There are some reports of foam-filled fenders that absorb 40% more energy than pneumatic fenders.
However, performance of foam fenders really depends on the manufacturer. We have heard cases of customers using foam fenders that deformed easily during operation. Once deformed, the fender is not suitable for use any more. Not only the energy absorption is not efficient, it may even damage the vessels or dock.
Therefore, it is important to not blindly assume that all foam fenders are better in performance. It is better to check and order from a manufacturer with a strong track record of delivering great products.
At Nanjing Deers, our foam fenders have been used for various projects globally in countries.
Both foam-filled fenders and pneumatic fenders require minimum maintenance. Regular inspection is a must for both fender types.
For pneumatic fenders, just add in the air addition regularly (probably around 12 months). Besides, both are low
maintenance equipment if you purchase from the right manufacturer. So in this area, it can be said the two are almost tied, with foam fender a slight edge over pneumatic.
Durability is harder to gauge. This is not an accurate benchmark as the conditions of deployment (working conditions) and usage rate is not taken into account.
However, one obvious advantage a foam-filled type has over a pneumatic rubber fender is that they do not deflate.
When pneumatic fenders got punctured, they fail to perform any more. Whereas for foam fenders, they would still be able to be deployed, albeit having much less efficient energy absorption.
At the very least, they could still be used sparingly for temporary purposes.
Our pneumatic fenders generally last more than 8 years, similarly with foam fenders. However, Do note that the external hot-dip galvanised chain and tires net would have to be changed in 2-3 years interval to ensure their integrity.
This is where rubber floating pneumatic fenders have a considerable advantage over foam fenders. For the same size, foam-filled fenders may cost up to 3x more expensive than their pneumatic counterparts. This is because pneumatic fender’s primary component is air, which is essentially free.
However, the outer layer that holds the air has to be strong enough to efficiently absorb energy upon collision and transfer it to the air, while repelling the excess energy back as reaction force.
On the other hand, for foam fenders, it is the ultra-efficient closed-cell foam core that absorbs fully the energy (repel the excess energy back as reaction force). so the amount of materials used is much more than the rubber, for a similar sized fender.
When determining whether to use pneumatic type or foam-filled type for your floating fender needs, it is important to consider your budget as well as expectations. Generally smaller sized fenders like for those below diameter 2.0m, foam fenders are still at a manageable cost that still provides slightly more superior performance. However, for jumbo sized very large-sized fenders, the costs will increase to a much bigger value. That is when most consider using pneumatic rubber fender for large ship-to-ship berthing operations.
And all of our foam fenders can be inspected and tested by clients or the third party, like CCS, DNV, ABS, LR, BV, SGS and etc. Only part of the certificates are shown here. We guarantee that all products are deliveres after strict inspection.