3 december 2018
On Thursday the 29th of November, the winner of the Offshore Wind Innovation Challenge was announced: Ridderflex. (And we are so proud of it!). With this Challenge innovative startups, entrepreneurs and students were challenged to come up with solutions for specific problems in the construction and maintenance of wind farms. Our challenge was to develop the ‘perfect fender’ for SeaZip Offshore Service. And we have, as our winning innovation prooves, succeeded.
Quite a challenge
The challenge that Seazip gave us was: ‘Develop a long lasting fender or similar technology that is an integral structure of the vessel.’ We took up that challenge. We analysed the current fender systems and the problems that Seazip encountered during landing at windmills and oilplatforms at sea. We interviewed fender experts such as Damen Shipyards. And we drew some conclusions with respect to shear forces, material properties and mounting methods. We also concluded that most fenders give colourisations on the boat landing poles.
Development Polyether Urethane Fendering System
In close collaboration with Seazip, we developed a unique fender system after the analysis phase. We chose to produce this fender in the material polyether urethane. Why? Because polyether urethane is:
- Excellent seawater and UV resistant
- Excellent wear resistant and
- Has a good tear resistance
We produced a scale model (1:10) and tested it extensively. Then we discussed with Seazip how we could improve the system even further. Eventually we developed our Polyether Urethane Fendering System 2.0. This system has, amongst others, improved anti-slip properties and mounting options compared to version 1.0. This improved fender will eventually be produced and tested in the field. Polyether Urethane Fendering System 2.0 will be mounted on a Seazip CTV ship.
The Perfect Fender
We ended our pitch during the final of the Offshore Wind Innovation Challenge 2018 with the comment that our fender is ‘The Perfect Fender’. Why? Because we have developed a fender that is innovative. This type of fender:
- has not been applied before
- is made of a unique polyurethane system
- has a unique (and adaptable) way of dampening
- is easy to mount
- does not give off colour to boat landing poles
Impact for the offshore wind industry
The fender has yet to be tested by Seazip. If this fender performs as we expect, we believe that our fender could have a major impact on the Offshore Wind market. Our Polyether Urethane Fendering System:
- does not harm marine life
- is more durable than standard fendering systems
- prevents valuable downtime because to a longer lifespan
- is at least 20% cheaper than standard fendering systems on the market
At the beginning of our Offshore Wind Innovation Challenge, Seazip challenged us to develop a sustainable fender that is an integral part of the vessel to facilitate mooring at sea. We hope that our clever Polyether Urethane Fendering System will help. We are proud to call ourselves Offshore Wind Innovator 2018!