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TRELLEBORG TO HOST SEMINAR IN PARTNERSHIP WITH PIANC

By Richard Hepworth, President of Trelleborg’s marine operation

With PIANC continuing to set best practice guidance for so many, and varied, issues pertinent to waterborne transport infrastructure, we felt that it was only natural to further strengthen our longstanding association.

As such, we will host an exclusive one-day seminar in partnership with PIANC for port consultants. Held on 30th October at the Atlantic Imbizo Conference and Function Studio in Cape Town, South Africa, the free to attend seminar provides us with the ideal opportunity to develop a better understanding of the needs of consultants, so we can evolve our offering to meet them.

The seminar will see Trelleborg experts discuss a range of key industry issues, including the importance of rubber compound composition in the whole-life performance of fender systems and how consultants can determine the formulation of the fenders they procure. This will see our technical expert, Mishra Kumar, discuss mixing and compound modulus as an effective and robust measure of fender performance. The seminar will also provide valuable insight on rubber and foam marine fender design and selection best practice, as well as the latest docking and mooring innovations to improve efficiency and optimize performance.

For more information about the seminar, or if you’d like to register your attendance, contact Anu Bhaskar: anu.bhaskar@trelleborg.com

TRELLEBORG MARINE SYSTEMS MAKES VISIT TO SRI LANKAN RUBBER FACTORY AND RUBBER PLANTATION

Last month, representatives from both Trelleborg’s marine systems and engineered products operations visited colleagues at Trelleborg’s wheel systems operation, along with a rubber plantation and processing plant in Malwana, Sri Lanka.

The visit to the Wheel Systems operation’s facility provided visitors with the chance to learn about the processes involved in the manufacture of its tires and complete wheels. This also provided the opportunity for representatives of the three business units to share best practice and discuss the commercial and technical challenges facing each of the industries in which they operate.

The visit to the rubber plantation and processing plant provided attendees with the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of natural rubber, the building block of the rubber compounds used in many of Trelleborg’s engineered polymer solutions, including our high performance rubber marine fenders.

Attendees were able to see the extraction of natural rubber, which involves the ‘tapping’ of the Hevea Brasiliensis tree, first-hand. They were also educated on the subsequent processing, grading and quality control of properties within natural rubber.

The trip also saw attendees visit the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, the oldest rubber research institute in the world, responsible for the research and development of all aspects of rubber cultivation and processing. This provided visitors with an overview of research currently being conducted across the industry, in a bid to increase rubber production yield, improve tapping technique and fight the many kinds of disease rubber trees are susceptible to.

I’ll leave you with some words from our President, Richard Hepworth, about the significance of the trip.

“With a limited understanding of rubber quality and its impact on fender performance across the marine industry, we’ve spent considerable time and resource highlighting its importance.

“With that in mind, the visit was a great opportunity to not only get together with colleagues from Trelleborg Wheel Systems and Trelleborg Engineered Systems Qingdao, but get to grips with the very first step in how natural rubber goes from rainforest to protecting critical marine environments across the globe. A huge thank you to those that attended, our colleagues at Trelleborg Wheel Systems for their hospitality and to Sanjay Melvani and Melissa Asmone for organizing.”

THE IMPORTANCE OF MIXING, MANUFACTURING AND MODULUS

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.

TRELLEBORG LAUNCHES NEW RUBBER COMPOUND FOR TUG FENDERS

Mishra Kumar, Global and Technical Market Support Manager at Trelleborg’s marine systems operation

Tugs may be fitted with up to four types of fender, tadalafil no prescription each serving a particular purpose. The problem is, as tugs have become more powerful, choosing the right type, size and arrangement has become increasingly critical. It’s now more important than ever to look for ways to increase service life, in order to offset the increased damage that comes with the increased power of the tugs.

To accommodate these needs, we’ve recently developed a new High Performance Super Abrasion Resistant (HPSAR) tug fender, which utilizes an innovative, superior rubber compound. The application of this distinctive and improved compound not only significantly increases the service life of the fender, but also gives the fender a lower density than traditional solutions, contributing to reduced weight and increasing potential savings.

With tug vessels used fenders as bumpers to move larger vessels, they are constantly being pushed against steel surfaces that cause the fender to wear and tear quickly. Common complaints about the tug fenders that are currently standard across the market include the fact that they are easily damaged, heavy, and prone to chipping and chunking.

