Can you believe it -- aluminum unavailable in NZL!

I just used up my last stock of 1.6mm thick annealed 1200 aluminum on
some spinning and went to re-order.
Guess what?
You can no longer buy anything but 5000 or 3000 grade aluminum sheet
in New Zealand!
I checked with all the limited number of aluminum suppliers here and
*nobody* can supply.
Talking with a couple of professional metal-spinners, they confirmed
the situation.
What a pain in the backside that is!
Neither 5000 series nor 3000 series sheet will spin (even when
regularly annealed) to anywhere near the degree that 1000 series does
so I'm stuck with looking at other options for making a new batch of
venturis. It's either cut and weld (which produces sharp contours and
is very time-consuming) or turn from solid which is also slow and
expensive.
What is the world coming to?
Reply to
xjet
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JC
Reply to
John R. Carroll
I'm missing the relevance -- is titanium used in making 120-series aluminum?
Reply to
Joe Pfeiffer
Did anyone indicate why no one is bringing it in?
Gunner
Whenever a Liberal utters the term "Common Sense approach"....grab your wallet, your ass, and your guns because the sombitch is about to do something damned nasty to all three of them.
Reply to
Gunner Asch
Get it from Oz (I'll bet that's a pain)?
Start importing it yourself, since you know there's a need?
Reply to
Tim Wescott
I am not sure of the particular cause of the supply problem, but you might check to see if the folks that make aluminum beer cans have any they can supply.
The stock to make the aluminum beverage containers is a similar alloy, very pure and very malleable. The process I am familiar with uses a small billet to form the body of the can. If you could get some of that material you might be able to melt and roll out your own sheet you can then spin, if for some reason you cant get a supply of the 1200 alloy.
Another option might be to import it directly if you only need a small quantity.
Reply to
Roger Shoaf
The problem is that I only use about a sheet a month and the cost of importing (freight-wise) is just ridiculous). Besides which, we have a *huge* aluminum smelter right here in NZ.
Apparently nobody wants 1000-series aluminum alloys any more so the suppliers are just responding to the lack of demand.
Talking to a professional metal-spinner, he was saying that lots of the (spinning) work that used to be done in NZ is now done in China so the demand for 1200 sheet has dried up -- closely followed by the supply.
Of course that doesn't help when you're prototyping and want relatively small quantities of regularly changing designs.
Reply to
xjet
It is available from McMaster Carr in the US. 1100 alloy, .063 inch thick 48 inches by 48 inches for US $112.13 plus freight. P/N2471T45 I am not sure what kind of hassles you might get with customs and shipping.
They also have other sizes, as an example if you can get by with a 12X12 inch size that might be easer to box and ship, that goes for US $9.11 each. P/N 2471T41
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Reply to
Roger Shoaf
Owch! Those are *crazy* prices -- and that's before freight!
The last sheet I bought (8' x 4') was just NZ$130 (which is US$70 at today's rates).
Looks as if McMaster is set up to service hobbyists and ultra-small orders (like R&S Components do in the electronics industry).
The last time I tried to get something shipped from the USA to NZL the *minimum* freight cost (for sea-freight) was going to be US$390 due to the 1 cubic-meter minimum.
Importing this stuff would make it almost as expensive as gold :-)
Reply to
xjet
=
Hmm... US$390 for three tonnes of aluminium might be quite a reasonable shipping cost.
Mark Rand RTFM
Reply to
Mark Rand
McMaster is not the place for metals you would buy from a metals supplier. But McMaster is a place where you can get about everything. I don't think Mcmaster will export to anyone other than long existing customers now. It just wasn't worth the hassle.
I'd check US metal sales firms like metalexpress and others to see if they are willing to do the export paperwork. That is the real problem.
What is your target size you need? What would it cost to ship it to you? Maybe someone would be willing to help you out.
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
Reply to
Wes
apple aluminium in brisbane carry the grade in 1.6mm.
you should have become part of australia years ago and made it all simpler. :-)
Stealth Pilot
Reply to
Stealth Pilot
Unfortunately, the Tasman Sea is just about the most expensive piece of water (on a per-Km basis) in the world from a freight perspective :- (
It's just not economic to import a single sheet or two :-(
And they're supposedly trying to create a knowledge-economy here in NZ. How can they do that when we can't get the raw materials needed for prototyping and development?
Warning: idiots at the helm
Reply to
xjet
[snip]
What's their problem? They're afraid that heavy-duty aluminum foil hats might fall into enemy hands?
Reply to
Paul Hovnanian PE
LOL Either that or they are tryiong to keep the specialty metals industry fromm looking like Chinese milk.
JC
Reply to
John R. Carroll
I skipped the meeting, but the Memos showed that xjet wrote on Wed, 21 Jan 2009 12:41:54 -0800 (PST) in rec.crafts.metalworking :
It is amazing how often the "knowledge" or "Service" based economy requires material goods to function. Real computers have to sit on real desks before the "virtual store" can open. Even CGI geeks have to sit in real chairs at real desk in order to create virtual worlds.
The same goes for the Service industry - someone has to make the real things which are used in providing services.
A society which accepts shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity while tolerating shoddiness in plumbing because it is not, is in serious trouble. Neither its theories nor its pipes will hold water.
pyotr
-- pyotr filipivich We will drink no whiskey before its nine. It's eight fifty eight. Close enough!
Reply to
pyotr filipivich
have you ever thought of looking at the size of the market. importing an economic quantity, then advertising the surplus? you mention other metal spinners. wouldnt they become your customers over time? you have an opportunity there to diversify your business.
on the other hand is it economic to have a holiday in brisbane and spin the prototypes while on holiday.
I'm sure if you are serious you'll get it sorted. Stealth Pilot
Reply to
Stealth Pilot

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