Comparing Metal and Concrete Bollard Post
Bollards posts are short, vertical poles commonly seen in a variety of commercial or retail areas like banks, schools, or outdoor shopping malls.
They are useful for creating a physical barrier between vehicles and pedestrians or property. Additionally, they can serve as visual markers that direct the flow of traffic in places like parking garages or industrial sites.
Two of the most common types of material used to manufacture bollard posts are metal and concrete. Deciding which of these bollards is right for you depends on the function you need your bollard post to serve and in what context.
Here is a breakdown of the major differences between metal and concrete bollards to help you find the one that is best suited to your needs.
One of the main differences between metal and concrete bollard posts is how they are installed. Metal bollards are typically attached to a steel plate with prefabricated holes for drilling anchor bolts into the ground. Concrete bollards, on the other hand, usually require footers to be dug out so that the bollard can be cemented into place or cemented onto a metal pipe that was previously installed in a footer.
Because of the way they are installed, concrete bollards are more time-consuming and expensive to install than metal bollard posts. Concrete bollards are also less mobile. Once concrete bollards are installed, they are nearly impossible to move. When looking for a bollard post, users should consider the permanence of concrete posts as compared to metal posts which can be more easily relocated after the initial installation.
Metal and concrete bollards are both sturdy barriers that will provide protection for pedestrians and property from vehicle impact. Because concrete bollards are usually sunk down into the ground, they are strong enough to withstand minor impacts without taking much damage. However, concrete is not as flexible as metal and tends to break rather than bend as the magnitude of the impact increases.
Metal, on the other hand, is more flexible than concrete. For minor impacts, metal bollards are flexible enough to minimize the damage to both bollard and vehicle. Metal bollards can also be reinstalled if the anchor bolts are damaged in an impact, whereas concrete bollards are more difficult to repair or reinstall if they are damaged.
Another component to consider when comparing bollards is the longevity of the material. Both metal and concrete will wear out over time as the bollard is exposed to the elements, endures scratches or minor impacts, and as the material itself wears out. Metal bollards can be repainted with a powder coat finish that can protect them from weathering.
Concrete posts are subject to the eroding effects of wind, rain, and ice. Over time, concrete can chip and crack, causing defects that cannot be as easily repaired by painting or adding a protective coating.
Get a No Maintenance Long-Lasting Solution
Bollard Post Covers
Regardless of the material, all bollards are subject to wear and should be maintained over time. This can mean adding a coat of paint or resealing them so that they are more resistant to weathering and erosion. One alternative to regular bollard post maintenance is using a bollard post cover. Bollard post cover sleeves are manufactured with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and can easily slide over old bollard posts.
If you have a worn-out metal bollard post, a bollard post covers can make it look like new. Bollard post covers from Eagle feature UV inhibitors that are resistant to fading, rusting, or cracking, thereby reducing the need for routine bollard maintenance or repair.
Additionally, bollard post cover can be paired with a rubber base and used as bollards themselves. The advantage of using a bollard post cover sleeve as a bollard is that they are highly flexible and likely will not cause any significant damage to a vehicle in the event of an impact. Their high-visibility design also makes them ideal visual markers for directing traffic.
Find the Bollard that is Right for You
Eagle has a wide range of bollards that can protect pedestrians and property, delineate perimeters, and serve as visual markers. Whether you’re looking for a metal bollard to safeguard property or a bollard cover sleeve that will make an old bollard look like new, Eagle has the perfect bollard for you.
If you are looking for other products to protect your people and equipment, view our Guide to Selecting Your Material Handling Products