Pneumatic Vs Foam Fenders


Difference between pneumatic (Yokohama) fenders and foam-filled fenders – In the field of marine engineering, both pneumatic fenders and foam-filled fenders act as the protection of ships and wharves, in this article, we will discuss the different features, advantages and application scenarios of these two types of fenders, to provide you with professional references to choose the most reasonable type of fenders.

Pneumatic Vs Foam Fenders-Jerryborg Marine

Table of Contents

Pneumatic Fenders

Pneumatic fenders are manufactured with a high-quality durable rubber outer layer and reinforced cord layer, then filled with air to effectively absorb the impact in the event of a collision, thus reducing damage to the dock/vessel, and are equipped with pneumatic pressure regulating valves to adapt to different weights and sizes of vessels for applications, providing strong protection.

Advantages of Pneumatic Fenders

In the field of marine engineering, pneumatic fenders are widely used in various marine applications due to their unique and outstanding design and features, which show many significant advantages. These include:

Wide applicability

Pneumatic fenders show excellent adaptive ability in frequently changing environments such as ship docking and docking. The internal fender can be adjusted according to the size and weight of the ship to ensure the best contact distance from ship to ship and ship to harbor, and effectively disperse the impact force.

At the same time, due to the different use environments, the installation angle and distance of the pneumatic fender will change at any time, and the pneumatic fender can quickly adapt to these changes and provide strong protection ability.

Rapid installation and dismantling

Another advantage of pneumatic fenders is that they can be installed and dismantled quickly, which makes them an ideal choice for most marinas/ships. In some emergency situations where temporary protection for a vessel/marina may be required, pneumatic fenders are simple to install and can be put into use quickly. It is also simple to dismantle and can be quickly and continuously adjusted to the actual situation.

Simple and low-cost maintenance

The maintenance of a pneumatic fender is relatively simple, which is an important advantage for reducing the maintenance cost in the later stage. The main structure of the pneumatic fender is composed of the outer layer and the inner airbag, which are made of high-quality rubber and have strong durability. Daily maintenance includes regular checks of the Fender’s appearance, air pressure, and wear and tear. Compared with other types of pneumatic fenders, pneumatic fenders do not require complex maintenance work and frequent replacement of spare parts, which will significantly reduce the maintenance costs of fenders.

Foam filled fenders

Jerryborg Marine’s foam filled fenders consist of an internal steel core, closed cell foam, reinforcing rope layers and an external elastomer skin. In the offshore sector, closed cell foam is usually made of PE/EVA foam. In contrast to pneumatic fenders, which cannot be inflated or deflated, both materials have a high energy absorption capacity and are corrosion-resistant, making them ideal for offshore applications.

FOAM FENDERS-difference between pneumatic (Yokohama type) fenders and foam filled fenders

Advantages of Foam Fenders

Foam-filled fenders, as an important marine engineering protection device, show obvious advantages in many aspects. Currently as one of the most important marine devices, the specific advantages are:

High pressure resistance and suitability for long-term fixed protection:

Foam-filled fenders present excellent suitability in environments where high pressure and long term protection is required. The interior is made of high-density foam material. It can effectively withstand the pressure from ships and other external factors. The super strong pressure resistance can ensure that it will not cause deformation and other problems during long-term use. Instead, it provides long-lasting protection for docks/ships and is suitable for installation in environments that are subjected to high levels of impulse and pressure over a long period of time. It has been reported that foam filled fenders absorb up to 40% more energy than inflatable fenders, but this depends on the manufacturer you choose.

Reduced collision damage and energy absorption performance

Another significant advantage of foam filled fenders is their superior performance in collision damage reduction and energy absorption. The internal high-density foam material can effectively absorb the collision energy and disperse the impact force when the ship collides with it, reducing the degree of damage to the ship/structure, and has excellent energy absorption capacity, which makes it the best choice for serious damage to the ship/terminal facilities.

Reliability and long-term use under severe weather conditions

As they are often installed in the ocean, they will often be affected by extreme weather conditions such as wind and waves/waves. Thus, another advantage of foam filled fenders that should not be overlooked is its ability to withstand the effects of harsh weather. Its superior corrosion resistance and structural stability allows it to withstand all kinds of harsh natural environments and maintain its ability to work for a long period of time. This makes it ideal for marine projects such as marinas that require continuity/stability.

Choosing the right type of fender for the scenario!

Pneumatic fenders and foam filled fenders both have similar functions and thus we have a lot of trouble in choosing the right type of fender. Then Jerryberg here suggests that it is vital to choose from the actual application of the fender. You can consider from the following two dimensions. To choose the most suitable type of fender.

Pneumatic fenders are more suitable for situations where frequent adjustments/temporary fenders need to be built. Because the pneumatic fender is filled with gas inside the flexible shell, it is able to change the thickness and shape of the fender by simply filling and discharging the air pressure, so as to satisfy different usage environments, and meet a variety of frequently changing marine engineering environments, such as diversified ship docking in the harbor.

Foam fenders, on the other hand, are suitable for protection scenarios that require long-term reliability and stability. The high-density polymer foam filled inside provides high compression resistance and durability. Foam fenders are able to effectively disperse impact forces, mitigate ship-to-port impacts and protect dock structures. Provides long lasting protective performance.

At the same time, foam fenders and inflatable fenders in the same size, the price is about three times higher, because the inflatable fenders are mainly filled with air, while the foam fenders content is mainly based on high-density polymer foam, the two contrast, foam-filled fenders to use much more material. It is therefore not surprising that the price is high.


Pneumatic fenders and foam filled fenders each have unique features and advantages, and you can choose the most suitable type of fender according to the actual needs. The right choice will not only protect ships and docks, but also improve safety and reliability, providing effective protection for marine engineering.


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