Key differences between steel barriers and plastic barriers

Key differences between steel barriers and plastic barriersPedestrian control barriers, whether steel or plastic, ultimately guide people to where you want them to go.  Helping with crowd control as well as safety and security. 

Both plastic and steel barrier fencing help to effectively outline walkways and perimeters offering complete barrier protection. 

These different types of crowd barriers have a lot in common. 

For example, their purpose and use (to keep areas secure and to keep people safe) are primarily the same; they’re both lightweight, flexible, easy to manoeuvre, straightforward to set up, stack, and store! 

Most fences also come with an interlocking option, so no gaps appear in the fencing, forming a continuous chain link.  This interlocking mechanism can be vitally important on construction sites that need to be kept safe and secure. 

However, for all, there are some similarities between steel and plastic safety barriers, there are some notable differences too. In this post, we look at these differences in a little further detail. 

Plastic pedestrian barriers vs. steel pedestrian barriers 

Metal pedestrian barriers 

Steel barriers or metal temporary security fencing offer users enhanced strength due to their material and construction makeup. 

Due to their robust and durable nature, steel barriers are ideal in high traffic areas where barriers can’t be easily breached. 

At Site Fencing, we also have anti-climb versions of steel barriers that are perfect for construction sites as they prevent anyone from scaling the fence!  Keeping your belongings, machinery, and valuable equipment safe and secure at all times. 

Hence, steel barriers can also be used to offer additional security as and when required. 

Plastic pedestrian barriers 

Available in a range of hi-vis colours, plastic barriers are great when safety is paramount, when you have teams working at night, or indeed in dimly lit areas. 

You will also find many businesses opt for plastic barriers with additional reflective designs. The option to hang signage from barriers is also welcomed, placing information or safety notices on these temporary panels. 

Plastic crowd control barriers also cause less harm if, for example, a pedestrian was to stumble into them or if the fence panels themselves were to fall onto a pedestrian or passer-by.  They’re also safer to touch, with no sharp edges that can often be found on steel fencing. 

Believe it or not, plastic barriers are incredibly robust, making them highly resistant to damage, while still offering a high level of protection and security. 

To help with stabilisation plastic barriers are available with standard feet or anti-trip feet (maximising pedestrian safety and convenience) – making these barriers the perfect choice in busy public areas. 

Easy to stack, assemble, and store, plastic crowd barriers for sale are always a popular option, especially when you need a temporary fencing solution, quick!  They boast incredible durability and strength, and unlike steel, these barriers aren’t rigid in their structure so they can handle large volumes of weight due to the give in the plastic. 

Function and Use of Pedestrian Barriers 

Depending on the function of these barriers and their intended use, it will all depend on which type of pedestrian barrier is best for you. 

For example, on construction sites where keeping the general public away from dangerous conditions, and while maintaining high security and safety of equipment is vital, steel barriers will be the best option.  

They are much more robust and are well suited to building sites in this capacity.  Anti-climb fencing and steel mesh fencing can also be used to increase safety and security when and where required. 

Alternatively, hi-vis plastic barriers can guide pedestrians away from certain areas, i.e., road works or minor excavations.  The anti-trip feet will also help reduce potential hazards, and due to their design, plastic barriers look much less obtrusive than steel! 

Weather and the environment where these barriers are placed will have an impact on the different types of temporary fencing used. 

For example, in extreme weather conditions and high rainfall, we recommend the use of galvanised steel pedestrian barriers.  Robust, durable, and known to stay in place! 

However, plastic barriers do offer some wind resistance, especially water-filled barriers, which are ideal in extremely windy conditions. 

Site Fencing offers a range of temporary fencing solutions available to meet a wide range of needs. 

Our fences are all high quality and offer considerable stability, durability, and security – providing you with complete peace of mind. 

If you would like any additional information on our plastic and steel barriers, our expert team at Site Fencing is happy to help. 

Reference video: Chris Hopkirk

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