Yokohama type Pneumatic Rubber Fender
Pneumatic fenders are made of rubber and strengthening cord layers. These are inflated to absorb collision energy during berthing.
Similar to foam fenders, these rubber floating fenders are also relatively light (for its size), and provide great cushioning due to its pneumatic properties.
To compare the two, we have to look into different aspects of their usage:
Performance wise, some claim that foam fenders is more efficient in terms of energy absorption. There are 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 harbour.
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 NanHai, our foam fenders have been used for various projects globally in countries in more than five continents.
If you require a foam fender solution, contact us
Durability is harder to gauge. Do you define by useful life?
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 Yokohama-type 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.
NanHai pneumatic fenders generally last more than 10 years, similarly with foam fenders.