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 Ballast

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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Ballast   Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:39 pm

For a while now I have been looking to ballast the portable layout.

I have looked at various possibilities, cat litter, ash, even real ballast which is obviously far too heavy.

Recently I found this product:

black cork granules

Then I found a stockist near Caen so I had to go and buy some today to try.

Here is what it looks like:





The weight is negligible, the bigger (up to 10mm) lumps can be broken up smaller in the fingers....I haven't tried the food blender yet. Idea
Can be glued down easily enough and is water and oil resistant.
Seems ideal to me for what I need.
A 250 litre bag will do the layout twice over I reckon.

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mikeyh



Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:02 pm

Ideal for a portable layout Carl, or even an outdoor one! Price?

mikey
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:55 pm

It's a bit expensive I suppose. The company in the link is sellinng it for 38€ (special offer) a 250l bag. but they're way down south in Valence and the shipping is too costly for me.

The stockist at Caen is more expensive @ 50€ but they're just a retail outlet selling eco products and they're only an hour up the road.

You'll have to glue it down well for outdoor use as it will just blow away. Wink


Last edited by Carl Hibbs on Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sparkeswood



Location : Kent,England

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:00 pm

Is it flameproof Carl ? Very Happy
Would be interesting and slightly alarming to watch it act like a 'slowmatch' and work it's way around the track affraid
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:11 pm

How about whizzing a bunch of wine corks through a blender?

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:39 pm

It does go in a blender if you want smaller granules. I tried it this evening.... Laughing

Troy it is flameproof or rather 'fire retardent'. The stuff I bought is normally for domestic insulation and conforms to various directives. They also went to great lengths explaining that it was rat proof too... which I thought very useful. Surprised scratch
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:02 pm

Looks great, Carl; very realistic.

BTW, rats like to gnaw on cork; that's why there's a metal foil seal on a wine bottle. Rat-proof cork is a feature a real Frenchman could appreciate. cheers

But is it Mole proof? Razz

_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:12 pm

Here's the techincal specifications for it in French....rats, fire and all...!

Technical spec

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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:49 pm

Looks like pretty safe stuff to use.

BTW, it will combust , but slowly without releasing toxic chlorides or cyanides. Nice to know.

_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:13 pm

"Graded grains make finer flour".

Improvised a sieve/colander with 7mm holes and created near scale ballast.
This is 10 litres and we've hardly touched the main bag.



The very big 'boulders' make good lightweight wagon loads.



The rest I'm separating into a large bin and will run it through the blender to reduce the size if and when required.
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:24 pm

Interesting, i wonder if such a thing exists over here - possibly i might find some useful for me diorama

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
mikeyh



Location : Dordogne France

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:45 pm

Looks really good,! and perfect for a portable layout/diorama

mikey
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Sparkeswood



Location : Kent,England

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:33 am

clive_t wrote:
Interesting, i wonder if such a thing exists over here - possibly i might find some useful for me diorama

Look around for loft insulation Clive.This stuff was quite popular over here for a while before fibreglass dominated the market.
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:33 pm

Thanks Troy - i've done a bit of Google-ing at work (like you do! Cool ) and although i couldn't find anyone doing it as loft insulation, i did find a couple of places where it was being sold as vivarium substrate Shocked and also for scenery on model slot-car layouts! A 30g bag for £3.50, though??? Blimey, anyone would think i wanted to inject the stuff!

Still, at least it's available, and it's not like i need a huge amount


_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:50 pm

How much do you need Clive?

I could send you a small bag of the stuff if you'd like.

Don't forget the cork I've got is 'black'. Well it's actually shades of black and dark brown.

The stuff for models that I saw elsewhere was just natural colour.
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KleineDicke



Location : Deep in the Heart of Texas (Houston)

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:25 pm

Interesting. I found ground cork actually being sold as ballast
http://www.eurorailhobbies.com/erh_detail.asp?CA=57&stock=BU-7131

and a company claiming to be the only maker of granulated cork in the US (although none of it is black). They also offer to collect your used wine bottle corks for recycling.
http://www.marylandcork.com/Granulated-Cork.aspx

There's also a Tariff ruling on improtation of ground cork (there is apparently no tariff):
http://www.faqs.org/rulings/tariffs/45019040.html


_________________
Bill Wray

"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:15 pm

The cost for small bags of the stuff is ridiculous.

