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Monthly Archives: July 2013

RUBBER QUALITY: UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT

The issue of rubber quality in fender systems is one that the market cannot continue to be complacent about.

A best writing paper typical fender system is constructed from both steel and rubber, and whilst the steel component will, rightly, undergo extensive testing to meet stringent standards, the importance of the fender’s rubber element is often overlooked.

In recent years, there has been a significant evolution in rubber manufacturing industries: we’ve seen the emergence of contract mixers, locations such as China and India becoming mainstream hubs, and the availability of a wider range of ingredients for rubber compounding.

These changes represent a break from tradition, and best practice in rubber compounding needs to keep pace.  The market must take the necessary steps to educate itself on this evolution and understand the effects these changes have on the performance and lifecycle of fenders.

We’ve recently launched a new whitepaper which delves into the issues of Velocity Factor (VF) and Temperature Factor (TF).  First introduced in PIANC’s “Guidelines for the design of fender systems, 2002” they should be applied to rubber fenders at the testing stage, to accurately ascertain performance in the field under varying compression times and temperatures.

Changing rubber compound ingredients have a direct effect on the characteristics of the fender and as such, VF and TF are greatly affected by the type of rubber used, be it natural or synthetic – and within that, virgin or recycled – and further still by the compound composition of the rubber.

VF and TF must be calculated and reported on a case by case basis.  Each is dependent on the make-up of the rubber compound, and as such, there is no “standard” factor that can be applied to calculate and report performance under varying velocities and temperatures. The degree of VF and TF applied will change depending on the rubber compound and, subsequently, from manufacturer to manufacturer.

PIANC’s recommendations for applying VF and TF are really only the beginning.  Suppliers need to make the appropriate investments in R&D to be able to underpin and substantiate their claims. Anecdotally, we’ve found that many actually copy factors which are not relevant to their products.

If suppliers aren’t able or willing to take the necessary steps to understand and be able to guarantee the quality of their products, then it’s essential that specifiers can to avoid throwing good money after bad on systems that are not fit for purpose.

To learn more, download the whitepaper. If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section or via our LinkedIn group.

TRELLEBORG STATE-OF-THE-ART FENDERS WIN THREE NEW LNG DEVELOPMENT CONTRACTS

Richard Hepworth, President, Trelleborg Marine Systems

Having earlier in the year been awarded the contracts to supply docking and mooring equipment and monitoring software to all three liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects on Queensland’s Curtis Island, Australia; we are proud to announce that we at Trelleborg have now been chosen to supply the Queensland Curtis LNG, Gladstone LNG and Australia Pacific LNG projects with industry leading SCN Super Cone and ANP Arch Fender Systems.

Our solution was selected after we worked closely with contractor John Holland Group, thanks to our comprehensive range of solutions and ability to support regulatory guidelines and hazardous area standards.

Queensland Curtis LNG is the world’s first project to turn coal seam gas into LNG. It is currently one of Australia’s largest capital infrastructure projects and will see an investment of over $20billion from 2010 to 2014, when it will provide cleaner hydrocarbon energy for export.

We are delighted to have been awarded the three contracts on Curtis Island and are looking forward to again working closely with John Holland Group to execute these demanding projects.

The award of these contracts is testament to our unrivalled industry expertise and reputation as a world leader in the design and manufacture of advanced, high-performance solutions. The award of the Queensland Curtis Island projects also highlights our commitment to the fast moving LNG market and provides an ideal opportunity to showcase our full portfolio of industry leading solutions.