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What happens if arf and kit building prices meet?

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Old 11-25-2013, 11:37 AM
  #151
GerKonig
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCKen View Post
I was talking with Mark Enderby from Balsa USA and we talked about the availability of balsa wood. Like FlyerinOKC said, Mark was telling me that every blade on a wind turbine takes between a container and a container and a half of balsa wood for each blade on a wind turbine (remember that there are 3 blades on most turbines). I asked him how much wood was that in the context of what Balsa USA uses every year. He said a container and a half of balsa wood would keep BUSA running for over a year!!!!!

Ken
Yes, I agree, the use our industry does is minimum. Just surfboard manufacturers use more than we do. All your specialized yacht makers, sailboats, etc. use balsa (and a lot of it). Even in ship building they use it. It is incorporated in the fiberglass work to add flotation. Not being exposed it lasts forever.

Even in airplanes it was used (some full size Mosquitoes and Spits had balsa). The blades of the wind turbines use some balsa. They are made of a incredibly complex lamination of different materials. Our model industry is not to blame for hogging balsa:-)

The good news is that the balsa trees grow very fast (have to, it is soft wood), and have to be harvested right away (as soon as they mature) because otherwise they rot right away in the environment. so, if more balsa is used, more is grown.

The most common reason for prices to go up have nothing to do with cost:-) If the market can bear it, you rise prices. If you produce someting and yo cannot keep inventory, it flies off the shelves, guess what will happen? Prices will go up. They charge more because of a business decision.

Gerry
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Old 11-25-2013, 12:38 PM
  #152
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Depressing isn't?
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:11 PM
  #153
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Its to bad we don't have any connections to get some pieces of those blades when they break ! There is or was a place 40 miles from here that makes blades.. A buddy and I actually went in to see if we could get a tour, or maybe some scrap balsa.. we struck out on both attempts
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Old 11-25-2013, 05:18 PM
  #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyerInOKC View Post
Balsa has been climbing in price like crazy and the reason? Watch the interstate highway every time you see a wind turbine blade go by your are seeing a container of balsa. Why they use balsa instead of foam or another product I don't know but they do use balsa. I see the trucks go by at least once a week and those 3 blades on each wind turbine take a lot of balsa.
The Kaman K-MAX full size heavy lift helicopter uses a wooden spar, Lots of good reasons but the main one is fatigue resistance.

Some info on the K-MAX blades. http://www.rotaryforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=37496

Same deal for the wind turbines.

Some "not so light" reading here.. http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cg...context=theses
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