Frequently Asked Questions

sustainable ground socket

Here you will find answers to commonly asked questions

If you cannot find the answer you are looking for please contact us on +618 9248 5545


+ What size post can be secured using the Smart Sustainable Foundations?

  1. 60 OD (50 NB) CHS posts (from 2.3 to solid steel bars) 
  2. Large diameter bollards use the Smart Impact Recovery System to secure them on the Smart Sustainable Foundations

    You can secure anything from a small cafe table (making it a stable table) to signage, roadside infrastructure, bollards, fencing, outdoor furniture such as seating, even large football posts, flagpoles, sports equipment and traffic light columns on the Smart Sustainable Foundations

    We are now developing Sustainable Foundations in 76 mm for the European market and 114 mm diameter for traffic light columns.


    + What depth socket should I use?

    NB: The socket is simply a shield to protect the foundations from damage and make items removable from the concrete foundation- it will not affect the size foundation required. The base must be made large enough to ensure it remains upright when the item is impacted. The size base really depends on the soil conditions, the size of the item, wind conditions and potential impact force (slower speed impact is actually worse than high speed as the post bend much easier upon high-speed impact). 

    The size base depends on the soil conditions, the size of the item, wind conditions and potential impact force (slower speed impact is actually worse than high speed as the post bend much easier upon high-speed impact). 


    • 150 mm sockets are for securing small items such as small signage on solid concrete traffic islands or footpaths, small barriers, bins, street furniture secured to solid concrete or asphalt foundations.

    • 350 mm is standard depth used for most applications used to secure any post, bin, bollard, barrier or item of street furniture (you can secure foundation to road-base or asphalt, and can bell out the concrete base to improve stability).

    • 650 mm is used for large items such as large signage, large statues, football posts and large bollards installed using stand-alone foundations secured into soil (cannot be secured to existing concrete or asphalt foundation)

     Click here for more details


    + What do you mean by sustainable?

    Smart Sustainable Foundations are physically, financially and environmentally sustainable.

    PHYSICALLY SUSTAINABLE: More resilient. Sustainable means the ability to endure. The Smart Sustainable Foundations are the ONLY securing device that will continue working effectively for as long as the concrete foundation it is installed in (the better the grade of concrete the longer the potential lifespan) as long as it has been installed and maintained correctly. 

    Install sockets when laying foundations to create self-healing developments that will outlast traditional developments. Retro-fit to heal existing developments one foundation at a time and substantially improve the lifespan of a development.


    FINANCIALLY SUSTAINABLE: Eradicating capital intensive maintenance practices. Foundations become re-usable. No expensive maintenance (no expensive traffic management required, no on-going concrete or paving supplies, No tipping fees; workplace injury; cost of heavy equipment such as grinders and jackhammers; no costly delays or resulting litigation, No cost of dial before you dig; damage to underground services and so many other variables that are costing road authorities millions every year. This makes it far easier to budget for future maintenance as the only cost is labour and as hundreds of variables are removed every job is on-time and on-budget and you continue saving for decades


    ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE: Eradicating resource intensive maintenance practices. No concrete or highly carbon intensive supplies required for maintenance. Relocatable foundations enable mine sites to leave behind no carbon footprint when relocating the infrastructure for a mine site. All other Smart components are low cost and reusable.



    + What happens when items are impacted?

    If impacted posts bend at ground level and are simply levered out using the foot tool or base of the industrial tool.  If a post is sheared off there's a tool for that- works every time guaranteed! Click here for details


    + What makes them SMART?

    The Smart Sustainable Foundations are made from what is referred to as "Smart Plastic" that has memory properties that enable it to absorb impact and return to its original shape without damage. It is highly durable and the plastic most resistant to impact. Because of its structure, isotactic polypropylene has the highest crystallinity, resulting in good mechanical properties such as stiffness and tensile strength. This Smart self-healing plastic will endure year after year, reducing costs for generations.

    Made from recycled petroleum waste, the production of polypropylene actually reduces environmental impact and is considered the most environmentally friendly plastic. As it protects the surrounding foundations from the damage the use of the Smart Taper actually removes the need for ongoing supplies of carbon intensive concrete and paving- environmentally Smart.

    The Smart taper-lock uses a very Smart, very simple locking principle (The Morse Taper principle- see below for details) that enables items to "automatically" lock in using no breakable components such as pins, padlocks or metal components that can be damaged when impacted, and unlike metal sockets that deteriorate over time, the internal of the socket is tapered so water, dirt, and grit do not adversely affect the locking action - The Smart Taper is simply smarter in so many ways.


    + How do posts lock into the Socket "automatically"?

