Chinese "Bronze"

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Willallison, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    The former owner(s) of out Offshore 48 rarely, if ever, serviced the original good quality seacocks that were fitted throughout the boat. Consequently, when they tried to close one the handle snapped off.
    So, in a moment of expensive ignorance, the owner ordered all existing seacocks be removed from the boat and replaced with new ones. Sadly, his knowledge was somewhat lacking, so whoever did the job replaced them ALL with Chinese made bronze skin fitiings and ordinary brass (yes - brass!) ball valves.
    The skin fitting themselves are beginning to pit quite badly, so (as we own a laboratory) we decided to check the make-up of the metal. Normal Bronze contains about 90% copper and 10% tin. Brass is about 60/40 copper and zinc. Our chinese skin fittings contained 2 - 3% zinc and about 4% tin. Little wonder that they were dissappearing.
    We are in the process of replacing them all again - this time with proper seacocks. This is proving rather more difficult than you might expect, as good quality ones are so expensive that nobody will buy them. Indeed we have bought all the stock in Australia, and are still 5 short!

    The moral, of course, is buy cheap, buy twice. As designers, builders and owners, we all need to be aware that just because the label says bronze (or stainless steel for that matter - but that's another story) doesn't mean it is. Ensure your fittings are made by a reputable manufacturer, and preferably to an internationally accepted standard
     
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  2. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    I was somewhat amazed to read in the Aug / Sept issue of European Boatbuilder that Numarine ( an up and coming Turkish yard) are looking at using carbon fibre for their shafts, props and struts. The amazing bit is the fact that the latter are currently made of.... you guessed it... brass!
    A typo one would hope......
     
  3. tom kane
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    tom kane Senior Member

    Check out the thread.. Does anyone get pissed?
     
  4. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    :confused:
    Sorry Tom - not sure what you're getting at...
     
  5. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    It's a thread in 'open discussion' similiar to this, complaints about quality.
    I think the last ' Pro Boatbuilder' had a article on counterfit gauges from China. There was hardly any way to tell the real from the fake except for the fakes failing early. China sort of seems like a rogue country when it comes to stealing ideas, counterfitting products etc. It's a shame we deal with them when you couple their human rights record with their economic thievery. I think even Boeing or some mega jet builder and possibly the US govt. bought and used millions of counterfit bolts before they found the strength grade of them weren't what was stamped on the bolts. Up in Savannah they recently confiscated a shipload of counterfit clothes from China. I think those pricks are doing more damage to the US than regular terrorists. Sam
     
  6. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Ah - gotcha.
    Personally, I don't blame the chinese - ok so they may be producing counterfeit stuff and obviously that sucks. Similarly, if they clame to be making bronze, it should be bronze - not brass with a bit of tin in it.
    But for me the consumer (and that includes builders, suppliers, and end-users) who are only interested in one thing - price - are to blame. If 'we' insisted on only good quality stuff, that's what they'd make. Maybe then our own manufacturers would all be (a bit more) competitive on price.
    At the moment the cost differential between a quality Oz made bronze seacock and the cheap immitation from china is ten-fold.

    Oh - and BTW - not true to say that the only way to know if you've been duped is to wait for the stuff to fall apart. In this, and any other metalurgical case, it's simply a matter of taking a scraping to a lab to be checked. I have to say, I'm a bit surprised that Boeing etc that you mentioned don't do that as a rotuine check on all their suppliers
     
  7. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    I think it should be a very serious offence to sell stuff that is not what is is said to be . It is an offence but not as serious as it should be.

    If I buy cheap then I accept that it is cheap,--clothes etc will not cause a catastrophy.Cheap bikes from China --sure I can see its cheap, but to sell some thing that is not what it is supposed to be that can fail and loose your boat is not on.
     
  8. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Jack - of course, I agree. The problem is - and I'm guilty of it to some extent too, is that most times, we all by cheap. We simply price our own local manufacturers out of the market. They can't afford to remain operating for the few who are prepared to pay for quality, so all we are left with is crap.
    Still - this wasn't meant to be a debate over cheap imports. Just a warning to others about making sure about the quality of their fittings...
     
  9. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    You'd think. Here's an abstract from a manual put out by ASM International(American Society of Metals) in 2001...

    Abstract:

    Fake transistors in the space shuttle, fake fire detection and control systems on Boeing 737 flight decks, fake wing bolts on civil aircraft, fake parts in NATO military helicopters, and fake parts in advanced, guided missile systems—all of these have happened and all had the potential to cause death, injury, and property damage and loss. The counterfeiting of industrial parts is an expensive and dangerous international problem.
    Document Type: Research article

    Counterfeit resins...
    http://www.plasticsmag.com/ta.asp?aid=3083

    The average person doesn't have the resources to test to make sure what he's buying is real or fake. Sam
     
  10. longliner45
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    this will all change now ,,slowly but surely,,no more pro corperate,,the dems have taken over,, wait and watch.longliner
     
  11. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    I beg to differ. To check the seacocks in the example I gave would've cost Jo Blo about 50 bucks (AUD). Considering even chinese seacocks for our installation would've totalled nearly a grand, it would be money well spent. Having said that, I take your point- perhaps more accurately, the average Jo wouldn't KNOW that he needed to get them checked in the 1st place! The chandler where he bought them ought to have done it and sent them back...
     
  12. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Right hence my point selling stuff what aint what it should be.

    Castration sounds about right.
     
  13. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    The average Jo wouldn't know and when it comes to things like gauges, how could he test? I don't know if you get or read the Pro Boatbuilding article but I'll try and copy it to here. It's a problem even major companies get stung with. Sam
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Thanks SS - I do get Proboat, but being on the other side of the world, the latest issue hasn't made it to my doorstep yet.
    You're quite right on both counts - customers big and small do get stung. But if you took it to any lab worth its salt they should be able to tell you if what you've got is ok. Now as I said b4 - the chandler - or really the importer - should be the one doing this. That way the end customer would at least have some degree of protection...
     

  15. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I just re-did the attachments so they can be read. BTW, it's 11/8/06 and 5:21 pm here and the sun isjust setting. What day and time is it there? Sam
     
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