A Users’ Guide to the Performance Verification of Marine Fenders

Marine rubber fenders provide a critical role in the operations of ports. They allow several thousand tonne vessels to berth against vital infrastructure without damaging the wharf or the vessel. Use of fenders also allows the structural engineer to know the expected berthing loads which are critical to the design of the wharf. Fenders are the products which turn vessel kinetic energy into known reactions when they absorb the vessel energy. If the vessel’s kinetic energy cannot be absorbed by the fenders then where does the energy go? It generally goes into damaging either the wharf, the vessel, or both, or endangering lives and property. So how can the owner guarantee that the fenders installed at their facility are actually able to absorb the prescribed energy? The current industry practice of verifying performance of rubber fenders lies with suppliers themselves. The reason this is so readily accepted is that the suppliers are known to own equipment capable of testing such large items. The conflict of interest between the supplier and the Port is obvious, especially when considering the high cost of manufacturing some of the largest rubber parts in the world. This paper discusses a few potential ways that the purchaser of marine fenders can verify independently whether the fenders are meeting project specifications, thereby assuring safe berthing operations.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Pagination: pp 491-501
  • Monograph Title: Ports 2016: Port Engineering

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01605544
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784479902
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jun 7 2016 3:02PM