The improved service life and reduced maintenance requirements of the new HPSAR tug fender highlights just how much rubber compound composition impacts fender performance. In especially harsh environments, such as those in which tug fenders operate, this is essential to avoiding incidents and downtime resulting from when standard solutions fail.

The new HPSAR tug fenders have already proved their value in demanding operational environments, and we’ve already secured contracts to supply the HPSAR fender system to two tugs operating in a port in North Western Australia. The port’s previous solution was chipping, chunking and wearing out quickly in a particularly difficult operational environment.

The HPSAR compound provided a much higher abrasion resistance in combination with a set of very high mechanical properties, meeting the client’s need for a longer lifecycle and reducing maintenance costs. As the geometry of the fender was specified by the client to meet the same parameters as the current solution, the improved performance could be isolated to the superior rubber compound.

It is essential that tug fenders using the new compound are specified by more than simply traditional parameters such as abrasion resistance, tensile strength, tear resistance and elongation at break. With that said, to ensure the quality and performance of the new tug fenders, the chemical composition requirements should be specified. This may include standards for density, polymer percentage, carbon black percentage, ash percentage and polymer to filler ratio.

Rubber compound chemical composition should be evaluated upon receipt of the final product, to ensure that the fenders will perform in harsh conditions over a long service life. As such, we’ve developed a new analytical test that allows our customers to do exactly that.

For more information on the new HPSAR compound, or fender system, visit: www.trelleborg.com/Marine-Systems/

 

REMEMBERING GRAEME RUSSELL

Scott Smith, Regional Director – Asia Pacific, Trelleborg Marine Systems.

I recently learnt of the death of a former colleague and one of the pioneers of our industry, Graeme Russell, and did not want to let this pass without acknowledging his huge contribution to the rubber industry and to the marine fender industry specifically.

Graeme was the inventor of the Cone fender, an innovation that revolutionised the industry over 30 years ago. Before the Cone fender, the Cell fender represented the industry standard and Graeme’s patent signified a leap in performance, with the Cone fender having a much higher efficiency than its predecessors and exhibiting a high energy absorption to reaction force ratio.

In fact, the biggest ever contract for fender systems, which we won back in 2012 included 557 Super Cone fenders.  This order was placed for the New Port Project in Doha – a state of the art port that needed a state of the art solution, which would not have been possible without Graeme’s innovation.

I worked with Graeme at Queensland Rubber Company and subsequently at Fentek, which was established following a manufacturing and research and development agreement with Hercules, and saw Graeme’s commitment to both companies first hand as they grew, until his eventual retirement in 2001.

Trelleborg acquired Fentek, a company owned by Graeme amongst others, back in 2001. As well as the Cone fender, what made Fentek such an attractive prospect for Trelleborg was the company’s constant drive for quality. Graeme, who had a PhD in Chemical Engineering, was continually looking for ways to improve elastomeric compounds, and applied his expertise to enable innovative design in rubber and composite components, used for many engineering purposes beyond fender systems.

Of course, the optimisation and application of rubber compounds remains at the heart of what we at Trelleborg do today. Much of our work still focuses on how we can produce solutions that will better perform, reduce costs and improve safety through the understanding and evolution of rubber compound composition.

 

SOUTHAMPTON CONTAINER TERMINAL TURNS TO TRELLEBORG TO ENABLE BERTHING OF LARGER VESSELS

We were recently awarded the contract to supply over 70 Unit Element fender systems to DP World, Southampton, which will berth the latest ultra-large container ships.

I believe that our consistency in performance and engineering expertise has supported our relationship with the terminal.  We’ve worked together for a while now, and this contract brings total amount of fenders supplied to over 110.

Brin Humphreys, head of Engineering at DP World Southampton, said: “Due to the proven performance of the systems supplied by Trelleborg, we had no hesitation in turning to them once again. It was clear they had the capabilities to successfully deliver our expectations and requirements again.”

We have worked closely with DP World Southampton for over 10 years, first installing our Unit Element fenders in 1996 on SCT 1 Berth.

When refurbishment began on SCT berths 2, 3 and 4, in 2011, DP World chose us to keep the solution in line with SCT 1. We are delighted that we yet again had the opportunity to work with DP World Southampton using our unique solutions for such an important project.

