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What are the best flexible barriers in the UK?


If you’re reading this article, you are probably looking for a durable, long-lasting industrial barrier system for your factory or warehouse. There are many options for industrial barrier systems, but this article is going to focus on the flexible polymer barrier systems offered by A-Safe, Boplan and MPM.

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A-Safe barriers are the most established in the UK, with their manufacturing and head office located here also. A-safe offers a full range of flexible barriers from pedestrian barriers to heavy plan barriers. Boplan also have an established presence in the UK however Boplan barriers are manufactured in Belgium. And like A-Safe, Boplan offer the full suite of products from pedestrian to heavy plant. MPM are the newest manufacturer of the three and they offer the full range of barriers with a supply and install service offered by Clarity VM in the UK. MPM barriers are manufactured in Italy.


So what's the difference?

A-Safe barrier systems were the first to bring their plastic barriers to market. These High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) barriers offer many advantages over traditional steel barriers - the biggest advantage being that they don't deform and bend like steel, and therefore maintain a smart visual barrier for longer, whilst also providing increased safety for pedestrians when the barriers are impacted by Manual Handling Equipment (MHE). The A-Safe barrier system is supplied manufactured to the correct size, ready for an easy installation.

Boplan offer a very similar range to A-Safe, also made from HDPE - This system looks similar to the A-Safe system with a clever locking mechanism to fix the rails into place. Impact ratings and cross-sectional sizing are also similar to A-Safe. Their HDPE barriers are also naturally corrosion-resistant, making them more suitable for use in harsh environments where moisture and chemical exposure is common.

MPM barriers are different from A-Safe and Boplan because they are made from modified PVC. Modified PVC is a type of PVC that has been altered through the addition of various additives or modifiers to enhance its properties for specific applications. It can be up to 400% stronger than HDPE - This allows for the profiles to be smaller/slimmer while maintaining the same impact resistance. Modified PVC also offers improved scuff resistance and, most importantly, achieves fire resistance class V0 (Self-extinguishing). Unlike A-Safe and Boplan, MPM have developed a flat-faced rail to prevent forks or pallets riding above or below it.

HDPE rails are typically round to maximize the impact resistance but with the enhanced strength of a PVC barrier, MPM are able to offer an improved safer solution.


So where would you choose an A-Safe barrier?

If you already have a factory fitted out with A-Safe barriers - It may make sense to maintain the same appearance. A-Safe may also be the lowest initial cost option as it is UK manufactured, has less delivery miles, and is usually more cost-effective as they are made from HDPE, which tends to be cheaper than modified PVC.


Where would you choose a Boplan system?

It may be possible to mix and match Boplan with A-Safe. so, if you have a factory fitted out with Boplan barriers - It may make sense to keep the appearance with the large diameter round rails and easy installation system.


And where would you choose an MPM barrier system?

If space is a premium, MPM would be your best option, MPM offer the smallest ‘footprint’ while maintaining a high safety and impact rating. Another unique feature with MPM Barrier systems is that they are redeployable - the system is designed to be modular and can be simply cut to size on site or extensions added - many customers find that they are regularly reconfiguring their factories and this feature saves a lot of time and money.

Finally, the choice between A-Safe Barriers, Boplan or MPM comes down to your own personal preferences, If fire resistance, long term cost savings or space occupied by the barriers is of no concern to you then A-Safe or Boplan may be the best low-cost option. If you like the sound of a modular system with a V0 fire rating - reach out to Clarity VM for a quote today.

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