By Richard Hepworth, President of Trelleborg’s marine systems operation
Remaining true to its principle of innovation, Trelleborg’s marine systems operation has launched a new ISO17357-1:2014 compliant, high performance pneumatic fender designed to address the evolving needs of ports, terminals and offshore ship-to-ship transfer applications.
The new quality assured fender features a thinner, lighter body for easier transportation and handling, improved netting and hemispherical ends designed to offer superior functional performance and enhanced continuity of end fittings for optimum deflection capability.
In addition to improvements in the design of the fender, materials have been engineered to ensure a stronger overall performance. After detailed research into optimum tire cord reinforcement, we have re-evaluated our materials to enhance fender performance.
Unlike other manufacturers that use synthetic tire cords for only the body of the fender and chafer fabric at both hemispherical ends, we now use 100% synthetic tire cord for the construction of the entire fender. This directly enhances the fender’s operational ability because synthetic tire-cord has a higher tensile strength than chafer fabric. By incorporating the synthetic tire cord into the entire fender, the stability, longevity, and shape retention of the fender are all significantly enhanced.
Demonstrating our best practice approach to delivering superior products that incorporate optimum, high quality materials, our new pneumatic fender goes above and beyond the minimum requirements of the ISO 17357-1:2014 standard which recommends the use of synthetic tire-cords but does not make it mandatory.
Trelleborg not only meets but exceeds the demands of the ISO17357-1:2014 standard with quality assurance documents and test results shared in a comprehensive, fully-authenticated supporting document package. Proof data, inner and outer rubber material specifications and pressure test data are all included as standard for even greater peace of mind.
Many suppliers however utilize low cost, low quality, non-compliant materials and fail to perform stringent materials and product testing to the requirements of the ISO standard. For instance, for the external rubber layer composition of a fender which plays a major role in its longevity, many suppliers use rubber compounds which fail to comply with the new ISO requirement.
In addition, a large number of suppliers also turn to low cost recycled rubber-based compounds. Others use chafer fabric, a cheaper alternative to tire-cord. The chafer fabric is unable to provide Minimum Endurable Pressure (MEP) at 0% and 60% deflection, which is imperative for pneumatic fenders to work efficiently in harsh conditions.
Many suppliers also reduce the number of plies, or use a reinforcing layer made from a low-cost suboptimal combination of chafer fabric and tire cord as they lack the basic design concepts to produce high quality pneumatic fenders.
Specifiers should also be wary of inefficient, cost-reducing methods used by suppliers such as the use of a heating jacket instead of a mold during the curing process. It is also critical that specifiers are aware of manufacturers claiming to be supplying ISO17357-1:2014 compliant pneumatic fenders which are actually produced using the ‘airbag’ construction method. Products constructed in this manner, are not compliant with ISO17537-1 and will not guarantee the level or longevity of performance of a ‘true’ pneumatic fender.
To find out more about the new ISO17357-1:2014 compliant, high performance pneumatic fender, download the Product Application Briefing now: http://ow.ly/tncb301PFOc.