Title:
SEMI-PERMANENT BOLLARD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bollard mounting system mounts a bollard body to a stationary post mounted in the floor or ground. The bollard mounting system includes a plurality of locking protrusions and a key protrusion coupled with or otherwise integral with the post. The bollard mounting system also includes a keyed collar disposed on the bollard body. When the bollard body and the keyed collar are positioned on the post, the locking protrusions and the key protrusion engage the keyed collar locking the bollard body onto the stationary post. Installation of the bollard body only requires sliding the bollard body with the keyed collar into place over the stationary post. The locking protrusions are not externally accessible and not externally visible after the bollard body is locked in position, which reduces the likelihood of theft or damage to the locking mechanism in an aesthetically desirable manner.



Inventors:
Mccue, David S. (Manchester, MA, US)
Ballou, Daniel B. (Salem, MA, US)
Hild, Brent (Belmont, MA, US)
Fitch, Thomas C. (Chelsea, MA, US)
Jauron, Sandra K. (Boston, MA, US)
Sullivan, James Edward (Manchester, NH, US)
Application Number:
12/136918
Publication Date:
12/11/2008
Filing Date:
06/11/2008
Assignee:
McCue Corporation (Salem, MA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E01F15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RISIC, ABIGAIL ANNE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OCCHIUTI & ROHLICEK LLP (Boston, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bollard mounting system for mounting a bollard body to a post, the bollard mounting system comprising: a plurality of locking protrusions disposed on the post; a key protrusion disposed on the post; and a corresponding keyed collar disposed on the bollard body and adapted to receive the key protrusion and also to engage at least one of the plurality of locking protrusions, the keyed collar comprising: a main channel that receives the post therethrough; and a key channel that receives the key protrusion and locks the key protrusion relative to the keyed collar rotationally locking the bollard body relative to the post; wherein at least one of the plurality of locking protrusions engages with the keyed collar to lock the keyed collar and the bollard body with the post, preventing axial movement of the bollard body relative to the post.

2. The bollard mounting system of claim 1, wherein a clamp coupling is mounted to the post.

3. The bollard mounting system of claim 2, wherein the plurality of locking protrusions are incorporated into the clamp coupling.

4. The bollard mounting system of claim 2, wherein the key protrusion is incorporated into the clamp coupling.

5. The bollard mounting system of claim 2, wherein a portion of the clamp coupling forms the key protrusion.

6. The bollard mounting system of claim 2, wherein the clamp coupling comprises a tightening mechanism for compressively securing the clamp coupling to the post.

7. The bollard mounting system of claim 6, wherein the clamp coupling has a first end and a second end, and wherein the first end and the second end of the clamp coupling form the key protrusion.

8. The bollard mounting system of claim 7, wherein each of the first end of the clamp coupling and the second end of the clamp coupling have at least one hole therethrough and wherein the at least one hole in the first end of the clamp coupling is positioned to align with the at least one hole in the second end of the clamp coupling.

9. The bollard mounting system of claim 8, wherein the tightening mechanism comprises: at least one bolt that extends through the at least one hole in the first end of the clamp coupling and the at least one hole in the second end of the clamp coupling; and at least one nut that engages threads of an end of the at least one bolt.

10. The bollard mounting system of claim 1, wherein the keyed collar is adhered to the bollard body, coupled with the bollard body, integral with the bollard body, affixed to the bollard body, or any combination thereof.

11. The bollard mounting system of claim 1, wherein each of the plurality of locking protrusions is in the shape of a tab, a detent, or a tooth.

12. The bollard mounting system of claim 1, wherein the plurality of locking protrusions are configured as a gear rack.

13. The bollard mounting system of claim 12, wherein the gear rack forms the key protrusion.

14. The bollard mounting system of claim 1, wherein the keyed collar further comprises a ratchet arm configured to engage with the plurality of locking protrusions.

15. The bollard mounting system of claim 1, wherein the mounting is semi-permanent.

16. The bollard mounting system of claim 1, wherein the plurality of locking protrusions disposed on the post, and the key protrusion disposed on the post, are both hidden from view by the bollard body after installation of the bollard body on the post.

