|fly boy3||24/09/2020 15:50:16|
3778 forum posts
Is Depron still available in UK, and how does its price compare with balsa and foam board ? Thanks
|John Stainforth||24/09/2020 16:39:09|
|377 forum posts|
I don't think Balsa is old hat; it's just that the majority is now being transferred to other more lucrative businesses.
Before we decry balsa, we should remember that it is a highly variable material, which varies greatly in its properties. It has a nine-fold range of densities with greatly varying strength, and the strength can be isotropic or highly anisotropic depending on the cut. Whereas, I imagine that Depron has rather consistent, isotropic properties.
It would be really useful if one of the experts with these new materials could comply a list of suitable substitutes for all the various cuts and weights of balsa wood.
Another concern is that balsa wood is degradable, but many synthetics are not.
|kevin b||24/09/2020 17:57:06|
1934 forum posts
I find that foamies degrade just as quick as balsa models when I fly them.
|Doc Marten||25/09/2020 14:14:33|
885 forum posts
FT article from November 2019:
|Barrie Lever||25/09/2020 14:42:58|
368 forum posts
I see now why you are so wealthy !!
You read the FT and must be a digital subscriber to access that article.
So any investment tips would be welcome !!
|ken anderson.||25/09/2020 15:33:23|
8771 forum posts
apart from the Slec and balsa cabin statements...….does anyone truly have any knowledge about is/isn't balsa wood still going to be available?
ken anderson....ne...1....facts dept.
|Alan Gorham_||25/09/2020 15:38:47|
1339 forum posts
It is a fact that the two biggest importers of balsa into the UK have said that they have no ongoing supply of Balsa. Not sure what more info you need to convince yourself?
Belair kits have issued a statement too:
"Hello all, Just an update on the current situation regarding production and wood. Many of you have seen the statement from SLEC - **LINK** and indeed other model balsa wood suppliers across the globe. The Chinese state funded wind turbine industry is buying almost all the available balsa from Equador to Australia. This leaves very little (almost nothing) for the modelling industry, so I am afraid shortages and extended delivery times may be the norm. We have ready, since June, had to contend with 4 periods of not having balsa. In addition, the price of wood will increase by 150%, taking your sheet of 1/16th balsa from about £1.40 to nearly £3.50. Obviously, we will see a massive increase in the cost of everything.
Currently, we have a reasonable supply and all orders are being completed with lead-times of around 2-4 weeks. So hopefully we are keeping everyone happy. Plywood supplies are excellent, both Birch and liteply.
As we mentioned back in March we are operating solely online without an office. This has helped us concentrate on maintaining a safe work environment and to continue production even during lockdown. With the possibility of new extended measures, we will continue to operate online only. Please email us at email@example.com, via our website - www.belairkits.com or via this page. I am trying to answer enquiries between 5.30 am and 11pm, 7 days a week.
Let me know via email or comments here if I can help.
Finally, I wish that you, your families and friends all stay safe during these times. Regards, Leon - Belair"
As have NJR Modelling, who kit some of the old SAS gliders plus the KDS Mirus:
"As a small U.K. producer of model kits, I really enjoy the fact that I can add a personal touch to the products that go out the door. It also means that I can have a closer relationship with the customers, give direct help and support where needed, and generally make them happy.
I also like to keep all of the new and existing customers informed as much as I can with what is happening with orders and new kit releases. It is with heavy heart that this piece of news isn’t great.
I’m sure we are all aware of the current situation that is happening all around the world. This pandemic is having a massive knock on effect to millions of people, and many economies. Our little worldwide modelling community is also suffering, and as what could be a result of the pandemic, material costs are increasing drastically. I also believe that the direct cost of balsa is being driven up due to demand for land in the Far East for wind turbine locations.
The effect of these material increases is that the end products that arrive to you will go up in price to put it very simply and honestly. When this will happen and by how much the increase will be I don’t know, but when it does happen I will let you all know. I just wanted to give you all the heads up"
|Doc Marten||25/09/2020 15:50:04|
885 forum posts
I've heard from an employee at managerial level of a major UK distributor that it's unlikely that SLEC will see any new balsa this year.
The worlds economies are going into recession but the Chinese are expanding theirs.
