A serious warning for builders!

Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by parkert51, Nov 15, 2011.

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  1. Nov 15, 2011 #1

    parkert51

    parkert51

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    Hello All!


     

     

    Recently I have purchased a good bit of 4130 tube. Here at Thunder Aviation we test every batch of material we will be using and have had some very disconcerting results. This particular batch came from a major supplier of aircraft products. Once it was unloaded we took several random samples and performed pull tests with shocking results. So we then pulled several more samples for x-ray. We received 4130 chrome moly with as many as 18 inclusions per inch! This is without a doubt junk material. We had a similar experience from a second major supplier and a nightmare issue with some 5052 aluminum that would barely weld. The problem with the chrome moly is by looking you would never have realized a problem. Without testing I wonder how much of this material is out there flying around now?


    My best advice folks is to require a supplier to certify country of origin when ordering such materials. And only accept materials from the US and Germany. We have found no issues with materials from these two countries.
     
  2. Nov 15, 2011 #2

    GrasshopperULS

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    Tom,

    It is your duty to tell us who this material came from! I've received over 20,000 linear feet in the last two months and didn't do any test. I assumed it was what I ordered. I even have certs for it.

    Sincerely,
    Eugene
     
  3. Nov 15, 2011 #3

    GrasshopperULS

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    I'm gonna guess your stock came from China?
     
  4. Nov 15, 2011 #4

    parkert51

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    I was told they only dealt in US materials, found out afterwords it was from china. Get the origin certification is the best advice I can give!
     
  5. Nov 15, 2011 #5

    bmcj

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    My first reaction to this is that I also wanted to know who supplied the tubing. However, after giving it some thought, I realized that Tom is correct in that this problem is probably not specific to one supplier (in fact, he stated in his first post that he had a seceond defective batch from another supplier). Also, the supplier may indeed rectify the situation once it is pointed out by Tom (or anyone else) if they were not previously aware of the issue. Tom, can I assume you notified the supplier of the defects?

    Publicly naming a supplier to a wide audience has the possibility of ruining that supplier, which is not good given the limited supplier chain available to us now. It is also not fair to the supplier if they are willing to fix the problem. Now, if the supplier blatantly continues to supply bad tubing, then by all means start naming names. Until then though, I would have no particular issue with Tom sharing the supplier's name by PM to someone else who is buying tubing, but the ultimate solution as Tom suggests is to request certification of the material.

    Grasshopper, I don't see where Tom would benefit himself from hiding the name. If you are concerned about your tubing, I would suggest you ask your supplier to verify the origin of the materials.
     
  6. Nov 15, 2011 #6

    parkert51

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    Yes I immediately brought it to the suppliers attention on both occasions and the material was replaced with appropriate material for the application accompanied by a certificate of origin. I also offered to share the information privately with grasshopper and was called a S.O.B for my efforts. The thread was intended to bring the issue forward and not to bash the supplier or destroy my business relationship with them. Furthermore to expect me to do otherwise in my summation was unreasonable and uncalled for. A company like mine relies on suppliers and without them I would have to close the doors. But by grasshoppers summation I should name them and if I lost everything as a result then that would be fine to. Easy for someone who has nothing to loose.

    I actually called a few other suppliers and was told that they to utilized the same sources for some of the materials they sale. I let them know of my experience also and was told by a couple they would no longer use that source.


    Thank you sir for understanding my position. This thread has had a negative effect on many I am sure and they will probably refrain from ever sharing such information because of it. Its a shame to be attacked with lies and accusations when all one seeks to do is warn the aviation community!
     
  7. Nov 15, 2011 #7

    Marc Bourget

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    [The previous reply was posted while I composed mine]

    Parkert51 said:

    "My best advice folks is to require a supplier to certify country of origin when ordering such materials. And only accept materials from the US and Germany. We have found no issues with materials from these two countries."

