Originally supplied in 2011, the Ocean Guard Fenders had been in continuous use, and SFT Group wrote that the outer polyurethane (PU) skin “showed usual signs of wear and abrasion”.
Despite the performance of fenders guaranteed after 10 years, SFT Group, as part of its client service, overhauls fenders to extend their lifetime
The service includes the transport of the fenders to SFT Group’s production plant in Rechlin, Germany to then be inspected by experts to assess all needed repairs.
The plant is set-up to not only produce high quality and sustainable fenders, but also to overhaul foam fenders.
To renew the PU skin, the factory grinds down the current PU layers and then applies a new PU skin with a thickness of approx. 20 mm (skin thickness depends on overall dimension of the fender) on the rough surfaces of the prepared fender.
As part of the overhaul, typically the internal chain as well as the swivel, swivel plate and bolts are also replaced, as corrosion inevitably appears on steel elements after 10 years in seawater.
For the Port of Kiel, SFT Group has overhauled 11 Ocean Guard Fenders with a diameter of 1000 mm and a length of 3000 mm.
The overall turnaround time was around 5 weeks from the pickup and overhaul to the reinstallation. The fenders were reinstalled at berth 32a at the seaport of Kiel and are again ready for further decades of service.
“The refurbishment of foam fenders is a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to buying new foam fenders which makes this product contribute to SFT’s way of putting the focus more and more on the sustainability of its products,” SFT wrote.