17. A method for mounting a bollard body to a post, the method comprising: providing the post secured to a floor or secured to the ground, the post supporting a plurality of locking protrusions and a key protrusion; providing a keyed collar integral with the bollard body; sliding the keyed collar and the bollard body downward along the post and over the plurality of locking protrusions and the key protrusion; and the plurality of locking protrusions and the key protrusion engaging with the keyed collar locking the keyed collar and the bollard body in vertical and rotational relation relative to the post.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the plurality of locking protrusions are formed in a clamp coupling or a gear rack mounted to the post.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the key protrusion is incorporated into the clamp coupling.

20. The method of claim 18, wherein the gear rack forms the key protrusion.

21. The method of claim 17, further comprising tightening a clamp coupling compressively securing the clamp coupling to the post prior to sliding the keyed collar and the bollard body downward along the post.

22. The method of claim 17, wherein the keyed collar is adhered to the bollard body, coupled with the bollard body, integral with the bollard body, affixed to the bollard body, or any combination thereof.

23. The method of claim 17, wherein the keyed collar further comprises a ratchet arm configured to engage with the plurality of locking protrusions.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to, and the benefit of, co-pending U.S. Provisional Application 60/934,149, filed Jun. 11, 2007, for all subject matter common to both applications. The disclosure of said provisional application is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a bollard mounting system for mounting a bollard body to a stationary post, and relates more particularly to a bollard mounting system employing a plurality of locking protrusions secured to a stationary post, and a collar, disposed on the bollard body, that receives the clamp coupling locking the bollard body in position.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Conventionally, bollards are structures that are mounted to the ground or a floor. Historically, a bollard was a thick low post mounted on a wharf to which lines for boats or ships were attached. Currently, bollards are used for many different purposes including to control vehicular, large equipment, or cart access to indoor or outdoor areas, to a direct a flow of people, carts or vehicles, to protect structures and equipment from being damaged by moving objects, and to block vehicular access to areas for security reasons. Bollards may have decorative purposes as well, and may include additional functionality such as lighting. While some bollards are permanently fixed in place, others need to be removable to temporarily permit access to an area, or when a change in location is required.

Bollards can be difficult to mount to a floor or to the ground, often requiring large diameter holes or cement to be held in place. If a bollard body is attached directly to the ground using cement, replacement of the bollard is very difficult as it requires freeing the bollard from the cement, or cutting the bollard off above ground level and attaching a new upper portion to the lower portion still encased in cement. The body of a bollard may be constructed of lightweight aluminum or hardened plastic, which may need to be replaced after being dented or cracked by impacts with moving objects. To reduce the difficulty in replacing a bollard, instead of directly mounting the bollard into the ground, the bollard body may be inserted into a permanent hole formed in the ground (for example a hollow cylindrical pipe surrounded by concrete) and locked in place, or the bollard body may be positioned over a permanent mounting post and locked in place. For many applications a locking mechanism for locking the bollard body to a permanent mounting post that is inaccessible after the bollard body is positioned on the post decreases the likelihood that the locking mechanism will be tampered with and/or that the bollard body will be stolen. A locking mechanism that is inaccessible and not externally visible after the body is mounted both decreases the likelihood of theft and is more aesthetically desirable. In the event that a bollard body is damaged or needs to be replaced for some other reason, a locking mechanism should also permit the bollard body to be uncoupled from the mounting post without requiring complete removal of the underlying post or support structure from the ground.

A bollard mounting system for attaching a bollard body to a mounting post that allows easy installation of the bollard body, that also incorporates a locking mechanism for securing the bollard body to the post, and that permits replacement of the bollard body, is needed. Embodiments of the present invention are directed toward this need.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One example embodiment of the present invention includes a bollard mounting system for mounting a bollard body to a stationary post. The bollard mounting system includes a plurality of locking protrusions disposed on the post, and a key protrusion disposed on the post. A corresponding keyed collar is disposed on the bollard body and adapted to receive the key protrusion and also to engage at least one of the plurality of locking protrusions. The keyed collar includes a main channel that receives the post therethrough, and a key channel that receives the key protrusion and locks the key protrusion relative to the keyed collar rotationally locking the bollard body relative to the post. At least one of the plurality of locking protrusions engages with the keyed collar to lock the keyed collar and the bollard body with the post, preventing axial movement of the bollard body relative to the post.

