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Tag Archives: fender systems

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.

THE EVOLUTION OF FENDER BEST PRACTICE

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

Ports need to have the confidence that their equipment is fit for purpose to fully protect terminals and berthing vessels, while keeping the port running safely and efficiently. Fenders are an essential part of this port infrastructure and as such their ability to perform reliably day-in, day-out is also essential.

However, not all fenders are made equal, and even those that appear to be made out of the same material, such as rubber, differ significantly in terms of performance. This is down to a number of factors and familiarization with these could mean the difference between a good investment and a bad one. As the economy has become increasingly global, it is more difficult to be fully confident in the performance and provenance of some products. Some unscrupulous suppliers are taking the opportunity to undercut reputable fender manufacturers. We have been working for years to prevent this. And now, I have some exciting news to share.

Since the establishment of PIANC’s 2002 Guidelines for the Design of Fender Systems there has been a number of evolutions in vessel design and industry applications, as well as advances in the design of fender systems themselves. As a result, Trelleborg has spent the last eight years relentlessly lobbying for updates to the guidelines with substantial investment in research highlighting the importance of understanding how ingredients for fenders are selected, how they are manufactured and how they are tested.

With that in mind, I am delighted to reveal that PIANC has announced the establishment of a new WG (MarCom Working Group 211), which will consult with a number of leading fender suppliers, including Trelleborg, with the objective of updating its 2002 guidelines – marking a significant step towards industry-wide fender best practice.

These changes will include updated guidance on the design, manufacture and testing of fender systems, including both the rubber element of the system and associated components. The group will also review guidelines for durability, maintenance and repair of fender systems and the implications of automated mooring systems on fender design. As such, we relish the discussion of our research into rubber compound composition, velocity and temperature Factors, manufacturing methods and testing.

It’s safe to say that we at Trelleborg look forward to working closely with PIANC and other leading manufacturers to ensure the new guidelines, when they become available, reflect the needs of a changing industry – one which is has a number of opportunities to thrive through the use of smart technologies.

Additionally, while PIANC is undoubtedly an important standard bearer for quality and performance, we’re pleased that the updated guidelines will seek to reiterate that PIANC has no mandate to nor intention of enforcing standards across the industry. Recognizing that this lack of enforcement has seen a number of suppliers misuse the term ‘PIANC certification’, with some even claiming ‘PIANC approval’ (which does not exist), the updated guidelines will see a stricter line on the use of its name.

We’ve long supported the work of PIANC and our contribution to the forthcoming update to PIANC’s guidelines is not only the latest in a long history of collaborative work, but a fitting reward for the near decade of our tireless efforts to driving up standards for fender best practice.

 

 

2018 PIANC WORLD CONGRESS A SUCCESS!

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

A huge thanks to those of you that joined our technical presentations at PIANC’s World Congress in Panama City earlier this month. As ever, it was great to catch up with industry peers and debate the innovations and developments that have emerged in the last four years.

This year, my colleague Mishra Kumar, Technical Director – Marine Fenders, delivered a technical presentation that highlighted the fact that many fenders supplied to critical projects across the globe may not be fit for purpose thanks to the ease at which unscrupulous manufacturers can dupe fender performance testing results. Mishra discussed the need for improved guidelines to enable the independent authentication of fender performance and provided an overview of a new, more accurate verification test, as we at Trelleborg have long called for. Intriguingly, we know that PIANC has some rather exciting news in this area which will be revealed in due course.

My colleague Tommy Mikkelsen, Managing Director of our Danish Operations, also took to the stage to discuss how ports and vessel performance will be further shaped by data and smart technologies. He showcased current case studies and highlighted a number of new technical innovations that we’re evolving to support data-driven best practices.

On stand, visitors were able to try our newly updated online fender selection tool designed to allow specifiers to select and specify the most appropriate fender for their application. I am delighted to say that this proved a big hit with visiting consultants, engineers and designers, all keen to find out the extent to which they can make their jobs a little easier. So too did SafePilot, our flagship product within the navigation piloting category, as well as Automoor, our rope-free, automated mooring system.

