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What Are Different Crash Ratings Available For Bollards?

Take a look outside any commercial building in an urban centre. There are high chances that you will walk past bollards every day. You will find the bollards placed at the buildings’ entrances to protect against several types of damage from motor vehicles.

The design of the bollard determines the purposes they serve. Some prevent cars from driving too close to the building during a drive-thru. Others can stop 60,000-pound trucks from bumping into a building at 50 miles per hour.

Requirements for bollards are specific to the needs of a site, and crash ratings have evolved to address these needs. So, what are the different types of crash ratings available for bollards?

What Factors Determine the Type of Crash Ratings Used?

Determining the right crash rating bollard can be complicated. However, the first step is assessing the threat to the area to be protected. Additionally, it would be best if you put several factors into consideration: 

  • The ease of access to a building or pedestrian area 
  • Exposure of pedestrians to motor vehicle traffic 
  • Type of traffic- of the vehicles in the areas, their masses should be considered as the amount of damage caused is highly dependent on tonnage. 
  • Speed of nearby vehicles- the speed of a moving car is a very important factor. High speeds will reduce the drivers’ reaction time, causing increased damage potential. 
  • Feasibility of a bollard, ease of deployment such as the hydraulic bollards that easily retract 
  • Security experts and traffic engineers collaborate to find the best solution.

What are the Different Crash Ratings for Bollards?

ASTM Standards: 

It is short for American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards, and these are divided into three.

  • F3016, designed to create a repeatable test to apply to rate-based on different motor vehicle sizes and speeds. Access control management bollards are examples of ASTM standards. 
  • F3016M is common and used in reference to medium-duty motor vehicles weighing 15,000 pounds. 
  • F2656-07 is intended for anti-ram purposes. It covers high-security areas such as military areas, financial institutions or government institutions.

K Ratings: 

K ratings are divided into distances as stated below: 

  • L3: Distance of fewer than 3 feet 
  • L2: Distance of 3 to 20 feet 
  • L1: Distance of 20 to 50 feet 

The K ratings were originally developed by the US Department of State (DoS). For the bollards to pass live testing, they need to withstand impact from 15,000 without exceeding the set distances, as shown above. K ratings are still used often in industry talks as a reference, but preference is made on ASTM standards. 

WK Ratings

They are designed by the ASTM but are still under development and are meant for errant vehicles. They will include barriers, gates, and planters in addition to bollards. They test low-speed vehicles and other situations not addressed in high-security bollards. 

Now that you know the types of crash ratings for bollards, you can decide which is best for your site. It is vital to assess location traffic patterns, threats, pedestrian traffic and the distance from the barrier. The factors will enable you to choose the most appropriate crash rating bollard. 

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