By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by CML

Future balsa supplies in UK

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
fly boy324/09/2020 15:50:16
avatar
3778 forum posts
22 photos

Is Depron still available in UK, and how does its price compare with balsa and foam board ? Thanks

John Stainforth24/09/2020 16:39:09
377 forum posts
64 photos

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 b24/09/2020 17:57:06
avatar
1934 forum posts
152 photos

I find that foamies degrade just as quick as balsa models when I fly them.

wink 2

Doc Marten25/09/2020 14:14:33
avatar
885 forum posts
18 photos

FT article from November 2019:

Balsa shortage threatens wind power rollout

Barrie Lever25/09/2020 14:42:58
avatar
368 forum posts
53 photos

Doc

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 !!

Regards

Barrie

ken anderson.25/09/2020 15:33:23
avatar
8771 forum posts
813 photos

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
avatar
1339 forum posts
146 photos

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 sales@belairkits.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 Marten25/09/2020 15:50:04
avatar
885 forum posts
18 photos

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 Gray25/09/2020 15:53:44
2378 forum posts
965 photos

If that doesn't drive panic buying..........................................

Ray Wood 425/09/2020 16:03:54
avatar
244 forum posts
44 photos

Yes absolutely 😀 I know where there is some so I'm picking it up tomorrow !!

Regards Ray

Doc Marten25/09/2020 16:07:04
avatar
885 forum posts
18 photos
Posted by Barrie Lever on 25/09/2020 14:42:58:

Doc

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 !!

Regards

Barrie

I've tried various links but they've all failed, copy and paste is my final option:

The rollout of new wind power projects could be delayed by a shortage of balsa wood.

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 Lever25/09/2020 16:23:36
avatar
368 forum posts
53 photos

Doc

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 !!

B.

Doc Marten25/09/2020 16:26:22
avatar
885 forum posts
18 photos
Posted by Barrie Lever on 25/09/2020 16:23:36:

Doc

On another note I await those investment tips !!

B.

Buy into Balsa. winklaugh

Kevin Wilson25/09/2020 17:55:53
avatar
403 forum posts
13 photos

Somebody needs to show the Chinese how to hot wire foam cores. Or would that just push up the cost of styrofoam.

kevin b25/09/2020 19:05:49
avatar
1934 forum posts
152 photos
Posted by Doc Marten on 25/09/2020 15:50:04:

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.

Would that be The Great Wall ? smiley

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 Marten25/09/2020 20:51:27
avatar
885 forum posts
18 photos
Posted by kevin b on 25/09/2020 19:05:49

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).

That depends on what the Chinese do with the plantations once they're finished with them, their track record doesn't inspire confidence.

Peter Miller25/09/2020 21:10:34
avatar
11503 forum posts
1369 photos
10 articles

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 B25/09/2020 22:45:54
avatar
1461 forum posts
4 photos

It likely did but the "big one" Spanish Flu likely started in the U.S. so........

Eric Robson26/09/2020 08:48:50
374 forum posts
81 photos
Posted by fly boy3 on 24/09/2020 15:50:16:

Is Depron still available in UK, and how does its price compare with balsa and foam board ? Thanks

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.

Eric r.

Edited By Eric Robson on 26/09/2020 09:00:18

Doug Campbell26/09/2020 10:14:09
114 forum posts
2 photos

There was the Regal Eagle by paper aviation. I am not sure of the materials but it involved some paper or carboard.

Doug

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Support Our Partners
CML
Slec
electricwingman 2017
Sussex Model Centre
Advertise With Us
Sarik
Latest "For Sale" Ads
NEW POLL - has the pandemic altered your event safety perceptions?
Q: Has the covid pandemic deterred you from attending shows and events in 2021?

 No, I'll be attending just as many as I usually do
 No, but I'll choose my event with greater care
 Yes, I'll attend fewer events going forward
 Yes, I wont attend any where previously I have

Latest Reviews
Digital Back Issues

RCM&E Digital Back Issues

Contact us

Contact us

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of RCM&E? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find RCM&E!