It’s safe to say that The PIANC World Congress was undoubtedly a hugely enjoyable and insightful event for all that attended. A huge thank you to PIANC for organizing and of course those of you that came to see us on stand.  I look forward to the next one!

 

TRELLEBORG MARINE SYSTEMS TO EXHIBIT AT SEA JAPAN 2018

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

We will be exhibiting our portfolio of advanced marine fender system solutions, docking and mooring equipment, oil and gas transfer technology and piloting solutions at Sea Japan 2018, to be held from 11 to 13 April at the Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition Center in Tokyo, Japan.

Attracting more than 19,000 visitors from across the globe, Sea Japan is the country’s largest and fastest growing international commercial marine show.  Sea Japan provides the ideal platform to showcase our comprehensive range of advanced, high performance solutions to one of Trelleborg’s key markets. Japan, being a highly quality-driven market, complements the Trelleborg ethos and our unwavering commitment to taking a smarter approach to port and terminal efficiency.

On stand, we will showcase SafePilot, our new generation of navigation & piloting software, designed by a dedicated team of software programmers working closely together with worldwide maritime pilots. The result is the most professional and user friendly PPU (Portable Pilot Unit) software. A touch screen interface allows quick interaction to make piloting smoother. The instant zoom function and new intelligent chart structure improves response and decision-making times, giving pilots greater control and accuracy in maneuver.

SafePilot is part of SmartPort, our answer to the need for a standardized way to collect and use data. It’s a technology platform that connects port operations, allowing users to analyze asset performance and apply data insights, to improve day-to-day decision making for optimized operations; improved safety, reduced costs, greater sustainability and increased revenue return. Putting our customers’ needs at the center, SmartPort is setting the true course for consistent commercial success, now and for the future.

To find out more, visit Trelleborg at Sea Japan 2018 on booth number P-48.

RAISING THE BAR FOR PNEUMATIC FENDER MANUFACTURE

By Mishra Kumar, Technical Director for Marine Fenders at Trelleborg’s marine systems operation

Trelleborg’s marine systems operation has launched a new whitepaper highlighting the impact of the manufacturing process on the performance, safety, and longevity of pneumatic fenders.

Titled ‘Pneumatic Fenders: Manufacturing Methods Matter’, the whitepaper explores the difference in fenders manufactured using the airbag manufacturing method without employing a mold, and fenders manufactured conventionally using a mold, to highlight the impact of the manufacturing process on fender quality.

Pneumatic fenders are extensively used for ship-to-ship transfers mid sea, double banking operations, and as vessel-to-berth at dock/jetties. Therefore it is vital that they are not only of high quality, but are extremely reliable, to guarantee effective performance in even the harshest environmental conditions.

Each and every pneumatic fender must comply with the ISO 17357-1:2014 standard to ensure they follow the correct manufacturing process. The major concern for the industry is that there is an influx of manufacturers employing airbag production methods resulting in fenders that don’t usually comply with all of the recommended manufacturing process guidelines or compound properties as specified under the ISO 17357-1:2014 standard.

By using the conventional method, whereby the entire fender is built inside a mold and vulcanized with it in an autoclave, a clear positive impact is seen on the appearance, dimensional stability and the bonding between layers, leading to a more reliable and long lasting fender.

To read the whitepaper, visit: http://ow.ly/QYNt30itWOP

 

TRELLEBORG RECEIVES HILTI ANCHOR DESIGN TRAINING

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

Trelleborg’s marine systems operation recently became the first marine fender manufacturer globally to receive extensive anchor design software training from Hilti, after hosting the manufacturer of chemical anchor fasteners at its Engineering and Design Center of Excellence in Ahmedabad, India.

The training saw Hilti experts showcase how Trelleborg engineers can utilize their software to calculate the required resin length for anchors up to M39 in size. Other areas of in-depth analysis included the types of chemicals used in Hilti’s anchor fasteners, their bond strengths and how its fasteners are installed on concrete berthing structures.