In accordance with aspects of one embodiment of the present invention, a clamp coupling is mounted to the post. The plurality of locking protrusions are incorporated into the clamp coupling. The key protrusion is incorporated into the clamp coupling, or the coupling itself forms the key protrusion. The clamp coupling includes a tightening mechanism for compressively securing the clamp coupling to the post. The clamp coupling can have a first end and a second end, and wherein the first end and the second end of the clamp coupling form the key protrusion. Each of the first end of the clamp coupling and the second end of the clamp coupling have at least one hole therethrough and wherein the at least one hole in the first end of the clamp coupling is positioned to align with the at least one hole in the second end of the clamp coupling. The tightening mechanism can include at least one bolt that extends through the at least one hole in the first end of the clamp coupling and the at least one hole in the second end of the clamp coupling, and at least one nut that engages threads of an end of the at least one bolt.

In accordance with aspects of the present invention, the keyed collar is adhered to the bollard body, coupled with the bollard body, integral with the bollard body, affixed to the bollard body, or any combination thereof. Each of the plurality of locking protrusions can be in the shape of a tab, a detent, or a tooth.

In accordance with one example embodiment of the present invention, the plurality of locking protrusions are configured as a gear rack. The gear rack can also form the key protrusion. The keyed collar further can be in the form of a ratchet arm configured to engage with the plurality of locking protrusions.

In accordance with aspects of the present invention, the mounting is semi-permanent. Furthermore, the plurality of locking protrusions disposed on the post, and the key protrusion disposed on the post, can both be hidden from view by the bollard body after installation of the bollard body on the post.

In accordance with embodiments of the present invention, a method for mounting a bollard body to a post includes providing the post secured to a floor or secured to the ground, the post supporting a plurality of locking protrusions and a key protrusion. A keyed collar is provided integral with the bollard body. The keyed collar and the bollard body are slid downward along the post and over the plurality of locking protrusions and the key protrusion. The plurality of locking protrusions and the key protrusion engage with the keyed collar locking the keyed collar and the bollard body in vertical and rotational relation relative to the post.

In accordance with aspects of the present invention, the plurality of locking protrusions are formed in a clamp coupling or a gear rack mounted to the post. The key protrusion can be incorporated into the clamp coupling. The gear rack can form the key protrusion.

In accordance with further aspects of the present invention, a clamp coupling is tightened, compressively securing the clamp coupling to the post prior to sliding the keyed collar and the bollard body downward along the post.

In accordance with further aspects of the present invention, the keyed collar is adhered to the bollard body, coupled with the bollard body, integral with the bollard body, affixed to the bollard body, or any combination thereof. The keyed collar can further include a ratchet arm configured to engage with the plurality of locking protrusions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will become better understood with reference to the following description and accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1A is a diagrammatic exploded side view of an illustrative bollard mounting system, a post and a bollard body, according to one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 1B is a diagrammatic side view of the bollard mounting system, depicted in FIG. 1A, in use, according to one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic side view of the clamp coupling secured to the post mounted in the ground, according to one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic enlarged perspective view of the clamp coupling depicted in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic exploded perspective view of the bollard mounting system, the bollard body, and the post, depicted in FIGS. 1A and 1B;

FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a keyed collar disposed on the bollard body, according to one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 6A is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view of the clamp coupling (secured to the post) and the keyed collar after the post is inserted in a main channel of the keyed collar, but before the keyed collar contacts the clamp coupling, according to one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 6B is a diagrammatic perspective cross-sectional view of the clamp coupling (secured to the post) and the keyed collar as the bollard body is being positioned on the post, but before the keyed collar contacts the clamp coupling, according to one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 7A is a diagrammatic cross-sectional side view of the clamp coupling and the keyed collar after the keyed collar and the bollard body are positioned on the post in contact with the clamp coupling and locked in place, according to one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 7B is a diagrammatic cross-sectional perspective view of the clamp coupling and the keyed collar after the keyed collar and the bollard body are positioned on the post in contact with the clamp coupling and locked in place;

