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This standard focuses on materials used, the general design of the fender, its skin layers as well as the testing of the finished product. What it specifically not does, is requiring a specific production method in order to be open for future developments and to avoid any misunderstanding, that there is only one ‘correct’ method. Pneumatic Fenders can be produced using different methods and each has its own advantages when compared correctly. The most common methods are molded and wrapped, and the standard does not rate one production method over the other. Choosing a production method is the freedom of the manufacturer and keeps the door open for invention. What counts is that the high-quality Pneumatic Fenders comply with the requirements of ISO 17357-1:2014, no matter how they are manufactured.
Pneumatic Fenders which are produced in a mold are produced in several parts and are then manually stitched together. The overlapping parts are the ones being repaired and polished. What is even more important, they present a significant weakness as they are more likely to break than if produced in one piece, as it is the case for wrapped Pneumatic Fenders.
Airbags are used for ship launching operations and thus serve a totally different purpose than Pneumatic Fenders. Pneumatic Fenders protect berth structures and vessels, especially during ship-to-ship operations. The quality and the performance of every single one of them is of utmost importance. Airbags assist to safely launch a vessel and they work in their entirety which is reflected in lower quality requirements and a simpler manufacturing method. The manufacturing method of airbags cannot be compared to the one of Pneumatic Fenders.