As discussed in my last blog, there’s a trend across the industry of procuring mission critical fenders on the basis of upfront outlay – rather than the cost over the fender’s entire lifecycle.
Industry body, PIANC, set out the leading design guidelines for fender systems in 2002, but I remain concerned that these aren’t working in practice. PIANC have neither the authority nor mandate to enforce these regulations, and this is allowing some of the more unscrupulous suppliers to use higher percentages of recycled rubber, to supply fenders at a cheaper upfront cost – without transparency around the composition of the fender.
PIANC’s guidelines state that robust material testing is a necessity, but laboratory and full scale testing is not routinely performed by all suppliers as part of their quality assurance process. This is a serious concern, as specifiers need assurance that both sets of testing have been conducted on mission critical equipment.
We’ve developed new analytical tests to help stakeholders across the industry determine the quality and performance characteristics of the fenders they procure, so that buyers can understand and substantiate the makeup of their fenders and subsequently, the performance characteristics they can expect.
We conducted a series of physical and chemical tests on one high quality and a low cost fender – to really understand how much performance between the two differs. To learn more about the tests and see the results, download the rubber testing whitepaper here.