Trelleborg Marine and Infrastructure adds a state-of-the-art marine fender test facility to its Qingdao manufacturing site in China, specifically built and equipped to verify and test fenders in line with the forthcoming PIANC WG 211 guidelines. Trelleborg has been integral to the development of the new guidelines.
Richard Hepworth, Business Unit President of Trelleborg Marine and Infrastructure, said: “Until the development of the new guidelines, the marine industry lacked unified standards for marine fender manufacturing, design, testing, and certification. As fender systems play a critical role in port operations, the absence of standards for their manufacturing and design could potentially have far-reaching implications.
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“Port operators not only face operational risks but also sustainability concerns when the replacement of fenders is more frequent than expected. Instead of lasting for 20 years or more, poor quality leads to replacement two or three times within that period. To address this issue, we have been collaborating with PIANC for the last ten years to reassess design guidelines for fender systems. It is a shared responsibility to ensure the safety and longevity of ports.”
Due to be published soon, the PIANC WG 211 guidelines represent best practices that aim to enhance safety and efficiency in port operations by providing comprehensive recommendations for fender design, manufacturing, and testing. They have been drawn up by industry leaders including Trelleborg and the update will include stringent requirements for designing fenders with a specific focus on fender testing.
The newly established fender testing facility in Qingdao, which is now in operation, comprises state-of-the-art test presses, enabling Trelleborg to cover all comprehensive and specialized test requirements for marine fenders of varying sizes, evaluating their performance under various load conditions, and simulating real-world scenarios including shear, fatigue, high speed, and shear-compression. In alignment with the upcoming PIANC WG211 guidelines, the entire area, testing, and conditioning will be climate-controlled.
Hepworth concludes, “With the opening of this new testing facility, our overarching aim is to set a new benchmark when it comes to fender quality in the industry, and work together with our customers to design solutions that meet their challenges for today and tomorrow.”
The expansion of Trelleborg’s manufacturing site in Qingdao, China, highlights the region’s importance as a key market for Trelleborg’s marine and infrastructure products. It further solidifies the company’s commitment to serving the evolving needs of the Chinese market, emphasizing the region’s significance in Trelleborg’s global growth strategy. Trelleborg’s high-quality fenders are renowned for their exceptional performance and durability in demanding marine environments. These fenders are engineered using advanced materials and innovative design techniques to ensure maximum protection for vessels during berthing operations. With rigorous testing procedures and adherence to industry standards, Trelleborg’s fenders remain a trusted choice for port and terminal operators worldwide.