Mission critical equipment such as fender systems need to be installed correctly, and anchors play a fundamental role in ensuring that they are, and that they can successfully provide a first line of defence for ports.

With a superior resin strength to its competitors, Hilti’s wide range of injectable mortars are widely regarded as the leading solution used at ports and terminals across the globe. Therefore, it is vital that when designing our anchors, our team ensure they are fully compatible with Hilti’s mortars. The training provided us with everything we need to know to do so.

To accommodate increasing vessel sizes with optimal performance and efficiency, many of Trelleborg’s fenders require anchors larger than M39 in size, beyond the remit of Hilti’s anchor design software. Therefore our engineers have established a proprietary tool to calculate the required resin length for such anchors.

Hilti’s training provided the ideal platform to validate the calculation tool that our team has developed internally, and with the help of their experts establish industry testing requirements for chemical anchors larger than M39, helping to eliminate the use of low quality chemical anchor fasteners across the globe.

Trelleborg’s Hilti training is part of a new initiative for engineers at our Engineering and Design Center of Excellence. The initiative provides practical exposure to those that primarily work in a software-based environment.

 

TALKING TECHNICALITIES: TRELLEBORG FENDER SEMINARS

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

I’m very pleased to announce Trelleborg is the platinum sponsor of PIANC Australia’s Technical Workshop on Fenders on June 15, 2017. My colleague, Mishra Kumar, our Global Technical Director will also present at the event, on the topic of ‘Ensuring Fender Performance through Physical and Material Testing Specification’.

We’ve long supported the work of PIANC and our contribution to the forthcoming technical seminar is just the latest in a long history of collaborative work. We look forward to joining peers from other leading companies at the event, to share our latest ideas and best practice.

We will also be hosting two of our own technical seminars in Australia, in Perth on the 12th June, and one in Brisbane on the 14th June. These seminars will see Trelleborg experts discuss rubber fender design, technology and testing, pneumatic fender design and application, as well as foam fender design and application.

We’re also the Platinum Sponsor of PIANC’s Annual General Assembly (AGA) in Cairns, Australia, which takes place from 17 – 20 June.

To register for either of the Trelleborg seminars, please visit: https://goo.gl/Zo21AK

For further details on PIANC Australia’s Technical Workshop on fenders, go to: http://aga2017.com.au/btv/

 

 

FENDER MAINTENANCE LACKING, LEADING TO DISPROPORTIONATE FAILURE RATES

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

Our fifth annual Barometer Report, which discusses the issues impacting ports and terminals around the globe, has revealed that over 60% of the port owners, operators, consultants and contractors surveyed have experienced unscheduled downtime due to fender damage. This is a huge increase compared to the last report in 2014, when only 20% cited it as a contributing factor.

At the same time, 25% of those surveyed expect fender systems to have a life expectancy of at least ten years. This is a reasonable expectation, but not when taking in to consideration that respondents are not placing enough importance on regular inspections and maintenance. This is because only 36% carry out maintenance annually, while over 60% of those surveyed said that they, or their clients only carried out inspections and maintenance every two to ten years, far below the recommended frequency of every 12 months.

It’s clear there’s still work to be done to ensure fender maintenance is given the importance it deserves. However, this is only half the story – before maintenance becomes an issue, fenders must be manufactured correctly, using the best design and the right materials and go through stringent testing to make absolutely sure these mission critical components protect port infrastructure over a long and demanding service life, minimizing maintenance requirements.

Fender systems can have very low failure rates and minimal inspection requirements. However, to do so they need to be specified correctly and manufactured using the right materials. For example, the modulus of the rubber compound – the relationship between stress and strain in a cured rubber sample – is one of the determining factor of a fender’s performance, and highly impacted by the dispersion of carbon black filler in the rubber. The level of dispersion, in turn, is dependent on the mixing process, the quality of which is determined by the machinery used in the production of the rubber compound.

