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Monthly Archives: August 2018

TRELLEBORG TO TALK SMARTPORT, TURNKEY LNG SOLUTIONS AT GASTECH 2018

By Richard Hepworth, President of Trelleborg’s marine systems operation


Trelleborg will discuss SmartPort at Gastech in Barcelona (17-20 September), in addition to showcasing its range of game-changing LNG transfer technology. I am also delighted to reveal that as part of Gastech’s main conference program, my colleague Andrew Stafford, Technical Director at Trelleborg’s marine systems operation will present a technical paper discussing the latest in Ship-Shore Link (SSL) technology that has set the industry standard in large-scale LNG transfer for nearly 20 years. Vincent Lagarrigue, Director of Oil & Marine Hoses at Trelleborg’s oil and marine operation will also present a technical paper that outlines how cryogenic floating hose technology is unlocking new possibilities in small to medium-scale transfer and LNG bunkering.

On stand (K160), experts from Trelleborg’s marine systems operation will be on hand to discuss SmartPort, a technology platform that powers the critical interface between ship and port, on land and at sea. The SmartPort platform connects port operations, allowing operators to analyze asset performance and use data to improve decision making. The system integrates assets like fenders, mooring equipment, ship performance monitoring, and navigation systems through a network of sensors.

Trelleborg’s oil and marine operation will be highlighting how their Cryoline floating cryogenic hoses technology is transforming LNG transfer operations in both near-shore and offshore environments. Cryoline technology was specially developed to address pressing infrastructure challenges in the LNG market, enabling turnkey projects that drastically reduce the capex and environmental impact of LNG import infrastructure. It also opens up new locations to ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship transfer, even in challenging weather conditions, and increases safety and operability of FLNG loading and offloading by enabling transfer in tandem configuration.

Trelleborg is able to provide the most integrated and configurable solutions at every interface of the LNG transfer operation. However, realizing the critical interface between ship and port, on land and at sea, SmartPort provides a unique overview of the ‘vessel turnaround’ process, and data extraction points throughout it – both on board the vessel and in the port, and in the interface between the two. We look forward to exhibiting a number of solutions within our SmartPort portfolio including AutoMoor, a rope-free automated mooring system for smarter, safer and more efficient berthing operations; SafePilot, a new generation of piloting and navigation software; as well as our Integrated SSL and Emergency ShutDown System (ESDS) for both large and small-scale LNG transfer and fueling. We’ll also showcase our Quick Release Hooks (QRH) which enable mooring lines to be safely secured and quickly released; as well as its SmartDock Laser Docking Aid System for vessel approach and berthing operations.

In addition to the latest in SSL technology, Andrew’s session will highlight how close co-operation between all parties has enabled Q-LNG to develop their LNG bunkering project from the early adoption for the Harvey Gulf OSV fleet through to the latest requirements for fully flexible bunker vessels. The presentation will also discuss how process safety is improved and training is facilitated by using digital fiber optic link technology with redundancy to ensure compatibility with ESD systems, telephony and cargo process data from any LNG fuelled vessels.

Together, these technologies enable revolutionary new models and thinking for LNG transfer, unlocking new possibilities throughout the transfer zone. Vincent’s session will explore how this was demonstrated in September 2017, when technology from both operations was used in the first sea launch of the Universal Transfer System (UTS), a plug-and-play turnkey developed with Connect LNG. The success of this launch demonstrated the vast potential for new infrastructure possibilities that Trelleborg’s technology enables.

For more information, come and see us on stand K160 at Gastech.

 

GUARANTEEING FENDER PERFORMANCE

By Richard Hepworth, President, Trelleborg’s marine systems operation

Trelleborg Fender System

The Thermo-Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) test, adopted by many high quality fender manufacturers, determines whether fenders have been produced using a technically superior rubber formulation that includes little or no recycled rubber and only reinforcing fillers like carbon black.

Reinforcing fillers improve the mechanical properties of rubber. However, contrary to the belief of some across the industry, non-reinforcing fillers such as white calcium carbonate (CaCO3), actually reduces the lifespan of a fender, especially when used in larger quantities. CaCO3 is not a substitute for the carbon black used in high quality fenders.

Considerable research has been carried out over the years on the use of CaCO3 in rubber formulations. It is added to rubber to lower costs, improve processing and impart a lighter color. However, CaCO3 provides very little reinforcement to the rubber. Naturally obtained CaCO3 (ground CaCO3) has poor polymer-filler interaction due to its coarse particle size and its large surface area. Therefore, the rubber compound has poor adhesion and tear resistance.

Some manufacturers make use of large quantities of CaCO3 in the compound formulation of fenders to achieve lower cost. However, while more CaCO3 in a rubber formula may have its advantages in the processing of the compound and lower cost, it negatively impacts the primary aging properties over time, leading to a lower lifespan of the fender.

But, chemical testing is not enough. Full scale testing on prototypes and finished products should also be performed in the manufacturing facility to guarantee that the fenders meet lifecycle and performance specifications. This needs to be verified by testing a randomly chosen fender either at an independent facility, or, by using an independent testing jig.

Although deployed at a manufacturer’s facility using their own test frame, an Independent test rig provides a witness (third party or consultant) with real-time independent testing data captured and shown on an external display. Results are also printed in real-time providing witnesses with direct access to the data. What’s more, load cell and deflection measuring devices can be calibrated on the spot or by an external party independently, outside of the control of the fender manufacturer. Meanwhile test data obtained from the rig can be compared with that reported by manufacturers using their own measuring devices.

It’s vital that the industry understands that the substitution of carbon black with non-reinforcing fillers, such as CaCO3, means that equipment will need to be replaced earlier, and in the long term, result in heavier investment, not to mention the higher risks of failure during service life. Port owners and specifiers also need to educate themselves on the testing methods that can guarantee that the performance of their fenders meet specifications.

For more on Trelleborg’s research into the importance of ingredient selection, mixing and the manufacturing process in marine fenders, please refer to the ‘Guaranteeing Fender Performance’ and ‘Rubber Fenders: Mixing it Up’ whitepapers.