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Old 02-27-2013
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Re: Chain Plate Replacement

Overboard,

I wouldn't begin to try and compete with the price of free labor. And the prices you saw are on the high end for retail titanium, when we buy it in 500lbs blocks from the mill we don't pay quite that much.

If you have a machinist friend who can take the raw stainless bar and make chainplates, that will almost certainly be the cheapest option. If you start to pay for machine time and labor rates titanium starts to look much better. If you redesign the original plates for the new material, titanium can actually be cheaper (I am looking at you Formosa owners).
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Re: Chain Plate Replacement

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Overboard,

I wouldn't begin to try and compete with the price of free labor. And the prices you saw are on the high end for retail titanium, when we buy it in 500lbs blocks from the mill we don't pay quite that much.

If you have a machinist friend who can take the raw stainless bar and make chainplates, that will almost certainly be the cheapest option. If you start to pay for machine time and labor rates titanium starts to look much better. If you redesign the original plates for the new material, titanium can actually be cheaper (I am looking at you Formosa owners).
I am trying to under stand how adding labor rates will make it seem cheaper. labor rate to machine Ti are higher. tool costs are higher and polishing costs are higher. if you are talking about 1/2" thick 316 Vs 1/4" thick Ti then maybe a bit less to cut and drill but most shops have a higher rate when working with Ti. if they make a mistake it gets expensive real fast. it is no doubt Ti is a great material and I have made many part out of it, but while owning a machine shop for the last 37 years I have never found a reason to use it because it is the cheaper way to go. I am still hoping that day will come.
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Re: Chain Plate Replacement

Interesting discussion but I have to wonder why bother with the cost and trouble of titanium. Ok sure its better but it seems a bit over kill to me. Stainless easily will last 30 years or more as long as you keep them sealed from moisture where they go through the deck. This is something that needs to be done even with titanium as you do not want deck leaks or core issues. As a surveyor I have seen a few chainplate failures but without exception it was due to poor maintenance and long time leaks. I think the biggest problem is owners feel like or do not know that you need to check your chainplate installations from time to. This is important for leaks and the bolts as well. Like many things you just have to check them from time to time just like you have to check the rest of your rigging, this would be the case no matter what the material. I just finished a article about chainplate maintenance I posted on my web site but I cannot post it here so pm me if you would like to read it, I will send the link.

Capt. Wayne Canning, AMS
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Re: Chain Plate Replacement

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Originally Posted by overbored View Post
I am trying to under stand how adding labor rates will make it seem cheaper. labor rate to machine Ti are higher. tool costs are higher and polishing costs are higher. if you are talking about 1/2" thick 316 Vs 1/4" thick Ti then maybe a bit less to cut and drill but most shops have a higher rate when working with Ti. if they make a mistake it gets expensive real fast. it is no doubt Ti is a great material and I have made many part out of it, but while owning a machine shop for the last 37 years I have never found a reason to use it because it is the cheaper way to go. I am still hoping that day will come.
Overboard,

Part of our advantage in labor/tool rates is that all we do is work in titanium. So every tool is specced and purchased for titanium applications. So we are more efficient than other shops when using it. In addition, because we fabricate so many parts in titanium, we have economies of scale that have allowed us to buy the most efficient tools. As an example, we have a very expensive 3D printer to make casting molds. While it was a huge initial investment, now that we own it, we can make new casting molds for around 10% of the cost of traditional mold making methods. Which allows us to cast parts that previously had to be machined. To solve the problem with casting imperfections, we have also acquired a HIPPING machine that allows us to make cast parts with the same strength as machined parts.

This machinery however isn't likely to be found, or available in a standard machine shop.

There is also the fact that with titanium there are no post fabrication processes that are needed. So we don't have to electropolish our parts like a high quality 316L chainplate should be. And unless the customer wants it done for esthetic reasons we don't have to polish at all. Often leaving the parts either a mill finish, or a rough sandblasted finish since the finish of titanium has nothing to do with its corrosion resistance.


While it is rare for the switch to titanium to be less costly, I have seen it happen. So far only in places where the part it is replacing has large corrosion allowances,and needs to be strong. As an example, keel bolts are one of the better places to look. Because ether are so critical, and so corrosion prone the standard is to design keel bolts with a 50% corrosion allowance on top of the 10:1 safety allowance. So if the engineering says a keel bolt needs to have a minimum strength of 5,000lbs, then the safety factor requires a 50,000lbs bolt, and the corrosion allowance kicks that up to 100,000lb bolt.

If we are working in 316 stainless steel this is going to require a 2" keel bolt for a designed load of 5,000lbs

If we are working in G5 titanium, the numbers look a lot better. We still need a bolt rated at 50,000lbs, but since we don't need a corrosion allowance (because in this application titanium doesn't corrode) the bolt can be much weaker and keep the same safety margin. So a G5 titanium bolt rated to 50,000lbs would need to be 13/16" instead of the 2" 316 bolt.

