Composites are a Sensible and Sustainable Long Term Option for Marines
With ambitious new waterfront developments in the pipeline in places such as Dubai, Latin America and the Caribbean, the industry as we know it is transforming at an unprecedented pace. Whilst those who work in the maritime sector will no doubt welcome any chance to protect our marine environments from further damage, when it comes to encouraging new build and refurbishment marinas, docks, and other waterside projects, how can marine businesses ensure that they find the balance between maximum profitability and going green?
The company has more than 22 years’ experience in the marine industry and has seen its business operations continue to flourish despite the increased challenges of the sector – winning a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2017. The award has proved to be a springboard for further success both at home and overseas – with Dura Composites’ GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) and composite timber marina and pontoon decking products playing a pivotal role in a range of high profile projects in the Middle East, UK and Europe.
Stuart Burns, Managing Director at Dura Composites
“With new marina, harbour and waterfront developments often restricted due to geographical limitations and environmental and planning rules, the demand from our customers for flexible decking products has never been greater.
“The tropical hardwoods and preservative treated timbers which were widely in use 20 years ago are no longer seen as the most viable option due to their expense and high maintenance requirements. These days, we’re seeing marina construction companies and developers opt for more sustainable and innovative solutions which tick a wider range of boxes and can adapt to the needs of changing climates.”
Dura’s market-leading Dura Grating and Ultra Deck are suitable for new build projects, (or as a replacement for degraded timber decking where safe anti-slip qualities are required), thanks to their innate ability to withstand the harsh side effects of marine conditions, and the option of co-extruded composite decking adds yet more choice to the marketplace.
But with such an array of materials on offer, what are the key considerations that marine businesses should bear in mind when deciding which decking to use?
Location, Location, Location
The impact of the prevailing climate should not be underestimated. When installed in a rainy climate, hardwood decks are subject to water absorption and can become slippery and prone to mould and mildew, so may not be the wisest choice in areas of heavy foot traffic or where access for regular maintenance will be a problem.
In the Middle East, summer temperatures can reach a blistering 50°C – so it’s critical to choose a product such as a composite timber decking with both excellent UV stability and the ability to withstand the high levels of salinity found in the Arabian Gulf.
If you need a heavy duty anti-slip product which can span greater distances, then GRP in standard mesh, mini mesh or micro mesh finishes may be a better option, and if fire resistance and durability are critical, then a PVC deck might be your best bet.
Lifecycle Cost: Dura Grating Boasts a Reassuring 25-Year Warranty
It’s not just the initial outlay costs that you should consider when deciding on your decking material.
It’s important to consider the whole lifecycle of the material and all its associated costs, including installation, how long it will last and what kind of maintenance (if any) it will require to keep it functioning and looking its best.
GRP decking products offer considerably lower life cycle costs due to their low maintenance, corrosion-resistant and impact-resistant characteristics compared with traditional materials, and market leading products such as Dura Grating come with a reassuring 25 year warranty.