damage to the concrete slab, SlowStop bollards absorb the impact leaving the bollard and surface intact. In this blog, we explore how SlowStop works and how it compares with traditional bollards.

Traditional bollards

Bollards are commonly used to protect pedestrians and assets from vehicle crash damage. However the traditional surface-mounted and inground bollards can cause expensive and time-consuming issues when collided with due to their rigid, fixed nature. Surface-mounted bollards can handle minor impact, however, the anchors are often not strong enough to withstand more forceful collisions. When crashed into, the bolts and plates are commonly pulled up (often with large chunks of concrete attached) and the post tilts. This results in the bollard requiring replacing and repairs needing to be made to the concrete floor in order for it to function properly again. 

The other type of traditional bollards are inground bollards which are cemented into place, costing more and taking longer than installing surface-mounted bollards, especially if the concrete has already been poured and requires core drilling. It also means that the bollard is difficult to remove if damaged and is needing to be replaced, requiring the slab to be broken up around it and the concrete then needing repairs. Due to the strength and inflexibility of inground bollards, collisions often result in damage to the bollard itself, as well as the connecting cemented foundation. Not only is the concrete surface expensive to fix, conducting flooring repairs can also cause challenges when trying to do so in an operational environment, such as a warehouse or factory. It becomes even more difficult when working in a temperature-controlled location, including coolstores and freezers.

Slowstop bollards

The SlowStop solution

The innovative SlowStop design overcomes the challenges faced with traditional rigid bollards, as it still has the strength of steel but with a rebounding base system that absorbs any impact. They are made from tough galvanised steel and the bases are made from cast iron, which are bolted to the concrete using anchor screws. 

The bollards use an elastomer that is hidden in the base of the unit which absorbs much of the kinetic energy when collided with. According to Kenneth Parrott, a Senior Project Engineer of Impact Recovery Systems USA, the elastomer allows the bollard post to tilt up to 20°, drawing out the slowing time of the vehicle and significantly reducing damage to the vehicle, it’s driver and the ground surface.

SlowStop bollards come with a 2 Year Product Warranty and have reliably tested and rated weights and speeds which means that you don’t have to get it engineered yourself, ranging from a 4T vehicle at 9km/h right up to a 35T vehicle at 3km/h. The steel post gives the SlowStop product extra durability and means it can easily survive the impact of a 4,000kg forklift travelling at 9km/h (based on a 168mm diameter bollard). The strength and energy absorbing base of the SlowStop bollard allows it to rebound after impact, usually pushing the vehicle away and returning to an upright position. Unless the maximum impact force is exceeded, the guard will remain intact and ready to be used again, minimising any maintenance costs. 

The bollards are available in a variety of sizes, depending on the application and strength required. They are also available with modular connectors to create fencing and guards out of multiple bases, strengthening the units and improving rebound ability. To see a demonstration of how SlowStop bollards work, check out the video below. 

HubSpot Video

 

As SlowStop bollards are mounted onto the floor's surface, the installation cost is less expensive and quicker than inground bollards. It also allows for flexibility in the future if the bollard needs to be moved. It takes about 15 minutes for each SlowStop bollard to be set up and the installation only requires common tools. As you don’t have to wait for concrete to set, these bollards are instantly operational.

While SlowStop bollards cost approximately 5 times more upfront than the standard surface-mounted steel bollard, it's easy to see how this balances out when the simplified installation process and reduced expenses from collision damage are factored in.

Energy absorbing bollards

SlowStop bollards are a revolutionary new product designed to alleviate the need for expensive repairs after collisions. They provide a great safety solution in busy warehouses and freight depots, as they greatly dampen impact and reduce damage. They protect pedestrians and vehicle occupants as well as guarding storage racks, structural columns and capital equipment from collisions with forklifts and other machinery.

Vanguard Group are the sole suppliers of SlowStop in New Zealand, so contact us if you’d like to discuss this product further. You can also Download our SlowStop Product Document for more information regarding the different sizes, specifications and recommended uses of SlowStop bollards.

If you’re after a different type of bollard, such as surface mounted, inground, stainless steel, removable, flexible and timber, check out our blog: What Type of Bollards Should I Use?  In the blog, we compare the different materials and where they should be used to help you find the best solution for your project.