Although each of our products has its own unique set of attributes, every structure produced by Flotation Docking Systems is characterized by core design fundamentals that have been practiced since our inception. Having developed our products in close association with both the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Waterways Commission for over forty years, our engineering methodology remains among the highest quality and most enduring in the marine construction industry.
In the interest of providing a more thorough understanding of our Flotation Docking Systems design, we offer the following comments relative to several aforementioned “design fundamentals” of our floating docks, fishing piers, and wave attenuators. For additional information and technical data, please see the following .pdf files.
Monocoque describes the premise of our product design – one that is entirely unique to the industry. Identical to the construction format of large aircraft fuselage and wing sections, a closely spaced arrangement of exterior framing walls, interior bulkheads, and upper and lower bodywork are fastened together in a highly dense format. The end result yields the strongest and most forgiving structural shape known to modern engineering principals, thus the reason behind its application to the aircraft industry as well as the world’s fastest racecar designs.
Dissipation of Energy Forces
Of the many unique characteristics that the monocoque structure carries, energy forces from wave, impact, wind, and anchorage loads are dissipated throughout the thousands of fasteners - translated and received as tensile forces on the upper and lower sheet steel body work - or as compressive forces over the network of timber framing and bulk heading. This "translation of forces" effect allow our floating docks to withstand incredible loads with very little noticeable deflection or impact to the structure's stability and functionality.
With virtually every square foot of an FDS floating pier receiving flat-bottom flotation support, our system offers two sources of superior stability. First, superimposed live loads are counteracted by said buoyancy support resulting in a comfortable, consistent, and predictable freeboard loss. Second, the bobbing reaction to wave and swell activity is much more subtle than that of any intermittent support design. Much like the bobbing difference between a heavy steel navigational aid and a small barge of similar weight, a total support flotation system inherits superior stability.
Our hybrid construction format is a marriage of pressure treated #1 southern yellow pine exterior framing walls and interior bulkheads, heavily oversized galvanized structural steel components, and galvanized sheet steel, all joined together through an aggressive network of high strength fasteners. (Note: For water conditions that are not compatible with galvanized sheet steel, we offer a chemical coating alternative.)Back to Top