    The Smart Taper is designed using an age-old engineering principle referred to as the Morse Taper (named after the inventor). The Self-locking Morse Taper was designed for large metal drill bits to ensure they did not become loose during operation because of the dirt, grit and constant vibrations (the Taper actually locks in tighter when the item is vibrating- from wind or vandals).

    The internal of the ground socket is tapered identically to the Smart Taper and uses friction to lock in tight (with over 200 kg of upward force required to remove the item from the socket). Items cannot become loose or unstable in the socket and dirt and grit does not adversely affect the locking action. Keeps working impact after impact. Smart Urban has patented the application of this principle to the securing of posts


    + Are Smart Sustainable Foundations Approved by Road Authorities?

    Yes it is the only securing device approved for use by all Australian Road Authorities. MRWA has approved the use of CHS posts on its network to enable the application of the Smart Sustainable Foundations. Click here for details


    + If they are so good, why are they so cheap?

    No item of infrastructure (if not impacted by vehicles) will a last the entire lifetime of a development without fading, rusting or simply growing tired and requiring replacement.  We wanted to ensure it was financially viable to secure all items on the Smart Sustainable Foundations and not limit its application to vulnerable items 

    We have invested a great deal of money to ensure cities can afford to apply the sustainable foundations universally. As an example of our commitment, we have not had to increase the price in over a decade. 


    + Who has used Smart products?

    More than one hundred thousand units installed in Australia since 2003, Japan since 2004 and Europe since 2005 and no unit has ever required replacing in this time. We have hundreds of happy users happy to recommend the system and provide testimonials. Click here for photos and details.



    Can I download Directions and Specifications? 

    Yes, click here for a list of specifications, and User Manual


    + What material is the Smart Taper made from?

    Polypropylene (considered the most environmentally friendly of all plastics) is made from recycled petroleum waste. It was also selected due to its resistance to impact and excellent memory properties. Sockets will continue working effectively year after Year! Many thousands of sockets have been installed nationally and internationally with the first sockets installed over a decade ago and continue working today! Not one socket has ever required replacing.


    + Can the Smart Sustainable Foundations become brittle or crack?

    The Smart Sustainable Foundations are made from what is referred to as “Smart Plastic” as it is made from a plastic that is highly durable and resistant to impact. It has memory properties that enable it to absorb impact and return to its original shape without damage. It will not fade, crack or become brittle. The only thing that can adversely affect polypropylene is sun but as the unit is installed beneath the surface it is not subject to sunlight. NB: ground sockets must be installed flush with surface to protect from damage when item is impacted (refer to specifications)


    + What Testing has the Smart Taper undergone?

    Thoroughly laboratory and field tested with thousands of units installed over more than a decade (not one has required replacing in more than a decade). Independently Impact tested. Tested and Approved by N.S.W R.M.S and WA Main Roads Dept. Awarded DOH&S Worksafe Award. The award recognizes outstanding OHS solutions and innovation in Western Australian workplaces. Only device approved nationally


    + Can the Smart Taper fade, become brittle or crack?

    The Smart Taper is made from what is referred to as "Smart Plastic" as it is made from a plastic that is highly durable and resistant to impact. It has memory properties that enable it to absorb impact and return to its original shape without damage. It will not fade, crack or become brittle. The only thing that can adversely effect polypropylene is sun but as the unit is installed beneath the surface it is not subject to sunlight. NB: ground sockets must be installed flush with surface to protect from damage (refer to installation instructions)



    + Can we alter the depth of the socket on location?

    Smart socket can be truncated at any horizontal rib and the removed section can be inverted and secured firmly in the base of the socket (Smart sealant provided) to prevent concrete entering the socket during installation (Taper must be shortened from base to fit the new depth of the socket)



    + Can posts spin around or become loose?

    No, if installed according to instructions the Smart Taper holds fast and items secured on the Smart Taper cannot spin or become loose. It is, for this reason, it was used in mine-sites to hold very large drill bits subject to constant vibration. refer to Self-locking Morse Taper principle for more evidence. NB: By altering the position of the Taper on the item (moving it up the post a few mm) you can reduce the locking capacity an enable removal of items by hand. For this reason, it is imperative that instructions are followed.


    + What makes the Smart Taper different to metal & other plastic sockets?

    1. Metal is not resistant to impact, so is not particularly suitable for securing a traffic sign or bollard that is more likely than not to be impacted during the life of the development. Over time the device will become a litigation risk and need replacing. PVC and standard off the shelf plastics are not resistant to impact, becoming brittle over time and shattering. SOLUTION: The Smart Taper is made from self-healing polypropylene that protects surrounding foundations from damage. Smart sockets NEVER need replacing.


