A bollard is a short pillar usually made of iron or steel that is often used today to direct traffic or for security purposes. Although this is their use today, bollards weren’t always used for this purpose. In the 17th century, steel pipe bollards were mainly for maritime use to help dock a ship. Bollards originally began as the bottom end of an old cannon in which the unused cannon was buried to about two-thirds its original height and the bottom of the cannon would stick out in order for ships to attach their ropes to when pulling into a port or dock. These bollards would either mark a town or boundary for the ship and they were made of either iron or wood. Beginning in the 19th century, separate manufacturing of bollards began and the bollards produced largely resembled the cannons they were inspired by. On the occasion, an old cannon functioning as a bollard can still be found today. Over time, the use of bollards transitioned from maritime use to traffic use. The earliest bollards used for traffic were made out of wood, but as modes of transportation changed from horse and buggy to motorized vehicles, bollards were made from iron instead. Iron is very durable and long-lasting, making it the right material for modern traffic use, now that vehicles today are much more powerful.
A road plate is a steel plate that serves the purpose of temporarily covering a broken road in which cars or pedestrians need to access. Their size can range from 5 feet to more than 20 feet and even smaller ones. This is helpful in many areas such as construction areas that create uneven roads that are dangerous to travel on without any heavy-duty temporary covering. The plates are used to allow cars to travel across the road when construction is not actively happening. The plates are in direct contact with the pavement and are fixed into place to ensure the safety of the drivers who utilize the roads near construction sites. To secure the plate, the road plate is pinned (a process of pushing pins into the pavement at the edges of the plate to prevent the road plate from moving), secured with asphalt wedges, or recessed into the pavement (a process in which a hole is cut out of the ground where the plate will go that is exactly the size of the plate).
Steel Flitch Plates when combined with wood are used to construct Steel Flitch Beams for residential and light commercial construction. They are used similarly to the way that built-up wood girders and headers (wooden beams that span the entirety of the area they are supporting) are used. Mostly, steel flitch beams are used in the construction of various structures that utilize wood such as houses, decks, and roofs. They are especially helpful in renovation projects which aim to build upon aging wood, however, they can be used in a wide variety of construction projects.
Whaling Iron offers high quality structural steel products in a variety of sizes and shapes for various uses in the MA and RI area. If you would like to buy them or have some questions, please contact us at 508-994-2652.