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View Full Version : Birmabright. An interesting opinion & mainly based on fact??



4bee
2nd October 2019, 10:43 AM
Defender body panels are not Birmabright | FunRover - Land Rover blog & magazine (http://funrover.com/history/defender-body-panels-are-not-birmabright/)

101RRS
2nd October 2019, 10:52 AM
LR switched from Birmabright (a specific type of aluminium alloy) years ago (not sure when but a long time ago) and went to a modern "car"grade aluminium alloy (the aluminium bits on my RRS are not Birmabright) and later at about the last of the defender TD5s and the start of the Pumas many of the panels changed from aluminium alloy to steel.

The outer alloy panels of D1s are not Birmabright but a different aluminium alloy.

4bee
2nd October 2019, 01:35 PM
Didn't I read in that article that S3 onwards was the " new" alloy? The Light Green Paint was "supposedly( ?) war Surplus left over from the internal colour scheme of bombers & Spitfires etc. One wonders how true that little story is? Certainly the inside of the Scampton UK Gate Guardian Lancaster (now located elsewhere these days) that I was fortunately "allowed" to inspect, was that colour.

The mind boggles to how effective Plastic Spits & Lancs may have been with today's technology. Certainly the Plywood Mosquitoes acquitted themselves well.


FLAK hole? Break out with the heat gun & filler Engineer, & get us home..[biggrin]

V8Ian
2nd October 2019, 02:20 PM
Didn't I read in that article that S3 onwards was the " new" alloy? The Light Green Paint was "supposedly( ?) war Surplus left over from the internal colour scheme of bombers & Spitfires etc. One wonders how true that little story is? Certainly the inside of the Scampton UK Gate Guardian Lancaster (now located elsewhere these days) that I was fortunately "allowed" to inspect, was that colour.

The mind boggles to how effective Plastic Spits & Lancs may have been with today's technology. Certainly the Plywood Mosquitoes acquitted themselves well.


FLAK hole? Break out with the heat gun & filler Engineer, & get us home..[biggrin]
Roger, Biggles.

4bee
2nd October 2019, 03:24 PM
Well, we all do want to get to the Mess for pints, Algy.[smilebigeye]

gromit
2nd October 2019, 03:31 PM
The Light Green Paint was "supposedly( ?) war Surplus left over from the internal colour scheme of bombers & Spitfires etc. One wonders how true that little story is? Certainly the inside of the Scampton UK Gate Guardian Lancaster (now located elsewhere these days) that I was fortunately "allowed" to inspect, was that colour.


Arthur Goddard in the video "They Found our Engineer" seems to think it was from the Rover car colour range.

For a long time the 'story' was that the aluminium used was left over from aircraft production, Arthur claims it wasn't. As he was there at the time he possibly has a better idea than most.....

Steel was in short supply after the war so that certainly drove the choice of aluminium rather than steel.


Colin

rover-56
2nd October 2019, 04:59 PM
Birmabright I believe is a slightly higher tensile alloy with a coating of pure aluminium both sides. Used because it was available after warplanes stopped being made.
I suppose the supply would have run out eventually.
Another good reason to own an old series or two.[bigsmile1]
Terry

RANDLOVER
2nd October 2019, 05:06 PM
I thought Birmabright was War Surplus and L-R got more credits from the "Rationing Dept" for using it instead of steel. IIRC the London Double-decker buses were made from it as well, pro'ly for the same reasons.

gromit
2nd October 2019, 06:03 PM
Birmabright I believe is a slightly higher tensile alloy with a coating of pure aluminium both sides. Used because it was available after warplanes stopped being made.
I suppose the supply would have run out eventually.
Another good reason to own an old series or two.[bigsmile1]
Terry

Apparently chosen because it was available as soft, 1/4 hard or 1/2 hard, also had excellent corrosion resistance.
High tensile....yes but no pure aluminium both sides.

Details here (if you believe Wikipedia) Birmabright - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmabright)
The details above mention that Birmetals made aircraft alloys.

