Be it from boats, barges, or Mother Nature herself, marine infrastructure applications are bound to take a beating. Finding a sturdy, durable material to withstand it all can be quite a challenge. But that’s where Tangent comes in. Our structurally-engineered marine-grade plastic lumber is a great alternative to traditional wood, metal, or concrete because it will hold up to even the harshest environments.


Safeguard Your Bridges with Structural Recycled Plastic Lumber

Many project components, including piles and dolphins, create secure structures that help guide vessels and barges through channels away from bridge supports. Bridge pier protection systems keep the bridge intact and out of harm’s way by absorbing energy when boats and barges knock up against the structures. Traditional building materials like wood, metal, and concrete can break down, degrade and corrode in marine industry applications because they’re submerged in water. Treated lumber can leach chemicals into the water, which is harmful to marine life. Rust from metal can find its way into drinking water, and concrete won’t hold up because seawater includes calcium, potassium and other chemicals that can break down the material over time.

Consider a wood-alternative building material instead of using a short-term solution that will need to be replaced and repaired; look to the long-term environmentally-friendly solution: structural recycled plastic lumber. Tangent has over 25 years of proven experience in manufacturing marine-grade structural HDPE plastic lumber bridge pier protection systems.

Extend the Life of Your Dock with Structural HDPE Plastic Decking Materials

Docks are boardwalks or walkways that are constructed over a body of water, usually a lake, river or ocean. Common types of maritime docks are berthing docks, floating docks, and commercial and pedestrian piers. Wharves are a series of docks along a harbor that barges and vessels use to load and unload cargo. These structures must be durable and long-lasting as they play an important part in marine transportation and help keep the process smooth-sailing. Important project requirements when constructing a dock or wharf include dimensional stability and the ability to hold up in wet environments, a reliable fastening system and aesthetic. Saltwater and other chemicals in seawater can break down traditional building materials like wood, metal, and concrete. When constructing docks and wharves, considering the foundation, soil and the potential for moving water or currents is important.

Docks, piers, and wharves receive heavy traffic, and in some cases, heavy cargo loads. Traditional building materials like wood, metal, and concrete can fall short and require maintenance and repairs. Wood can rot and mold due to consistent exposure to moisture, concrete can break down due to compounds found in seawater, like calcium and potassium, and metal can rust and corrode. This breaks down the material, ultimately resulting in cracks, splinters, and breaks. Using a structural and long-lasting building material like plastic lumber can save you maintenance costs and keep your docks, piers, and wharves intact for generations to come.

Protect Your Marine Projects the Right Way with Structural Plastic Lumber

Fenders are bumpers constructed around docks, piers and bridges that provide support and protection against accidental damage. As boats, vessels and barges travel along the water, fender systems help absorb energy from impact. Impact occurs when ships come into port and bump up against docks and piers, and when boats navigate under bridges and other large structures. Fendering systems perform only as well as the building material that they are constructed from. Traditional building materials like wood, metal and concrete can break down, rot, mold and decay over time due to submersion in water. Fendering systems are constructed in and around water, and chemicals like calcium and potassium found in seawater can deteriorate these traditional building materials, causing the need for future repairs and replacement. Not to mention, when large vessels bump up against wood, the friction that is created can cause the fendering system to splinter.

Finding a material that is resistant to moisture deterioration, but is still high-quality and high-performing can be difficult. Structural recycled plastic lumber is a great alternative to traditional building materials and is built to last. It is best-suited for marine projects like fendering systems.

Reinforce Your Coastline with Strength & Durability

Keeping shorelines safe from erosion and deterioration is no easy feat. Many contributing factors like waves and currents, storms and rising sea levels overtake beaches and remove sand, changing the coastline. These are natural environmental occurrences but can become damaging for marinas and beaches when landslides take place and dunes are formed. Shoreline maintenance projects like retaining walls, groynes and wave attenuation can help diminish the impact of beach erosion by regulating water current energy to reduce the effects. Groynes act as barriers built into the water from the shoreline to protect beach drift. Retaining walls are commonly used where elevation occurs to stabilize sand and dirt and wave attenuation includes low walls or fences located underwater to dampen wave and current energy from coming to shore.

Erosion can cost a lot of time and money to fix, and finding the right building material for shoreline maintenance applications can be difficult because these projects have many performance characteristics that must be met to achieve success. The material must remain intact when submerged in water and not have a negative impact on marine life. Traditionally, these projects are constructed using wooden timbers, concrete and metal. However, conventional building materials can fall short and require long-term maintenance and cost because the performance characteristics don’t meet all the requirements.

