Fluoron’s Maritime Application Rope Savers (MARS)

Joseph Keefe
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Fluoron’s cover material (MARS) applied to a bullnose on deck.

Bridging the gap between high-tech synthetic mooring lines and worn or corroded deck and dock equipment.


As the marine industry moves from steel cable to synthetic materials for mooring purposes, the logical move also creates new headaches for operators. There are two main reasons for line failure. These include (a.) External Chafing (line interface with surfaces of non-smooth equipment) and (b.) Internal Chafing generated by synthetic core fibers rubbing together and friction generated by the line fibers sliding over one another. Core fibers then melt together, reducing the safety standards and design specifications, sometimes within days of the installation of the new synthetic lines.

Damaged fairlead rollers develop sharp edges from chipping paint, and frozen (corroded) rollers sometimes do not rotate as designed. Synthetic lines slide over the rusted rollers generating heat causing the core material to melt. Until now, on board, preventative maintenance consisted of largely home-grown remedies and temporary fixes. Regular and never-ending maintenance is expensive and ineffective. Meanwhile, tugboats mistakenly use old fire hoses as a sheath to protect the lines and towing hawsers. All vessels interface with dock-based mooring bollards which are often in much poorer condition than that maintained on board. Each time a boat docks, lines are exposed to failure.

Synthetic lines float and they are lighter, safer, strong, and can go deeper into the water than steel cable. As boat operators recognize these advantages and move towards the synthetic materials, Fluoron’s cover material (MARS) can be applied to docking equipment and deck fixtures that interface with the Synthetic Lines. MARS is manufactured to fit applications such as Fairlead Rollers, H-Bits, Side Bits, Bull Nose and many other applications found on deck. Capable of holding up against the extreme loads generated by line tension and providing a corrosion and compression resistant, long wearing surface, MARS applications dramatically increase the life of the synthetic mooring lines.

MARS is constructed of tough plastic material, with molecular weight of 3-6 million (compared to pipe grade high-density polyethylene with a molecular weight of 60,000), and demonstrates extreme wear resistance. Fluoron, Inc., the same company with a patent on heat shrinkable covers, has now developed solutions for marine corrosion and rope chafing. Fluoron offers three installation options: (a.) Ship damaged deck equipment to Fluoron and it is returned with a MARS cover; (b.) A custom-fit MARS cover (to your dimensions) with installation instructions can be sent; or (c.) Fluoron technicians can come to your vessel / facility for guaranteed installation. Using Fluoron’s (Patent Pending) Maritime Application Rope Savers, the problem of line failure and chafing can be all but eliminated. www.fluoron.com

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