FIG. 7C is a diagrammatic enlarged perspective view of the clamp coupling and the keyed collar illustrating contact between locking protrusions of the clamp coupling and the keyed collar, according to one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 8A diagrammatically depicts an illustrative shape of a bollard body for use with one illustrative embodiment of the bollard mounting system;

FIG. 8B diagrammatically depicts an illustrative shape of a bollard body for use with one illustrative embodiment of the bollard mounting system;

FIG. 9A diagrammatically depicts a cross-sectional view of an illustrative shape of a bollard body for use with one illustrative embodiment of the bollard mounting system;

FIG. 9B diagrammatically depicts a cross-sectional view of another illustrative shape of a bollard body for use with one illustrative embodiment of the bollard mounting system;

FIG. 9C diagrammatically depicts a cross-sectional view of another illustrative shape of a bollard body for use with one illustrative embodiment of the bollard mounting system;

FIG. 10 diagrammatically depicts a solar powered lighting bollard for use with one illustrative embodiment of the bollard mounting system;

FIG. 11A diagrammatically depicts a planter bollard for use with one illustrative embodiment of the bollard mounting system;

FIG. 11B diagrammatically depicts the planter bollard of FIG. 11A without a plant shown;

FIG. 11C diagrammatically depicts a side view of the planter bollard of FIG. 11B;

FIG. 12 schematically depicts a method for mounting a bollard body to a post, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional view of a gear rack secured to the post mounted in the ground, according to one embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 14 schematically depicts a method for mounting a bollard body to a post, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

An illustrative embodiment of the present invention relates to a bollard mounting system for mounting a bollard body to a stationary post. The bollard mounting system includes a clamp coupling that encircles the post and is secured to the post using a tightening mechanism. Alternatively, the clamp coupling can include a gear rack, or a gear rack can be affixed to, or otherwise integral with, a side of the bollard without the need for a clamp coupling. The bollard mounting system also includes a collar disposed on the bollard body. To prevent rotation of the bollard, the collar can be a keyed collar. When the bollard body and the keyed collar are positioned on the post, the clamp coupling or the gear rack engages the keyed collar locking the bollard body onto the stationary post using locking protrusions. Installation of the bollard body occurs with fastening the clamp coupling and/or the gear rack to the stationary post and sliding the bollard body with the keyed collar into place over the stationary post, again locking the bollard body with locking protrusions and/or with a ratchet intersecting with the gear rack. If the clamp coupling is already positioned, the bollard body with the keyed collar slides into place over the stationary post. The locking protrusions are an outward facing surface of the clamp coupling that lock the bollard body in place. The gear rack incorporates outward facing gear teeth that lock the bollard body in place. Neither the locking protrusions, nor the gear rack, are externally accessible or externally visible after the bollard body is locked in position, which reduces the likelihood of theft or damage to the locking mechanism in an aesthetically desirable manner.

FIGS. 1A through 14, wherein like parts are designated by like reference numerals throughout, illustrate an example embodiment of a bollard mounting system according to aspects of the present invention. One of ordinary skill in the art will additionally appreciate different ways to alter the parameters of the embodiments disclosed, such as the size, shape, or type of elements or materials, in a manner still in keeping with the spirit and scope of the present invention.

FIG. 1A is a diagrammatic exploded side view of an illustrative bollard mounting system 20 for mounting a bollard body 35 to a stationary post 10 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention and FIG. 1B is a view of the bollard mounting system 20 in use. As depicted, the stationary post 10, which can be a steel pole, is installed in the ground 12, which can be concrete, asphalt, etc., using a concrete footing 14. The bollard mounting system 20 includes a clamp coupling 40 that encircles the post 10 and a keyed collar 30 disposed on the bollard body 35 and adapted to receive the clamp coupling 40. Initially, the clamp coupling 40 is secured to the post 10. When the bollard body 35 is positioned on the post 10 by sliding the bollard body 35 over the post 10, the clamp coupling 40 secured to the post 10 engages the keyed collar 30 disposed on the bollard body 35 locking the bollard body 35 in position on the post 10.