Light-Duty Piling with Heavy-Duty Performance

Small water piles are installed on docks and piers to protect and support the foundation against damage from boats and vessels. These piles are often installed below sea level and provide structural integrity. Light-duty piling includes small-water applications like private and public docks and recreational marinas. Important project requirements for light-duty piling includes structural integrity, the ability to hold up without deteriorating in wet environments and energy absorption capabilities. Traditional building materials for these piles like wood, metal and concrete can break down over time. Wooden piles can splinter and crack from repeated bumps and small impacts, causing a decrease in the strength in the pile and increasing the need for replacement. This decreases the project material life-cycle, and the maintenance and repair costs can accrue over time, creating more hassle than a long-term solution. Consistent exposure to moisture can rot, mold and decay traditional wood, causing the need for replacement and chemicals found in seawater can deteriorate metal and concrete.

Consider structural HDPE plastic lumber for light-duty piling as an alternative to traditional building materials.

Stand Up to Strong Waters with Structural Reinforcement

Walers are structural support beams that attach to structures like retaining walls, fender piles and docks. Walers provide protection from boats and barges by absorbing energy from the impact. Traditional building materials for waler beams include wood, concrete and steel. Structural integrity is an important building material requirement in waler beams that can make or break (literally) project success. Structural characteristic requirements include flexibility, energy absorption, strength and the ability to hold up when submerged in water. Waler beams also take quite a beating and can require repairs and replacement over time. Finding a material that is low-maintenance and durable can help increase the project life-cycle.

The question is: is there a building material that is heavy-duty, can meet all project requirements AND can increase my project life-cycle? The answer is “yes”. Structural recycled plastic lumber is an alternative that is built to last.

Safely Guide Vessels with a Long-Term Solution

Navigational aids are waterway signs that can be fixed (attached to the seabed), or floating objects that are placed throughout waters and provide helpful information for boaters and operators. Typically referred to as the “waterway road signs”, these structures hold important information like location, distance to a specific destination, traffic speeds, safety information and advertisements. Common types of navigational aids include buoys and beacons. Buoys provide position, channel location and warnings for potential danger and hazards like underwater pipes and dredging lines. Beacons, including lighthouses, are primarily used to guide operators through water channels. The use of navigational aids is extremely important for boat operators and help maintain safety on the water.

Collisions are the highest contributor to boating accidents, and navigational aids greatly reduce this risk. It’s important for these waterway road signs to be constructed from high-quality material that can withstand extreme moisture and boat and vessel impact. Traditional building materials like wood and metal can mold, corrode and break down due to water submersion. Like road signs, these must be maintained at all times.

What if there was a solution that could help keep your navigational aids intact? Well, you’re in luck! Consider using recycled plastic lumber as a wood and metal alternative and keep your navigational aids intact for generations to come.

Secure Your Project with a Structural Plastic Lumber Substructure

A joist is a horizontal structural board that is used to span an open space. In docking and boardwalk substructure, joists are installed between beams to help transfer load-bearing weight to other members and to support the top boards. Stringers are beams that run lengthwise and also help transfer weight for more even distribution and are typically installed on top of the joists. Oftentimes, structural support beams like joists and stringers are exposed to high moisture. Bridges and docks are built over and in water and due to changing tides, sometimes these beams can be completely submerged. It’s important that joist and stringer beams can withstand consistent moisture and can also maintain structural integrity over time. Since these beams support heavy loads, it’s also important for the material to have the strength and load-bearing technical properties.

Traditional building materials like wood and metal provide structural integrity but can fall short in a wet environment. Constant exposure to moisture can rot and break down traditional wood, and metal will rust and corrode, which can leach harmful chemicals into the water, endangering the environment and sea life. Chemically-treated wood also will leach chemicals, so it’s best to use a material that isn’t treated at all.

Cluster Together with a Durable Building Material that is Built to Last

Dolphins are marine structures that provide pier protection from vessels and barges and serve as a mooring point and hold navigational aids, safety information and in some cases, advertising. They are typically constructed using multiple piles and are installed offshore.

Dolphins are located partially under water and require a building material that is structurally sturdy, low-maintenance and easy to install. Traditional building materials like wood, metal and concrete can break down over time, causing the need for repairs and replacement. Chemicals found in seawater, like calcium and potassium, can eat away at wood timbers and concrete, causing them to splinter or crack, and metal can corrode and rust when exposed to consistent moisture. Not only does the material break down over time, but it also leeches chemicals into the water that can harm sea life and deteriorate drinking water safety.

Finding a durable building material that can hold up in wet environments and has structural performance characteristics can be challenging, especially with traditional building materials that can fall short. Recycled plastic lumber is a great alternative to traditional building materials that will meet all dolphin project requirements.

With Tangent’s wide variety of sizes, colors, and product lines, you’re sure to find the right material for your job.