    Eugene @ GrasshopperULS said:

    "Tom,

    It is your duty to tell us who this material came from! I've received over 20,000 linear feet in the last two months and didn't do any test. I assumed it was what I ordered. I even have certs for it."

    And:

    "Quote from Tom via private message! He'd rather let people get killed than expose where the faulty material is coming from to protect his business!!!! "

    The dialogue between Tom and Eugene raises questions about ethics and competence!

    Surely the exchange is affected by the emotions revealed, regardless, the messages present several important issues. By the content, it appears neither poster has a firm grasp of their civic duty, personal responsibility, the definition of technical terms or "Industry Standards"

    Certificates of Origin - address the only place of origin, but say nothing as to the quality of the material. We all know what happens when we "assume" something. Certs of Origin are irrelevant to the subject matter of this thread - except to the obligation to perform tests.

    A Material Certification, by contrast, is a definite statement which provides assurances that the materials acquired satisfy defined industry standards. I believe the ASM, ATSM, SAE and ASME all issue standards for 4130. These standards may include process certifications (how it’s made) in addition to material composition. Suppliers should be required to provide certification, documenting the metallurgical composition and grain structures of each shipment.

    There is neither room, nor excuse for ignorance when you’re dealing with materials used in devices intended to be used by or carry human beings. Considering the reports of fraudulent material designations on materials produced in China, I believe supplier testing of material originating from those countries is probably mandatory.

    Product Liability, particularly with "man-rated" devices, holds anyone in the stream of commerce liable for "foreseeable faults". I believe it is below the standard of care to fail to either: 1) obtain Material or Inspection Certification; or, 2) have such materials tested by a materials lab or tested internally.

    I’ll take it a step further since I feel it is unethical to use material, intended for "man-rated" devices, without a Material Certification or Inspection Certificate (one or the other). If neither, you must test or have it tested.

    To sell such material exposes the seller to the possibility of punitive damages and, in some circumstances (Michael Jackson’s Doctor) criminal prosecution if someone is seriously injured or killed.

    Statements about the material, or the supplier are not libel if they are expressed in the form of a non-reckless opinion or the underlying facts are true.

    The reference of a "quote from Tom" by my reading, (i.e., my opinion) does not appear to be a "quote" or is expressed in the form of an expression of opinion.

    Guys, step back, take a deep breath, and start over after re-considering your posts and the points raised in this reply.

    Marc Bourget
    TC#5436
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  8. Nov 15, 2011 #8

    Himat

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    Fake parts, pirate parts, substandard parts and "recycled" parts instead of new items.
    They flush into the industry. All kind of industry, at all levels. PC graphic cards that didn't work that well. A picture was sent to the branded manufacturer wich did not recognize the PCB nor the components. Electonic components, put under a microscoope you do see that all print is not "right". Neither are the component, they work, but not as spesified. Substandar bolt's and fittings. They are all out there. Some know and work hard to obscure the origins. Other's are decived and dont know.

    If a supplier take action when notified there is a reason for not puting the name out. One source of bogous parts are then filtered out and you keep a supplier that will be more vigilant. Without the supplier you will have to do all the work of geting parts the next time and filtering out the bad ones.
     
  9. Nov 15, 2011 #9

    parkert51

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    Marc Bourget, I cant dispute what you have stated here. We do test the materials we use and will continue to do so. Again this has degraded to a personal attack without cause in my honest opinion. And I will take steps to rectify this. But in the mean time I am hopeful that those building aircraft will take appropriate steps. That was and is my intent.


    Thanks,

    Tom
     
  10. Nov 15, 2011 #10

    parkert51

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    Goodnight All, Been working 2 shifts while hunting for a second location. And I am beat, 8 am isn't far away and I need some rest.


    I do apologize for this thread imploding. It was never my intent to pick a fight and had I known the outcome I may have considered other ways of doing this. But it had to be said. And to anyone wishing to verify that this is an ongoing problem. Contact me in private and I will put you in touch with another company that has had the same issues. This is a well known company that has been around much longer than I.