It should be noted that the keyed collar 30, as described and depicted herein, is merely one example implementation of the collar. The collar includes the feature of a key hole or opening to better lock the collar, and thus the bollard, to prevent rotational movement. However, in some instances, this may either not be necessary, or rotational movement may in fact be desired. Thus, the present invention is illustrated using the keyed collar 30, but the scope of the present invention has no requirement of a keyed collar. Instead the present invention can make use of a non-keyed collar, or other variations, that mount the bollard to the clamp coupling 40 as described herein.

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic side view of the clamp coupling 40 secured to the post 10 mounted in the ground 12 and FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic enlarged perspective view of the clamp coupling 40 depicted in FIG. 2, according to one aspect of the present invention. The clamp coupling 40 includes a tightening mechanism 41 for compressively securing the clamp coupling 40 to the post 10. The clamp coupling 40 also includes a plurality of locking protrusions 42a, 42b, 42c, 42d disposed on an outward facing surface 43 of the clamp coupling 40.

As depicted, each of the plurality of locking protrusions 42a, 42b, 42c, 42d has the form of a tab, according to aspects of the present invention. Each locking protrusion of the plurality of locking protrusions 42a, 42b, 42c, 42d has a top side 48t and a bottom side 48b (illustrated and labeled on protrusion 42b). The top side 48t of the locking protrusion 42b is angled allowing the keyed collar 30 to slide down over the locking protrusion 42a in a direction indicated by arrow 61. The bottom side 48b of the locking protrusion 42a is flat, which prevents the keyed collar 30 from sliding up in a direction indicated by arrow 62 after the keyed collar 30 is locked in place. Alternatively each locking protrusion can have the form of a detent (not depicted) or an other suitable form, according to aspects of the present invention.

The clamp coupling 40 also includes a key protrusion, in this case the key protrusion is formed of four protrusions 44a, 44b, 44c, 44d, disposed on the outward facing surface 43 of the clamp coupling 40 that rotationally locks the clamp coupling 40 with the bollard body 35 to prevent rotation of the bollard body 35 with respect to the post 10.

The clamp coupling 40 has a first end 45a and a second end 45b. The first end 45a and the second end 45b of the clamp coupling 40 can form the key protrusion, according to aspects of the present invention. As depicted protrusions 44a and 44b disposed at the first end 45a of the clamp coupling 40 and protrusions 44c and 44d disposed at the second end 45b of the clamp coupling 40, form the key protrusion (44a-44d). Each of the first end 45a of the clamp coupling 40 and the second end 45b of the clamp coupling 40 can have at least one hole (46a, 46b, 46c, 46d) therethrough. As depicted, the protrusions 44a and 44b at the first end 45a of the clamp coupling each have a hole 46a, 46b therethrough, and the protrusions 44c and 44d at the second end 45b of the clamp coupling each have a hole 46c, 46d therethrough. The holes 46a, 46b in the protrusions 44a and 44b at the first end 45a of the clamp coupling are positioned to align with the holes 46c, 46d in the protrusions 44c and 44c at the second end 45b of the clamp coupling. The tightening mechanism 41 can include one or more bolts 47a, 47b, each bolt 47a, 47b, extending through a hole 46a, 46b at the first end 45a of the clamp coupling, and also extending through a corresponding hole 46c, 46d at the second end 46b of the clamp coupling. Each bolt 47a, 47b can be secured with a corresponding nut 48a, 48b. Tightening of the nuts 48a, 48b compressively secures the clamp coupling 40 on the post 10. Alternatively, the tightening mechanism can be a ratcheting mechanism, or any other suitable mechanism that compressively secures the clamp coupling 40 to the post 10, according to aspects of the present invention.