Read the wall people.
|Ron Gray||25/09/2020 15:53:44|
|2378 forum posts|
If that doesn't drive panic buying..........................................
|Ray Wood 4||25/09/2020 16:03:54|
244 forum posts
Yes absolutely 😀 I know where there is some so I'm picking it up tomorrow !!
|Doc Marten||25/09/2020 16:07:04|
885 forum posts
I've tried various links but they've all failed, copy and paste is my final option:
Better known for its use in model aircraft, table-tennis bats and surfboards, balsa is a key component of many wind turbine blade cores because it is both strong and lightweight. Prices have almost doubled in the past 12 months and suppliers are warning that the balsa shortage threatens a bottleneck in new wind farm developments next year. “Balsa has one of the biggest shortages” among materials used in wind turbines, said Tobias Hahn, chief executive of Diab Group, one of three leading material suppliers for wind turbine blades. The wood is grown almost exclusively in Ecuador, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Producers in the Latin American country have benefited from the shortage, saying prices are likely to keep rising next year.
Wind turbine manufacturers are racing to prepare for a bumper year in 2020, when a surge in newly installed wind capacity is expected in the world’s two biggest economies. Next year “is going to be big for wind power in the US and China”, said Shashi Barla, a wind energy analyst at Wood Mackenzie. The consultancy predicts 75 gigawatts of wind power capacity will be added globally next year, up from 67GW in 2019, and expects a demand spike in China ahead of the lapsing of subsidies in 2021. The plastic material PET has increasingly been used as a substitute for balsa in turbine blades, accounting for about 30 per cent of the market. But a boom in demand on the back of the balsa problems has also created a shortage of PET. PVC is another alternative.
A long and heavy wet season in Ecuador this year has not helped, hampering both the harvesting of the wood and its transportation to Ecuador’s main port of Guayaquil for export. And production is set to take another hit soon when the rainy season begins again. “It’s difficult to see a solution any time in the next two years,” said Ricardo Ortíz, the owner of Lumber Industries, an Ecuadorean balsa producer. Feng Zhao, strategy director at the Global Wind Energy Council, said the balsa shortage would have a “negative impact on global installation”, particularly in China. The potential lack of supplies of the wood, which takes four years from plantation to harvest, comes as the US and China plan to roll out 14.5GW and 29GW of wind power capacity next year respectively, compared with roughly 8GW and 21GW in 2018.
As with other commodities, China’s growing presence has added another layer of complexity to the balsa market. “The problem is that [Ecuador] is full of Chinese intermediaries, who have deep pockets” and outbid each other to procure raw balsa, said Mr Ortíz.
Edited By Doc Marten on 25/09/2020 16:12:08
|Barrie Lever||25/09/2020 16:23:36|
368 forum posts
Thanks for the copy and paste, makes the normal depressing reading like other things connected with the 'Evil Empire'.
On another note I await those investment tips !!
|Doc Marten||25/09/2020 16:26:22|
885 forum posts
Buy into Balsa.
|Kevin Wilson||25/09/2020 17:55:53|
403 forum posts
Somebody needs to show the Chinese how to hot wire foam cores. Or would that just push up the cost of styrofoam.
|kevin b||25/09/2020 19:05:49|
1934 forum posts
Would that be The Great Wall ?
On the plus side, we will benefit from lots of cheap balsa when the wind turbine bubble bursts (well those of us under a certain age anyway).
|Doc Marten||25/09/2020 20:51:27|
885 forum posts
That depends on what the Chinese do with the plantations once they're finished with them, their track record doesn't inspire confidence.
|Peter Miller||25/09/2020 21:10:34|
11503 forum posts
One can always hope that the next Chinese virus wipes out......
No, I mustn't be evil!!
I mentioned on a another thread the Asian Flu pandemic from 57-8. That was also started in China.
If they don't stop sending out these pandemics they won't have a market for their wind farm blades because we will no longer have enough people to cause global warming.
Roll on Armageddon
|Ben B||25/09/2020 22:45:54|
1461 forum posts
It likely did but the "big one" Spanish Flu likely started in the U.S. so........
|Eric Robson||26/09/2020 08:48:50|
|374 forum posts|
Hi fly boy 3, at the nationals last year I bought some Depron from SLEC. I was told it was no longer available after their current stock run out , I have not found an alternative apart from foam board. Looks like we will have to find something soon if we want to carry on making model aeroplanes. Peter Miller mentioned a cardboard kit which came out in the 80's I think it was the Stanley trainer made from corrogated cardboard. Popular joke at the time was you threw the kit away and built the box. I think it may work better with electric power which was not available at the time. Graupner Vector board seemed like a good alternative but that is no longer available as far as I know.
Edited By Eric Robson on 26/09/2020 09:00:18
|Doug Campbell||26/09/2020 10:14:09|
|114 forum posts|
There was the Regal Eagle by paper aviation. I am not sure of the materials but it involved some paper or carboard.
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