I'm going to bag up some for smaller scales and see what it fetches on e bay!

BTW the black stuff would appear to come from Algeria. Exclamation

I found somewhere cheaper as well.

Liege noir granulé only 33.75€ for 250 litres but the minimum order is 4 bags. silent
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:29 pm

Carl Hibbs wrote:
How much do you need Clive?

I could send you a small bag of the stuff if you'd like.

That's very good of you Carl, but i think i need to source a consistent supply that i can get as and when - there is a pet store round the corner, so i might try them in the first instance.

It will be interesting to see how much you get for the stuff on evilBay though!

_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
dtsteam



Location : Preston, England

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:15 pm

I found a UK link - Corkstore - probably the least exciting on line shopping experience on the web :
http://www.corkstore.co.uk/granulated-cork-33-c.asp

However I'm sure cork buffs have a similar dim view of garden railway folk.

Its 15GBP a kilo, but I've no idea what that is in litres.
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:24 am

dtsteam wrote:
............. but I've no idea what that is in litres.

Me niether. I tried to weigh it but it was a bit difficult standing on the bathroom scales holding 250 litres of cork and looking down at the measurement. It was as best we could see about 10 kilos.

But the cork I bought is actually expanded by some sort of steam process so it is less dense and much lighter by volume than the usual stuff.

dtsteam wrote:
However I'm sure cork buffs have a similar dim view of garden railway folk.

They did laugh in the shop in Caen when I told them what it was for. Razz
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clive_t



Location : Portsmouth, England

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:20 am

Thanks Dave

Apparently cork has a density of 0.193grams per cubic centimetre, which is to say 0.193 Kg/litre

Therefore, since density is mass per unit volume it follows that 1kg of material will have a volume of .193 litres, or 193 cc

Coverage area of that will vary according to the size of the individual lumps i suppose, but if you assume that each piece is a uniform 5mm cube, then each cc will give rise to 2 square cm of coverage.

So, 193 cc would be about 386 square cm

Roughly.

So... erm... what do you reckon about, say, 10kgs ought to cover it? Cool


_________________
Cheers,

Clive

Fat Controller of the S&CGR

http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
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http://www.scampington-chipside.co.uk
dtsteam



Location : Preston, England

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:29 am

Err, Tell me your not a maths teacher, Clive.

0.193kg/litre = c.5 litres per kilo

So Carls 250 litres would cost £750 affraid

However there is a clear business case for you to vist Carl for a few days and pick up a bag whilst you are there

PS. If you are really lucky, Customs will sieve it for ypu on the way back !
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David Grantham



Location : Midlands, England

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:45 am

My local Leicestershire granite quarry, 5 miles away, offer as much 3mm granite finings/chippings as you can get into your car boot for a fixed price of £5.

Is it worth a sail over, wine one way, ballast for the return trip ?
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:09 am

I'm very impressed with the maths but I did get a bit lost in the calculus. scratch

So in practice:



I litre, (the measuring jug full) weighs approx 70 grams (each small division on Wifey's purloined scales = 20 grams).

So you boffins can to do the maths but 250 litres methinks actually weighs 17.5 kilos (....PC calculator) which on greater reflection is about right when I was carrying and subsequently stuffing the giant bag into the Twingo.

So am I sitting on a lucrative 'cash cow' of cork then? Laughing king


Last edited by Carl Hibbs on Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:18 am; edited 4 times in total
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Carl Hibbs
Admin


Location : Haute Normandie - visitors welcome

PostSubject: Re: Ballast   Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:10 am

David Grantham wrote:
My local Leicestershire granite quarry, 5 miles away, offer as much 3mm granite finings/chippings as you can get into your car boot for a fixed price of £5.

Is it worth a sail over, wine one way, ballast for the return trip ?

Yes it could be...I will need that for the garden.
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