With the influx of small low-cost suppliers of dredging hoses, the price of hoses has been lowered by using cheaper raw materials. This has increased the hose failure rates, shortening product lifespans, manufacturer Trelleborg warns in a guidance paper titled The ever growing importance of robust dredging hose specifications.
The report outlines market shifts, best practice overview and approach to improving to improving hose specifications. Coupled with improper testing and lack of standards, hoses are becoming commodity products as opposed to technical goods. Traditional suppliers are losing out to these low-cost manufacturers due to price and the lack of proper product specifications, it is difficult to differentiate between a superior and inferior quality hose.
Currently, there are no industry standards for testing. Therefore, tests are conducted without following any guidelines or procedures. For example, one specification asked for working pressure: 25 bar, testing pressure: 37.5 bar and bursting pressure: >50 bar. However, a high-quality hose should have a bursting pressure three times the working pressure which, in this example, should be >75 bar.
Further, there are no international, national standards or industry guidelines that regulate the production or process of the hoses. Sometimes, even, hoses are purchased to customers’ own specifications, which are neither robust nor stringent. It is therefore becoming easier for manufacturers to take advantage of the lack of existing standards and supply low-cost, low-quality solutions.