According other aspects of the present invention, the clamp coupling can be formed of a hard plastic, including but not limited to polyethylene, nylon, etc. Alternatively, the clamp coupling can be formed of a metal, including but not limited to aluminum, steel, sheet metal, etc. The clamp coupling can be formed of a combination of materials that include a hard plastic and a metal.

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic exploded perspective view of the bollard mounting system 20 and the post 10, depicted in FIGS. 1A and 1B, further illustrating a shape of the keyed collar 30. FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a keyed collar 30, according to one aspect of the present invention. The keyed collar 30 includes a main channel 31 that receives the clamp coupling 40 secured to the post 10. The keyed collar 30 also includes a key channel 32 that receives the key protrusion formed of protrusions 44a, 44b, 44c, 44d rotationally locking the clamp coupling 40 with respect to the keyed collar 30 and with respect to the bollard body 35.

In accordance with aspects of the present invention, the keyed collar 30 can be integral with the bollard body 35 as depicted. Alternatively, the keyed collar 30 can be adhered to the bollard body, affixed to the bollard body, or otherwise coupled with the bollard body using methods and materials known to one of ordinary skill in the art.

FIGS. 6A and 6B illustrate cross-sectional views of the clamp coupling 40 secured to the post 10 and the keyed collar 30 as the bollard body 35 (not shown) is being positioned on the post 10, but before the keyed collar 30 contacts the clamp coupling 40, according to one aspect of the present invention. To install the bollard body 35, the bollard body 35 and keyed collar 30 are positioned above the post 10 and slid down over the post 10 as indicated by arrow 61. The post 10 extends into the main channel 31 of the keyed collar 30. The key channel 32 must be oriented with the key protrusion, formed of protrusions 44a, 44b, 44c, 44d, to allow the bollard body 35 to continue sliding over the clamp coupling 40.

According other aspects of the present invention, the keyed collar can be formed of a hard plastic, including but not limited to polyethylene, a nylon, etc. Alternatively, the keyed collar can be formed of a metal, including but not limited to aluminum, steel, sheet metal, etc. The keyed collar can likewise be formed of a combination of materials that include a hard plastic and a metal.

FIGS. 7A, 7B and 7C diagrammatically illustrate the clamp coupling 40 and the keyed collar 30 after the keyed collar 30 and the bollard body 35 are positioned over the post 10 in contact with the clamp coupling 40 and locked in place. The bollard body 35 is locked in place by moving the bollard body 35 downward in the direction of arrow 61 until the bottom side 48b of each locking protrusion of the plurality of locking protrusions 42a, 42b, 42c, 42d, is above a top edge 30t of the keyed collar 30. The plurality of locking protrusions 42a, 42b, 42c 42d are depressed toward the post 10 while the keyed collar 30 is being positioned on the clamp coupling 40. After the top edge 30t of the keyed collar 30 is pushed past the bottom side 48b of each locking protrusion of the plurality of locking protrusions 42a, 42b, 42c, 42d, each locking protrusion of the plurality of locking protrusions 42a, 42b, 42c, 42d “pops out” to its original non-depressed state. Contact between the bottom side 48b of each locking protrusion of the plurality of locking protrusions 42a, 42b, 42c, 42d having a flat orientation and a top edge 30t of the keyed collar 30 prevents the keyed collar 30 from moving off of the post 10 in the direction indicated by arrow 62.

Embodiments of the bollard mounting system 20 allow a bollard body 35 to be easily mounted on a stationary post 10. First, the clamp coupling 40 is compressively secured to the post 10 with the tightening mechanism 41. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 3, tightening bolts 47a, 47b and corresponding nuts 48a, 48b draw the first end 45a and the second end 45b of the clamp coupling 40 toward each other to compressively secure the clamp coupling 40 to the post 10. After the clamp coupling 40 is secured to the post 10, the bollard body 35 and keyed collar 30 are slid over the post 10 and the clamp coupling 40, and are locked in place for example with the plurality of locking protrusions (42a-42d). If the clamp coupling 40 is already positioned on the post 10 (possibly due to previous use of the clamp coupling 40), then bollard body 35 installation is the simple process of sliding the bollard body 35 over the post 10 until the bollard body 35 is locked in place.

