Pneumatic rubber fenders play a critical role in marine safety. They help prevent ships from making costly mistakes when maneuvering near other ships or near docks. So to those in the marine industry, these little (relative to the size of ships) bumpers play a very important role in keeping their sizeable investments safe. To the untrained eye, they look like little balloons hanging off the sides of ships or docks, except that they can potentially save a ton of damage to both.
Normal fender lining a pier.
So what happens when your fender gets a big hole in it? Out of luck? Throw it away and buy a new one?
Unfortunately, despite the relatively low tech look of these fenders, they pack a lot of performance and technology in order to ensure that they can withstand large ships putting a load on immovable objects. Their price new off the shelves reflects that technology and the criticality of their role in marine safety.
What result can you expect when you repair rubber marine fenders?
Fenders wedged between the dock and this submarine keeps ships safe in port
So, here’s where we talk about how Belzona can help in this situation. Our technicians recently repaired two relatively small fenders (1.2m in diameter by 2m in length) pressurized to 50kPa. Operational use punctured and tore both fenders’ external rubber and internal surface lining, causing both to deflate and become non-functional. Our technicians used Belzona 2211 (Hi-build elastomer- a polyurethane resin designed for repairing, rebuilding and coating rubber and metal components) to repair each of the cuts in the fenders. While the repairs took less than a day, a full cure for immersion in chemicals (or put simply, when you can put the fenders back in the water) for this type of repair only takes 2-5 days (depending on the ambient temperature) with excellent tear (4,106kg/m) and tensile (10.34 MPa) strength. Incidentally, this same technology applies equally well to floating dredge hoses.
Here are the before and after photos:
Yokohama marine fender punctured before repair.
The same fender repaired using Belzona coatings.
What was the cost to repair the marine fenders?
So, what was the cost? Both repairs, with installation, amounted to only $1290.
The replacement cost, before taxes and delivery, was $13,500 (or $6750 per fender). These particular fenders are relatively small in size and the costs goes up significantly for larger fenders.
Choosing Belzona extended the life of this port operator’s equipment and saved the customer 90%. A small tear or puncture produces the same effect on a large fender as it does a small one, so the return on investment conceivably would go up for similar punctures on larger fenders.
What else can Belzona do to help solve your problems?
Belzona 2000 series elastomeric solutions can apply to more than just fenders… Applications include:
Interested in learning more about how a Belzona solution can solve your maintenance problems? Schedule a lunch and learn with our team today, and we’ll sustain you and your team with lunch and plenty of information on how to meet your maintenance and repair needs. Email us or call (856) 687-2227 for assistance.