Fenderit for wind turbine towers
Shown at Seawork International for the first time was a new type of fendering that can be applied to tube piles writes Dag Pike.
The vertical tubular piles are attached to the main turbine tower base and these are subject to considerable wear and tear as the transfer boats move up and down in waves. This removes paint coatings and can make them prone to corrosion which can increase the maintenance requirements. The new fendering system that has been developed by Fenderit provides a covering for the steel pile which not only reduces the possibility of corrosion but also provides some absorption of the impact from the transfer vessel.
Buoyant Works Ltd. produces a wide range of fendering options for workboats and tugs and these are made from a high density, hard wearing polymer. Being mainly of foam construction these are light weight but highly durable and the same material has been used for the turbine tower application. For this application the foam is formed in a cylinder with one longitudinal split and this allows it to be simply wrapped around the fender pile.
The fendering is adaptable to variations in fender pile diameter and once the fender pole has been cleaned or shot blasted the fendering is attached... The fendering is approximately 3cm thick and the outside skin is flush so that as it helps to absorb the impact shock loadings from the transfer vessel the bow of the vessel can also slide up and down the pile in the normal manner under wave influence.
Buoyant Works Ltd. claims that not only will this new fendering system absorb the shock loadings from the transfer vessel but it will also reduce the possibility of damage to the pole and reduce the prospect of marine growth. It is coloured safety orange to help the skipper of the transfer vessel identify the contact area and it would normally be applied over the range of the tidal area.
The company claims that its fendering polymer has excellent tear and abrasion resistance and the way it is designed gives it excellent energy absorbing characteristics. Buoyant Works Ltd. is based in Cornwall and whilst this application is for a steel structure the material in other mouldings is particularly suitable for aluminium and composite hulls when used for regular vessel fendering.
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