The clamp coupling 40 and the plurality of locking protrusions 42a, 42b, 42c, 42d, are not externally accessible after installation of the bollard body 35 reducing the likelihood of theft. Additionally, the clamp coupling 40 and the plurality of locking protrusions 42a, 42b, 42c, 42d are not externally visible after installation of the bollard body 35, also reducing the likelihood of theft, and resulting in increased aesthetic value.

If the bollard body 35 is in one piece as depicted, removing the bollard body 35 from the post 10 requires cutting or breaking a portion of the bollard body 35 to gain access to the clamp coupling 40, or otherwise gaining access to the clamp coupling 40. Damaging the bollard body 35 to remove the bollard body 35 may be unnecessary if the bollard body 35 is to be replaced due to damage that already allows access to the clamp coupling 40. Depressing the plurality of locking protrusions 42a, 42, 42c 42d on the clamp coupling 40 while raising the keyed collar 30 in the direction of arrow 62 permits the bollard body 35 to be removed. In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the bollard body 35 can have an access port that allows access to the clamp coupling 40 without destruction of the bollard body 35. After the bollard body 35 is removed, a replacement bollard body can be installed by sliding it over the post 10 and clamp coupling 40. One exemplary embodiment of the present invention is a bollard mounting system that is semi-permanent, as used herein, a semi-permanent bollard is a bollard that is intended to be permanent, but in the event that the bollard is damaged, it can be replaced with a minimal amount of work.

Although exemplary embodiments depicted herein illustrate mounting a bollard body 35 to a post 10 with a circular cross-section, it should be noted that a portion of the post can have a non-circular cross-section, for example, elliptical, square, triangular, etc., within the scope of the present invention. A post 10 with a non-circular cross section may necessitate some modification of the clamp coupling 40, and may necessitate some modification of the keyed collar 30, including a non-circular cross-section of the main channel 31. Additionally, if the post 10 cross-section is not circular, a key protrusion 44 and a corresponding key channel 32 may not be necessary to prevent rotation of the bollard body 35 with respect of the post 10. A clamp coupling 40 and a keyed collar 30 for mounting a post 10 with a circular cross-section to a bollard body 35, as described and depicted herein, is merely one example implementation of the clamp coupling and the collar.

Although one exemplary embodiment of the bollard mounting system 20 is used to mount a bollard body 35 with a substantially spherical shape, a bollard body for use with embodiments of the present invention can take many different forms. FIGS. 8A and 8B diagrammatically depict exemplary shapes of a bollard body for use with an illustrative embodiment of the bollard mounting system 20. The bollard body can be cylindrically shaped 72 or the bollard body can be rectangular in shape 74. FIGS. 9A, 9B, and 9C diagrammatically depict cross-sectional views of other exemplary shapes of a bollard body for use with one illustrative embodiment of the bollard mounting system. Possible bollard body shapes include the decorative fruit shaped including a pear shape bollard body 76, an orange shaped bollard body 78, and an apple shaped bollard body 80.

An exemplary embodiment of the bollard mounting system 20 can be used to mount a bollard body that incorporates additional functionality. FIG. 10 diagrammatically depicts a solar-powered lighting bollard 82 for use with one illustrative embodiment of the bollard mounting system. The solar-powered lighting bollard 82 includes a solar panel 92 and lighting elements 94 powered by the solar panel 9. FIGS. 11A, 11B, and 11C diagrammatically depict a planter bollard 84 for use with one illustrative embodiment of the bollard mounting system. A container 96 is formed in the bollard body 98. The container 96 can be used, for example, a decorative planter to contain plants 99 as depicted.

