Swedish marina builder SF Pontona has spent several years developing an entirely new method of constructing concrete pontoons reinforced with basalt fiber and corrosion-resistant steel.
The resulting product, Prodock, offers a lightweight, long-life, corrosion-free alternative to heavy-duty concrete pontoons.
SF Pontona CEO, Fredrik Odhe says that they are not allowed to use the same pressure treated wood as before for standard pontoons so the life expectancy of timber products has been reduced. However, reinforcing a lighter weight pontoon with traditional steel presented corrosion problems.
They found a solution in cooperation with basalt specialist ReforceTech. SF Pontona has been constructing concrete decks and breakwaters since the 1920s. Basalt fiber based concrete has offered a perfect way out and allowed them to cast very thin walled structures using light concrete decking. The floating stability of Prodock is retained despite having 3cm thick walls instead of the traditional 8cm.
Marine builders comment they normally protect the steel with a thick protective layer of concrete. The thicker the topcoat, the longer the product holds up. By utilising basalt instead of steel, they avoid the unfortunate problems caused by corrosion. The basalt-based material used for the new pontoons is easily transported, making it ideal when installing pontoons on location.
SF Pontona is part of a global business concern. Standard Prodock units measure 10m long x 2.4m wide and have a freeboard of 0.5m. The company is manufacturing Prodock at their own factory in Sweden and launched initially the product in Europe.
Companies: SF Pontona