On completion of the current project, Southampton will offer 1.87 kilometres of deep water quay, with up to 16 meters depth alongside. In addition, the 16 quayside gantry cranes with super post panamax capacity will allow for berthing of vessels over 400 meters in length.

It is vital that infrastructure keeps up with the ever increasing size of vessels and therefore we are delighted to be designing, manufacturing and installing our bespoke fender systems for a facility that places such importance on proactively keeping up with demand.

 

 

JEBEL ALI PORT RECOGNISES IMPORTANCE OF RUBBER SPECIFICATION

We are proud to announce the introduction of our rubber quality standards at the world’s largest man-made harbor – The Jebel Ali Port in Dubai. We have been working on the Quay Four refurbishment project with DP world since 2011, and have now completed installation with 60 super cone SCN 1300 fenders to project berths 18 and 19.

Super Cone fenders provide optimal performance and efficiency. The unique design makes them an excellent choice in terms of stability, strength and also resistance to over-compression.

The addition of analytical tests to verify the quality of rubber used in the fenders has ensured us to really reassure the port that the high-performance required for this project will be met.

As the biggest port in the Middle East and a supplier to the global market, we are delighted that DP world has shown commitment to superior solutions by building rubber quality standards in to their fender specifications.

Thanks to our entirely in-house approach, we could even personalise the solution for DP World by including the DP World Logo on the UHMW PE face pads of the fenders.

I will leave you with a few words from Hesham Abdulla, Container Terminal 1 director of DP world, who said: “Trelleborg was able to offer technical support across all parts of the system, from ensuring the rubber element would precisely meet specification, to chains and accessories. Their support and local presence meant that they were a natural choice to supply the project and thanks to their in-house manufacturing capabilities we could even have the solution personalised.”

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.

APPLYING THE RIGHT CORRECTION FACTORS

Richard Hepworth, Managing Director, Trelleborg Marine Systems


Some of my colleagues will be attending the Port and Terminal Technology Conference in Virginia this week. The conference explores the latest developments, issues, trends and technology affecting ports and terminals around the globe, so it’s a great platform to meet with the wider industry and share ideas and best practice.

At the conference, my colleague Mishra Kumar will present a technical paper, “Applying the right correction factors” discussing the importance of applying the right Velocity Correction Factor (VCF) and Temperature Correction Factor (TCF) when specifying marine fenders.

Rubber type and compound formulation undoubtedly have a dramatic impact on the performance and lifecycle of fender systems. It’s essential that specifiers understand the difference that low quality compounds can have on performance – and the impact that rubber type and formulation have on VCF and TCF.

Last year, it’s safe to say we really put our money where our mouth is and delved in depth on the difference between high quality and low cost fenders. Having developed new analytical and chemical tests to determine fender composition, we found some dramatic differences between two fenders which were claimed to be designed to the same specification.

The paper Mishra will be presenting at the conference builds on that work and discusses the impact that these differing formulations have on VCF and TCF – which can’t be applied correctly unless the rubber compound and formulation are properly understood.

INTERPRETATION OF TEST RESULTS

Our rubber testing whitepaper “Fenders: why it’s not so black and white” highlights some interesting results from the comparison of the compositions of low cost and high quality fenders – results that clearly highlight dramatically different performance characteristics between the two.

The low cost fenders contained larger amounts of recycled rubber and filler, and were found to be heavier and denser than those that used virgin rubber.

Further chemical and physical analysis revealed some further important results, including:

  • Tensile strength and the value of elongation at break were found to be lower in the low cost fender than in the high quality fender, which was made with higher quantities of virgin rubber.

    Crucially, the low cost fender was not in compliance with the specification.

  • Rubber to filler ratio for the high quality fender was 1.23, for the low cost fender, just 0.88.
  • Overall, the low cost fender contained 28.45% less rubber than the high quality product, explaining the difference in the physical properties of the two and justifying the higher purchase price of the high quality fender.

It’s essential that decision makers are aware of the key performance differences and varying quality being sold as one and the same thing, when they procure fenders based on up front price alone.

These tests provide a reliable analytical method that can be made available to buyers so that they can assess the composition of recently procured fenders prior to delivery, simply by taking a small sample from the surface of the fender.

For more information, download the full rubber testing white paper here.