Marine rubber fender is a system used to prevent the vessel and dock from being damaged during berthing operations. Natural factors, such as large waves and strong winds, usually have the biggest contribution to damaging both the vessel and port. Hence, in order to protect both assets, it is recommended that marine rubber fender is installed in every port and dock. Rubber fender is available in various types and sizes. Several factors whichmust be considered in choosing the right type of rubber fender are: type of dock, type and configuration of vessels that moor, and the berthing speed.
Rubber fenders are always in contact with the corrosive sea water. Therefore, sufficient maintenance is required in order to have long lasting rubber fenders. The main key to marine fender maintenance lies in the anchor maintenance. Anchor, made of galvanized iron, is used to attach fenders onto the pier wall. Following installation, anchors and fenders do not require any special treatment. However, the anchors need to be periodically checked to make sure that they are still in a good condition, for instance, the anchors are not rusty and still in their perfect shape (no breakage). Rust weakens the strength of the anchor, which can yield the fender to partially or even fully collapse from the pier wall. On the other hand, the rubber fender itself does not need special maintenance as the formula of the rubber contain antioxidant and antiozone to protect the rubber from oxidation and degradation due to ultraviolet radiation and ozone.
In conclusion, the maintenance of marine fender depends on the maintenance of the anchors. It is true that anchors are only the accessories of the fender; however, they are as important. Therefore, to have a long lasting marine fender system, these two components must be monitored continuously.