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Diamond Brite Metals Case Study Series: Bollards for Newark Airport

Editor’s Note:

Diamond Brite Metals—the country’s most comprehensive architectural and commercial polishing facility—has attempted to generate informational and original content for customers and social media followers. These posts include market analysis, project details and informational guides. Our ultimate hope is that you find these blog posts not only intellectually stimulating but also helpful in understanding Diamond Brite Metals services and capabilities as a commercial and architectural polishing facility. These case studies are distillations of real commercial and architectural polishing issues faced by Diamond Brite Metals. We have selected case studies on their relevance to commercial and architectural metals polishing with the hope that they provide our readers with a map for navigating some of metals polishing’s pitfalls. These case studies will be placed on Diamond Brite Metals’ website for the convenience of our current customers and for reference for potential customers. Note: No identifying information will be included but for the project’s location.

Case Study Name: Bollards for Newark Airport in New Jersey

Issues: 1) Selecting the Right Surface Finish and 2) Fabrication of Bollards


Around 2013, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (“Port Authority”) commissioned the installation of over one thousand (1000) structural stainless steel bollards for the perimeter of Newark Airport. Due to its renowned reputation for architectural polishing, Diamond Brite Metals became involved with the project. However, the project faced two hurdles: 1) choosing the correct surface finish and 2) lowering cost of fabrication.


Choosing the Correct Surface Finish

The project’s specifications, designed by the architects and implemented by the general contractor, called for a non-directional finish (also known as “angel hair” or “vibration”). After receiving Diamond Brite Metals’ quote for this architectural finish, the general contractor inquired whether the finish could be altered to lower costs and lead time. Management at Diamond Brite Metals informed the general contractor that less labor intensive finishes would be cheaper and more expedient but a lower quality finish would increase the maintenance required on the bollards and increase the bollard’s cost of life cycle. Since the bollards are placed in highly trafficked areas, they would be susceptible to minor incidental damage. A non-directional finish, while initially labor intensive and more expensive, would be cheaper to repair than a #4 or #6 finish. The orbital scratch pattern would be easier to buff out than a satin, brushed or long grain pattern. With this guidance, the architects and general contractor decided on the non-directional finish.

Lowering the Cost of Fabrication

The second hurdle was freight costs. To save on freight and lower lead times, Diamond Brite Metals requoted the job with bundled services of polishing, cut to length, and fabrication. The customer contracted with Diamond Brite Metals for not only polishing but also cut to length, bollard fabrication, and polishing out the weld lines. Diamond Brite Metals was able to expedite the project and substantially lower costs.


By being experts on architectural polishing and possessing other capabilities and the ability to bundle services, Diamond Brite Metals was able to advise design professionals on the correct surface finish and to lower costs for the customer.

Diamond Brite Metals welcomes and all metals polishing inquiry regardless of size. For architectural projects, please contact For all other inquiries, please contact



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