    Tom
     
  11. Nov 15, 2011 #11

    Himat

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    And what everyone now need to do is to request material certificates and test themself. The certificatate might help, but it could be a forgery, just as the materials/parts are. Naming a supplier late in the supply chain do not help if they honestly work to avoid substandard parts.

    I do repeat, everyone have to do test samples.
    That is the only way to filter out substandard parts.
    (Some vendors do send "special" parts to test/certification labs to pass the test! (Chinese Export))
     
  12. Nov 15, 2011 #12

    Himat

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    I do support you, it's good you started the thread to raise avareness.
    And naming the supplier might not be wise. As stated, you, and others do need the help of suppliers.

    Grashopper and others, what do you do when the only suppliers are all located in China? Web order and post/UPS delivery. That could be the endgame if you named every supplier that happened to provide fake/forged materials now and then. Cheap, but no quality assurance at all.
     
  13. Nov 15, 2011 #13

    autoreply

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    Moderator note:
    I've trashed almost half of the messages in this thread. HBA does not provide a platform for personal attacks, nor for publicizing private messages, threats and so on. Let's keep it on-topic and in a grown-up manner here people. Questions, remarks and so on about moderating via PM to me (or another moderator).




    Ontopic: thanks for sharing Tom. I hope you are willing to share which products did meet the standards.
     
  14. Nov 15, 2011 #14

    parkert51

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    I also received a very good supply of 2024 t6 .020 sheet and 6062 t6 .040 sheet as well as bar stock and slab. These materials were fine as was all the hardware ordered.



    As for the thread, I say this, you sure know how to clean it up!






    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  15. Nov 15, 2011 #15

    Jan Carlsson

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    Tom,

    I am glad you come forward with this, it is very serius stuff in the way we use it in aviation. hopefully the supplier take a closer look on what they are buying.
    China produce cheap stuff, and we gladly buy it, and at the same time we have to close our factorys or sell/move them to china. exporting not only our jobs, money, but also technology. BUT if they keep selling rubbish as it was top of the line products, it will bite them in the ** just after it have biten us.

    Jan
     
  16. Nov 15, 2011 #16

    bmcj

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    Is Sweden also losing production jobs to China?
     
  17. Nov 15, 2011 #17

    Dan Thomas

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    Another question: Was this tubing sold as "certified" aircraft material, or just for homebuilders? If it had certs, some of it certainly will have found its way into certified aircraft and we who work on those can expect Airworthiness Notices from our respective governments warning us, and perhaps some ADs against certain serial numbers of aircraft that make them almost completely worthless. There are manufacturers still making tube and rag airplanes, after all. This could bankrupt them.
    The low prices of imported Asian goods are nice, but what are we saving in the long run? Not jobs, certainly, nor quality assurance.

    Dan
     
  18. Nov 15, 2011 #18

    topspeed100

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    I don't know Sweden but we have had just about all tech firms ( production facilities ) in China for about a decade now. Just like iPhone and others.
     
  19. Nov 15, 2011 #19

    highspeed

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    This is an excellent example of why a good quality control system is essential. Thunder Aviation caught a batch of bad material even before it entered their inventory. You may have to pay extra for it, but I think it is well worth the effort to get material certifications with all metals being used in an aircraft. The material should be marked with a number that traces it to the material certification. Documents can be forged, but remember that falsifiying a material certification is a federal crime. One of these days I might put up a post on how to read a material certification. I do it every day as a quality control inspector for a company doing oilfield work.
     
  20. Nov 15, 2011 #20

    bmcj

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    Documents can be forged, but supply chains can be verified. Once the point of infusion is identified and eliminated, a reliable, trustworthy, and verifiable supply chain can be established. As long as each link in the chain knows and trusts the link (supplier) upstream of them, then we might be able to weed out this problem. Still, testing is a prudent measure... even honest manufacturers sometimes have defects.
     

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