Trelleborg’s marine systems operation has launched a brand new whitepaper and webinar which recommend that the industry moves to using modulus as a measure of fender performance. The new materials aim to raise awareness of the importance of ingredient selection, mixing and the manufacturing process in marine fenders, and the importance of utilizing this more robust test method to determine their quality.
Building on previous research into the importance of ingredient selection in fender performance, the new materials prove by experiment and supported by theory, the fact that modulus – the relationship between stress and strain in a cured rubber sample – is a far more effective and robust measure of fender performance than hardness, which is currently used as the traditional measure of performance in the marine industry.
Richard Hepworth, President of Trelleborg’s marine operation, said: “We’re committed to our research and development program in the field of fender performance. The latest research we have conducted has proven beyond doubt the need for a new measure of fender performance: we suggest that the industry begins to move towards measuring the modulus of rubber compounds, to ensure the performance characteristics of the fender are truly understood.
“Also discussed in the research is the importance of the mixing process. 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.”
Trelleborg has established the criticality of filler dispersion within the rubber compound and its impact on the quality of the final product. Poor dispersion can lead to damaging effects such as reduced service life, poor performance, poor appearance and even poor product uniformity.
In the new whitepaper, Trelleborg discusses the importance of the machinery used to mix the ingredients and the current options available to fender manufacturers to produce their solutions. There are a number of machinery parameters that affect filler dispersion in the final mix, including ram pressure, rotor speed and design, coolant temperature and mixing sequence. The whitepaper also explores which machinery options are most effective and give manufacturers the most control over these critical parameters.
To download the whitepaper, “Rubber Fenders: Mixing it Up”, please click here.
To watch the webinar, “Assuring fender Performance”, please click here.