Some interesting old adverts here Birmetals - Graces Guide (https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Birmetals)
Posted earlier was this article on Birmabright including another 'story' on why it was chosen for Land Rovers Defender body panels are not Birmabright | FunRover - Land Rover blog & magazine (http://funrover.com/history/defender-body-panels-are-not-birmabright/)


Colin

P.S. Just found this if you have the time to read it......Birmabright (http://www.lrsoc.com/forum/index.php?topic=20337.0)

RANDLOVER
2nd October 2019, 06:40 PM
Didn't I read in that article that S3 onwards was the " new" alloy? The Light Green Paint was "supposedly( ?) war Surplus left over from the internal colour scheme of bombers & Spitfires etc. One wonders how true that little story is? Certainly the inside of the Scampton UK Gate Guardian Lancaster (now located elsewhere these days) that I was fortunately "allowed" to inspect, was that colour.

The mind boggles to how effective Plastic Spits & Lancs may have been with today's technology. Certainly the Plywood Mosquitoes acquitted themselves well.


FLAK hole? Break out with the heat gun & filler Engineer, & get us home..[biggrin]

I think I read that the DC100 Defender Concept was to have the body made out of plastic, which I think would have been great for polishing out scratches, even removing dents by heating with the wife's air dryer when she's not looking. This would've been like the modern successor to the old easily removable panels.

rover-56
2nd October 2019, 07:05 PM
Apparently chosen because it was available as soft, 1/4 hard or 1/2 hard, also had excellent corrosion resistance.
High tensile....yes but no pure aluminium both sides.

Details here (if you believe Wikipedia) Birmabright - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmabright)
The details above mention that Birmetals made aircraft alloys.

Some interesting old adverts here Birmetals - Graces Guide (https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Birmetals)
Posted earlier was this article on Birmabright including another 'story' on why it was chosen for Land Rovers Defender body panels are not Birmabright | FunRover - Land Rover blog & magazine (http://funrover.com/history/defender-body-panels-are-not-birmabright/)


Colin

P.S. Just found this if you have the time to read it......Birmabright (http://www.lrsoc.com/forum/index.php?topic=20337.0)

Thanks Colin, interesting read.
Terry

gromit
2nd October 2019, 07:10 PM
I think I read that the DC100 Defender Concept was to have the body made out of plastic, which I think would have been great for polishing out scratches, even removing dents by heating with the wife's air dryer when she's not looking. This would've been like the modern successor to the old easily removable panels.

I ran a Renault Espace II in the UK about 25 years ago. Galvanised monocoque chassis with GRP panels bonded on. Renault Espace - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault_Espace)

I think the Smart car was similar, plastic panels. Original concept was you could drive in, swap the panels and drive out with a new-look car (probably a Swatch idea).

Could have worked on the new Defender.
Rust free, dents pop out.
Damage a panel and just buy a replacement and fit it (pretty much what a panel shop does nowadays).



Colin

JDNSW
3rd October 2019, 06:08 AM
The question as to whether the alloy panels on the first Landrovers were left over aircraft panels is a somewhat blurred one.

The reason Rover even considered using anything except steel was simply because of the restrictions on their getting steel, which was rationed because of shortages. On the other hand, aluminium alloys were readily available, because the demand for these in aircraft manufacture dropped abruptly after VE-day as orders for new commbat aircraft in the UK were cancelled - the alloy for these was already in the pipeline.

It has never been clear to me whether the sheet birmabrite used in Landrovers was material headed for these contracts, or whether it had been re-rolled or even realloyed to make it more suitable for civilian use. But despite this uncertainty, the alloy was certainly only available because of the cancellation of aircraft orders - for example, 150 Spitefuls were ordered, only 40 were built, no Furys were built, only a much smaller number of Sea Furys. And the Sunderland, which used a lot more alloy per aircraft "With the end of the war, large contracts for the Sunderland were cancelled " (Wikipedia). And there were far more contracts cancelled - these are just examples.

Rover had experience in fabricating alloy aircraft assemblies during the war, and undoubtedly would have had contacts with the alloy suppliers.

Tote
6th October 2019, 05:59 PM
When I was welding up holes on my series one a couple of years ago I used 5356 Alloy filler rods which worked pretty well with the TIG. 5356 has 5% magnesium in the alloy.

Regards,
Tote

workingonit
6th October 2019, 08:15 PM
I thought birmabright was chosen because it work hardens when folded and therefore holds its form.