When you price 2" 316 bolts, then price 13/16" G5 bolts, the titanium can actually be less expensive. Particularly if you factor in things like shipping costs. If we wanted to make 5 full J hook poured keel bolts, of say 2 meter each

316 - 2" threaded rod will weigh 71lbs each
g5 - 13/16 threaded rod will weight about 9lbs each

Since we need five, the stainless rod would weigh in at 355lbs, while the titanium would be 45lbs.

Shipping cost for the different pieces... Well the stainless would have to ground shipped by LTL freight, while the titanium could be sent via standard UPS. you could even package them all together as a single shipment.


There is also the labor savings of using lighter and stronger parts. On these bolts it wouldn't matter so much, but if you were replacing the bolts on a much deeper bulb keel, where instead of 2 meter rod you needed 3 meter rod, the weight of the stainless starts getting to the point that you need more than one person to move them increasing labor costs.



Btw I did mention I sell the stuff. I tend to give long explanations, but I hope informative.
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Re: Chain Plate Replacement

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Originally Posted by sailvayu View Post
Interesting discussion but I have to wonder why bother with the cost and trouble of titanium. Ok sure its better but it seems a bit over kill to me. Stainless easily will last 30 years or more as long as you keep them sealed from moisture where they go through the deck. This is something that needs to be done even with titanium as you do not want deck leaks or core issues. As a surveyor I have seen a few chainplate failures but without exception it was due to poor maintenance and long time leaks. I think the biggest problem is owners feel like or do not know that you need to check your chainplate installations from time to. This is important for leaks and the bolts as well. Like many things you just have to check them from time to time just like you have to check the rest of your rigging, this would be the case no matter what the material. I just finished a article about chainplate maintenance I posted on my web site but I cannot post it here so pm me if you would like to read it, I will send the link.


Capt. Wayne Canning, AMS
Wayne,

The typical person I deal with is either replacing chainplates due to failure (rig coming down, or identified corrosion), or the OEM who are exploring it for production purposes. They have very different concerns, so I will only address the replacement side here.

By the time an owner pulls the rig, removes whatever internal structures are necessary to access the chainplates, and hires someone to do the job or replacing them, the marginal cost difference between 316L chainplates, and titanium is very small as a percentage of the job. But it means that the job will never need to be done again.

Much for the same reason once you have pulled an engine out of a boat you might as well replace the engine mounts. Even if they are fine, but 20 years old, it would be foolish to not spend the $20 to have them replaced while you have easy access to them.
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Re: Chain Plate Replacement

The thing I like about Allied Titanium is that I could send them a drawing, pay them and then get a quality (I hope) part back.

I cannot find any other company that will do this in stainless or silicon bronze- and I have made a lot of calls.

So option is I buy the material, then shop around for a machine shop to do the work. Small shops may not have the skills, and large shops either cost a lot or do not want to bother with a small job.

I like what Allied Titanium is offering.
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Re: Chain Plate Replacement

If the price of titanium can come down (and maybe we are almost there), I could see say in 20 years nearly all stainless on a boat to be replaced with Titanium.

Never really understand why boating industry moved from bronze to stainless (other than stainless is shiny). Stainless is really a poor material to be used around salt water. But bronze is hard to get now and is nearly the cost of titanium.
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Re: Chain Plate Replacement

Casey,

We will even pay to have your drawing converted into a CAD file, assuming you allow us to resell the parts to other people.

As for quality, just look at some of our customers.

Colligio Marine
Boeing - yes we meet FAA requirements for QC and QA for use in passenger airplanes (if you buy bolts from us they come from the same lots actually)
McMaster Carr
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Re: Chain Plate Replacement

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Casey,

We will even pay to have your drawing converted into a CAD file, assuming you allow us to resell the parts to other people.

As for quality, just look at some of our customers.

Colligio Marine
Boeing - yes we meet FAA requirements for QC and QA for use in passenger airplanes (if you buy bolts from us they come from the same lots actually)
McMaster Carr
I do hope your company does well. I think you can offer the boating community a great service- making our boats safer. I plan to measure my existing chain plates in a few days and will contact you.
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Re: Chain Plate Replacement

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Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
If the price of titanium can come down (and maybe we are almost there), I could see say in 20 years nearly all stainless on a boat to be replaced with Titanium.

Never really understand why boating industry moved from bronze to stainless (other than stainless is shiny). Stainless is really a poor material to be used around salt water. But bronze is hard to get now and is nearly the cost of titanium.
The price for titanium has actually dropped by I think 90% in the last 10 years, while the cost of stainless has gone up. We have crossed the point where life cycle costs in the marine market are favoring titanium, and are getting close to the point that titanium is actually the same price (ok this is a bit of an exaggeration, but we are getting there).
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