There are different aspects of fender verification testing manufacturers need to pass: material testing, traceability, performance testing, verification of dimensions and visual checking
There are five different aspects of fender verification testing manufacturers need to pass: material testing, traceability, performance testing, verification of dimensions and visual checking. Fenders must pass these tests to be used for maritime applications, such as around tugboat hulls.
ShibataFenderTeam (SFT) Group board member Dominique Polte highlights the importance of testing and interpreting the test results.
“Testing is the only way to demonstrate a fender meets the client’s project requirements in terms of safety, durability and reliability,” says Mr Polte.
He says fender suppliers need to ensure they follow the best-practice approach to test pneumatic fenders, foam fenders and steel panels for vessel safety.
“The same principle applies to every aspect of fender manufacturing and is also valid for testing,” Mr Polte says.
But there are differences in the methodology for testing various fenders across multiple marine applications. “Different fender projects and different fender types require attention in distinctive criteria,” he says.
SFT developed a paper covering testing best practice and changes to quality standards in the fender manufacturing industry. This paper provides a thorough examination of testing methods for fender systems, best-practice approaches to verifying the required performance properties and the durability of a commercial fender.
It highlights the significance of testing by explaining how to interpret the different tests. It can be used as a practical, hands-on guide to the ideal approach to complex fender testing based on the point of view of an experienced manufacturer, says Mr Polte.
“We are aiming to shed some light on the details of different fender test methods and the complex relations between correction factors, catalogue values and everything else connected to this subject,” he says.
UK-headquartered Buoyant Works has redesigned its tug bow fendering to reduce its weight and costs. It has redeveloped the large Bow CY fender as a modular unit and as a replacement for M-type and W-shaped fenders.
Buoyant Works head of technical sales Chris Forgan says it redesigned fender material properties with an emphasis on cost and weight savings “and the cost to replace smaller parts rather than a complete fender”.
“This has also been backed up with inhouse testing and verified by an external third party,” says Mr Forgan. This has been used on a vessel in the UK and will be deployed on two vessels in the US.
All the CY fender replacements will have a curved inner face to follow the form of the vessel.
Riviera Maritime Media’s ITS Salvage Webinar Week is being held 15 June 2021 – use this link for more details and to register