FIG. 12 schematically depicts a method 100 for mounting a bollard body 35 to a post 10, in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention. Initially, a post 10 secured to a floor or secured to the ground 12 is provided (step 110). A clamp coupling 40 is positioned to encircle the post 10 (step 120) and tightened to compressively secure the clamp coupling 40 to the post 10 (step 130). A keyed collar 30 is moved downward along the post 10 and over the clamp coupling 40 (step 140). A coupling lock is activated to lock a position of the keyed collar 30 relative to the clamp coupling 40 and the post 10 (step 150). The bollard body 35 is integral with the keyed collar 30. According to aspects of the present invention, the method can also include, before sliding the keyed collar 30 over the clamp coupling 40, rotating the keyed collar 30 about an axis defined by the post 10 until a key channel 32 formed in the keyed collar 30 aligns with a key protrusion (44a-44d) disposed on an outward facing surface 43 of the clamp coupling 40 (step 135). Contact between the key protrusion (44a-44d) and the key channel 32 locks a rotational orientation of the bollard body 35 relative to the post 10.

FIG. 13 is a diagrammatic cross-sectional side view of a gear rack 200, secured to the post 10, and with a ratchet collar 202 mounted over the gear rack 200, according to one aspect of the present invention. The gear rack 200 is demonstrative of an alternative arrangement to the clamp coupling 40 as described herein. The gear rack 200 can also be mounted to the post 10 as a clamp coupling, or can be otherwise affixed or coupled with the post 10 in a manner understood by one of ordinary skill in the art. In the figure, the gear rack 200 is fastened to the post 10 with two threaded fasteners 204.

The gear rack 200 includes a plurality of locking teeth or protrusions 206 disposed on an outward facing surface 208 gear rack 200. As depicted, each of the locking protrusions 206 has a top side and a bottom side. The top side of the locking protrusions 206 is angled, while the bottom side is flat or horizontal. This structure allows a ratchet arm 210 from a keyed collar 212 to slide down over the locking protrusion 206 as the keyed collar 212 is pushed into place over the post 10 in a similar manner to the other embodiments described herein. The bottom side of the locking protrusion 206 is flat, which prevents the ratchet arm 210 and the keyed collar 212 from sliding up and off of the post 10 after the keyed collar 212 is locked in place. Alternatively each locking protrusion can have the form of a detent (not depicted) or an other suitable form, according to aspects of the present invention.

The gear rack 200 also serves as the key protrusion, which rotationally locks the post 10 and the gear rack with the keyed collar 212 and the bollard body 35 to prevent rotation of the bollard body 35 with respect to the post 10. The gear rack 200 itself is sized and dimensioned to be the key protrusion and to fit within the slot of the keyed collar 212.

According other aspects of the present invention, the gear rack 200 can be formed of a hard plastic, including but not limited to polyethylene, a nylon, etc. Alternatively, the gear rack 200 can be formed of a metal, including but not limited to aluminum, steel, sheet metal, etc. The gear rack 200 can likewise be formed of a combination of materials that include a hard plastic and a metal.

FIG. 14 schematically depicts a method 250 for mounting a bollard body 35 to a post 10, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. Initially, a post 10 secured to a floor or secured to the ground 12 is provided (step 252). A gear rack 200 is provided on the post 10 (step 254) before or after securing the post 10 to the ground. A keyed collar 212 is moved downward along the post 10 and over the gear rack 200 (step 256). A ratchet arm 210 slides over each locking protrusion 206 of the gear rack, to lock a position of the keyed collar 212 relative to the gear rack 200 and the post 10 (step 258). The bollard body 35 is integral with the keyed collar 30. According to aspects of the present invention, the method can also include, before sliding the keyed collar 212 over the gear rack 200, rotating the keyed collar 212 about an axis defined by the post 10 until a key channel formed in the keyed collar 212 aligns with a key protrusion in the form of the gear rack 200 disposed on the post 10 (step 260).

Numerous modifications and alternative embodiments of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art in view of the foregoing description. Accordingly, this description is to be construed as illustrative only and is for the purpose of teaching those skilled in the art the best mode for carrying out the present invention. Details of the structure may vary substantially without departing from the spirit of the invention, and exclusive use of all modifications that come within the scope of the appended claims is reserved.