We’re pleased to announce that, last week, we launched a brand new whitepaper and webinar which aim to raise awareness of the importance of ingredient selection, mixing and the manufacturing process in marine fenders.
Building on our previous research into ingredient selection and its impact on fender performance, the new materials highlight that compound modulus – the relationship between stress and strain in a cured rubber sample – is a far more effective and robust measure of fender performance than the traditional ‘hardness’, which is currently used in the industry.
The new research has proven beyond doubt the need for a new measure of fender performance, as ‘hardness’ is unreliable and can be easily falsified. As such, we suggest that the industry moves towards measuring the modulus of rubber compounds, to ensure the characteristics of the fender are truly understood.
Compound modulus is the determining factor of a fender’s performance, and highly impacted by the dispersion of filler in the rubber. This dispersion, in turn, is dependent on the mixing process, the quality of which is determined by the machinery used.
We have discovered that even a superior rubber formulation – one which uses natural rubber and reinforcing fillers – can be degraded if it is subjected to an inferior mixing process, ultimately producing a low performance compound and a low performance fender.
The uniformity of filler dispersion within the rubber is critical: poor dispersion can lead to damaging effects such as reduced service life, poor performance, poor appearance and even poor product uniformity.
Our new whitepaper discusses the importance of the machinery used to mix the ingredients: there are a number of related parameters that affect filler dispersion in the final mix, including ram pressure, rotor speed and design, coolant temperature and sequence.
The new whitepaper explores which machinery options are most effective and give manufacturers the most control over these critical factors.
The webinar goes into more detail on the importance of measuring modulus, including an examination of filler dispersion in compounds produced by different mixing machines.
We’d love you to read the whitepaper, and watch the webinar – and let us know what you think of the new research in the comments.
To download the whitepaper, “Rubber Fenders: Mixing it Up”, please click here.
To watch the webinar, “Assuring fender Performance”, please click here.