After manufacture, fenders must be subjected to rigorous materials and full-scale testing. To ensure they consistently meet working demands and environmental conditions over their lifetime, they need to be maintained correctly. Given the lack of regular inspections and maintenance, it’s unsurprising that 50% of port owners are saying they have had to upgrade their fender systems within the last ten years.

To download the Barometer Report 5, visit: http://ow.ly/VmYR3

TRELLEBORG SUPPORTS PIANC IN EVOLVING FENDER BEST PRACTICE

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

Trelleborg’s marine systems operation has committed to supporting PIANC as the industry body focuses efforts on evolving best practice guidance for fender systems, in an effort to drive up standards and improve safety across the industry.

Trelleborg is committed to assisting PIANC wherever possible and has been a PIANC Platinum Partner since 2014. The company recently increased its involvement with the PIANC Young Professionals Commission, in particular.

We have a longstanding association with PIANC and support the important work the organization does in setting guidance for ports and vessels alike. Recently however, we’ve really focused on backing the Young Professionals’ programs run by PIANC.

I see these as the most critical audience, since the young engineers being trained and supported now will go on to shape the future of our industry. With the world we are living in changing so rapidly, we must make sure they are well placed to evolve our industry and ensure we remain relevant within it.”

Trelleborg sponsored the 2nd PIANC YP-COM Asian Seminar in the Philippines, with our materials expert, Mishra Kumar, speaking on ‘New trends and the development of fenders’. Pablo Arecco, YP-Com Chairman also visited our facility in the Philippines with two young people from the PIANC’s Commission.

During PIANC’s Singapore Young Professional’s event the following week, Louis van Schel, Secretary-General at PIANC, and other young people from the commission were invited to Trelleborg’s marine systems office in Singapore and its fender manufacturing facility. Trelleborg and PIANC held extensive talks on the best way to approach potential updates to PIANC’s 2002 ‘Guidelines for the Design of Fender Systems’, in order to ensure falsified test certification is eliminated from the industry.

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TRELLEBORG TO SHOWCASE NAVIGATION BUOYS AT SEAWORK 2016 INTERNATIONAL

Trelleborg’s marine systems operation will showcase its innovative range of IALA compliant modular navigation buoys at Seawork 2016 International from the 14 to 16 June at Mayflower Park, Southampton, England.

Building on the strength of a long-standing foam elastomer and marine aluminium superstructure system, we boast a comprehensive range of polyethylene constructed navigation buoys, completing our portfolio of navigation and marker buoys to suit all environments.

With that in mind, Seawork provides the ideal platform to showcase our modular system, which provides an easily transported option to cut down turnaround time and enable fast installation, as they can be shipped in sections and assembled on site.

Manufactured from impact resistant, colour-fast, UV stable materials and comprising of sectional hull pieces filled with marine grade, water-resistant foam, Trelleborg’s range of IALA compliant modular navigation buoys are built around a hot dipped galvanised steel core. Available as standard in diameters ranging from 1.25 to 3.6 meters, Trelleborg will also manufacture precisely to specification where required.

We’ll also showcase our range of SeaGuard fenders which can be deployed floated or suspended, against a quay wall or for ship-to-ship operations. SeaGuard fenders suit all sites with small or large tidal changes. They also work just as well on new or old structures.

In addition, Trelleborg’s SeaGuard fenders combine a durable, non-marking finish with low maintenance. SeaGuard fenders will never sink or deflate. Even at the end of their first service life they can be returned to the factory for refurbishment before going back to work.

Trelleborg’s highly durable floating foam and pneumatic fenders are available for short-term or long-term rental. Readily available, they can be delivered and installed within days to any location across Europe and Asia Pacific.

As Europe’s largest commercial marine and workboat exhibition, Seawork International attracts over 7,500 industry professionals each year. Comprising an exhibition, conference and awards, Seawork International is regarded as the industry’s one-stop-shop, providing buyers, legislators and influencers with direct access to the commercial marine and workboat market, its products, its innovations and its people.

To find out more, visit Trelleborg at Seawork 2016 on booth number PY154.