Buying 6061 sheet on Alibaba.com

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Victor Bravo

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Jul 30, 2014
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When I order form Aircraft Spruce, I specify that I want US aluminum from Kaiser or Alcoa and that is what they send me. I ordered a piece of 2024-T3 bar stock once, forgetting to specify US made. The aluminum arrived with the mill stamp "Ye Fong". There was a slight but noticeable difference in how the metal "felt" while I was working with it (drill press, files, saws, etc.). I did not use this metal for actual aircraft parts, it was used for early prototype parts development, spacers, and things other than the final airworthy piece.

Regardless of any issue of politics, nationalism, and US job losses... I think the homebuilt community can and must get together and apply a little influence on the larger aircraft parts and supply houses regarding material suppliers from a quality control and flight safety standpoint.

I've got the FAA breathing down my neck looking to take my license over the !(#*%$ compass correction card, the sleazebag real estate developers are cheerfully destroying my airports as fast as they can, the oil companies making it too expensive for me to fly, the lawyers are looking to cut me up like a fat hog if I so much as scratch someone's skin with an airplane, the news media wants to make me look like public enemy number one, the environmentalists are looking to make me the bad guy who's gonna destroy the planet, and the IRS is looking to tax the safety wire on my propeller bolts.

The absolute last mother-$*^&# thing I need in aviation is to worry about falling out of the sky because my spars were made with Kung Pao Aluminum.
 
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aviast

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Jun 4, 2011
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Brisbane, Australia
For aerospace metals have you tried Airport Metals Australia which is Melbourne based.
Yes, I've got their price list and they're comparable to Aircraft Spruce.

There's been a lot of anecdotal discussion about the poor quality of Chinese metal. Like everyone I've encountered my fair share of poor-quality "Made in China" products, but I'm not sure I agree with the implication that these quality issues are an inherent part of "Made in China". Surely the product specification has something to do with it? China is in the midst of a long period of development and advancement and I think it would be foolish to write them off as mere producers of poor-quality products. They are making huge strides, especially in aerospace!
The situation with China reminds me of a scene from "Back to the Future III" when Doc Brown says: "No wonder this circuit failed; it says 'Made in Japan'" to which Marty replies, "What do you mean, Doc? All the best stuff is made in Japan."

Interesting times...
 

Jan Olieslagers

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May 28, 2014
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Haacht, Belgium
Certainly one can get high quality products from China, there can be no argument there. What I wanted to point out is (putting it as politely as I can) that Chinese culture seems to have a looser interpretation than most people expect of type numbers, specifications, and norms. It is known for a fact about the electronic examples I mentioned (LM317, MJ15003, ...), at least some caution is in order about their "4130".

Then again, there might be a difference between a "product" like 4130 vs. an "article" like a transistor or IC.
 

ekimneirbo

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Oct 31, 2014
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I wonder where Ford will be getting all its aluminum for the new trucks they build with aluminum body parts? If they buy it solely from American sources
I would think the supply and demand ratio would drive prices up............kinda like crude oil. Notice how the infusion of some domestically produced crude
oil drove prices down. Now the question will be whether the demand for aluminum will increase supplies or increase the prices.
 

Chlomo

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Oct 8, 2014
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Seoul
The situation with China reminds me of a scene from "Back to the Future III" when Doc Brown says: "No wonder this circuit failed; it says 'Made in Japan'" to which Marty replies, "What do you mean, Doc? All the best stuff is made in Japan."

Interesting times...
'Tell me doctor, where are we going this time?
Is it the fifties or nineteen ninety nine?'


HBA should have a dedicated hoverboard section by now.
Forget half vw! People would be asking for cheep 200lbf turbines for their skates!
 

clanon

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Jun 6, 2007
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When i was designing my PSRU , it called my attention that Chinese manufacturers where given to their exact same product code part number ; some 40~ 50% more RPM limits than SKF

Sorry couldn't help it :
[video]www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sJcIYuHZZc[/video]
 

cheapracer

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Sep 8, 2013
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Australian
but I'm not sure I agree with the implication that these quality issues are an inherent part of "Made in China". .
Got nothing to do with China, cheap crap is cheap crap regardless of where it was made.

Those who bought cheap crap who complain that their awesomely savvy purchase failed, ought to have a good look at the reality of what they thought they were going to achieve with their shiny $5 POS.

Buy smarter next time.


They also used to have a rover on the lunar surface too, but it broke. :D
FWIW there is a lot of available resource to offer a number of parodies to counter your post, but the reality is just to get a rocket into space (let alone get to the moon and put something on it) has proven impossible for most countries, and there's a long trail of broken machines and human bodies to prove it's an endeavour that rightfully deserves the utmost respect.
 

Topaz

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Okay, guys. You know we have rules here about personal attacks AND political discussions, etc. Both have been violated in the last few posts that I just pulled. Be nice.
 
S

SvingenB

The only aircraft related thing I have bought directly from China were Tungsten bucking bars. These I got directly from "Chinatungsten" at 1/4 of the price at Aircraftspruce. No doubt they are "genuine" tungsten (easy to check).

Maybe about 60-70% of all the aircraft stuff (materials + tools) I have got is from the USA. 10-20% of it has been of terrible quality, like the "Mofoco" heads for the AeroVee, another 10-20% of it (tools mostly) have been cheap and poor China-import. Most of it have been OK though. The rest is from Europe (locally), all top quality. Even the Chinese import are much better here if you stay away from the "too cheap to be true" stuff.

That is my impression. I'm not saying it's always correct, but it seems you get the quality you are paying for except in the USA where there seems to be little appreciation for quality at some places and things are mixed together.
 

clanon

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Jun 6, 2007
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1,105
Quality Control are very different animals , when you switch countries and or Continents.
Loose State controls and or corruption seems to be the problem ; accountability and tracing...and so on.

PS:If you wanna check those things fast ; just watch traffic videos on you tube from different countries..
 

1946

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Oct 2, 2010
Messages
195
Location
Qingdao, China
Has anyone bought sheet direct from China?

Aluminum Sheets, Aluminum Sheets Products, Aluminum Sheets Manufacturers, Aluminum Sheets Suppliers and Exporters Directory

Presumably these are the suppliers providing the materials to Aircraft Spruce/Wicks/etc anyway - do these middlemen do anything to add value to the product? (eg. quality assurance?)

In Australia the options are limited and I'll probably have to import most of my materials from Aircraft Spruce anyway... are there any good reasons to not get it direct from the source?

Because the aviation manufacturing industry is more concerned about safety and performance than cost, it puts a priority on quality and reliability when purchasing components; cheap labor is insufficient to make a manufacturer competitive. This said, manufacturers do seek to constrain costs. China-based suppliers have become important sources of some components and modules but one will not find at AliBaba a government (CAAC-COMAC) approved alloy supplier. Furthermore, for any approved 6061 aviation grade alloy purchase in China, one has to have a license and a legal company related to aircrafts for those purchases. In China , everything’s gets stamped.
Albert
 
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