    1. Metal sockets and base plates are unsafe: Metal ground sockets and securing devices distort when impacted, or the ground anchors can be dislodged making items unstable, resulting in dangerous litigation risks from trip factors or worse still - items becoming dangerous projectiles. For this reason, they are being phased out by many organizations that have suffered from costly litigation, which will only increase as the years pass and populations increase. SOLUTION: The Self-locking Taper locks in tighter when items are impacted- they cannot become loose or unstable and items cannot be removed by vandals. Socket is installed flush with the surface and can be capped, so when an item is removed there are no trip factors.

    2. Metal sockets are costly to maintain: Items often lock into metal sockets due to corrosion, dirt or grit, becoming unstable over time, causing ongoing maintenance and litigation risks. Even galvanized or aluminum sockets cannot withstand both impact and rust over time.SOLUTION: The Smart socket cannot rust or corrode and items cannot become loose or be removed by vandals. Only maintenance is when an item is impacted and the Smart taper works every time (cannot rust or corrode or become stuck).


    1. Metal sockets cause damage to surrounding foundations. Metal sockets do not protect surrounding foundations when items are impacted, causing costly damage to foundations substantially reducing the lifespan of a development and resulting in ongoing landfill.SOLUTION: The Smart Taper is made from self-healing polypropylene, that absorbs the impact and protects the surrounding foundations from damage for the entire life of a development. Zero waste, Zero landfill for generations


    1. Rust & Corrosion a litigation risk: In the unlikely event that an item was not impacted within 100 years metal sockets will not last 100 years as they rust, corrode and become dangerous litigation risks and need replacing (a costly exercise). SOLUTION: We then investigated a means of securing items without using pins or breakable components and discovered the Morse Taper that locks extremely large items in using only friction. The combination of these two factors ensures the Smart Taper keeps working year after year- impact after impact.


    1. Metal sockets must be retrofitted: Metal sockets must be retrofitted creating two jobs and damaging the integrity of the foundations from day1. SOLUTION: Smart Taper can be installed when laying the foundations saving an enormous amount of time and money. No additional concrete or paving, no digging or heavy labour, no temporary signage or disturbance to the public, no traffic management.


    1. Metal devices cost more to buy: Metal securing devices surprisingly cost more than the Smart Taper to buy and as metal costs continue to increase so does the cost of metal devices! Often ground anchors are needed to secure base plates - which cost more than a complete Smart Taper unit. The only other sustainable securing device made from cast iron costs more than ten times the Smart Taper. SOLUTION: We use a method of production that is low cost so the Smart Taper is economical enough to use on all items of infrastructure.


    1. Metal and concrete are highly carbon intensive and finite resources that must be replaced several times during the life of a development. SOLUTION: The Smart Taper is made from recycled petroleum waste, is considered the most environmentally friendly plastic available and is recyclable. No concrete required to install (if installed when laying foundations) or maintain Smart foundations for the life of the development (100 years or more).


    1. Metal sockets and surrounding foundations become landfill and often if the item has rusted or corroded it also becomes landfill. SOLUTION: The Smart Taper protects developments from damage indefinitely. Zero damage, Zero landfill and as items are not secured directly in concrete they also become recyclable. Zero waste, Zero landfill for generations.


    1. All fixing devices (metal and plastic) have perpendicular sides to the ground socket and over time Dirt, grit and water enter the socket and cause items to lock in or be unable to lock in securely. SOLUTION: The Smart Taper has an internally tapered ground socket that enables the Taper (with an identical Taper) to lock in using friction. This creates a tight seal from the top to the bottom of the Taper and ensures dirt and grit will not adversely affect the locking action. This is a patented principle so no other device can use this action to lock in posts. This is what makes the Smart Taper so unique in design and ensures it keeps working year after year and will NEVER need replacing.

    2. Cheaper plastics are not durable, often cracking under pressure or drying out over time and becoming  brittle. SOLUTION: This new breed of Smart plastics are not only impact resistant, they actually self-heal. This plastic is light years ahead of other plastic blends- like Colonel Sanders our recipe is a well-guarded secret but we can assure you it will outlast any other plastics in this environment (and it is considered the worlds most environmentally friendly plastic!)


    1. Items secured on other fixing devices are not interchangeable. Metal sockets secure only one dimension of post and items are not interchangeable. SOLUTION: using Smart sustainable foundations items become interchangeable making developments far easier to reconfigure and upgrade. Barriers, bins, signage, seating can be secured on the same socket. remove a bin, install a bollard.


    You can use bollards to block off a busy street to traffic in the evening and install cafe tables creating a safe cafe strip by night. Bollards can be removed to enable traffic to flow freely during the day. Install status and change them regularly to keep your city interesting. Get creative- make your city dynamic!


    The foundations for a better future



    • PayPal