Trelleborg Discusses Importance of Rubber Compound Testing & Low Friction UHMWPE Pads Testing At PIANC Working Group Meeting

By Mishra Kumar, Business Unit Director - R&D, Trelleborg’s marine and infrastructure operation

At PIANC’s latest Working Group (WG) 211 session, held in Melbourne, Australia (January 15-17), Trelleborg’s marine and infrastructure operation addressed the need to carry out rubber compound testing on marine fenders and the importance of testing ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) quality in fender systems.

At the session, I explained why rubber compound testing is vital to improve the performance and lifespan of fenders. In addition, I discussed how testing enables consultants to examine and compare rubber compounds to guarantee that the fender will perform as required.

Meanwhile, I also explained that while various grades of UHMWPE with different molecular weights are available in the market, specification is not enough to differentiate the right grades of UHMWPE. Low friction pads of fender systems experience increased wear, resulting in frequent replacement and thus, increased operational costs.

Having long supported the work of PIANC, we were delighted to address delegates in Melbourne and spark a wider discussion on how rubber compound testing and UHMWPE quality holds a definitive technical value.

The operation was very excited to continue the collective drive, as part of PIANC’s WG 211, to establish new industry guidelines, which when available, will undoubtedly enhance fender quality as well as port and vessel efficiency.