A very rare dinosaur fossil has been found in an outback quarry.

Rare dinosaur bones found in an outback quarry

A 100-million-year-old fossil of a rare dinosaur-bird has been discovered in a dry quarry in Richmond, Queensland. Here at Locker Group, we ensure we keep on top of all the latest quarrying news, so that we know we're providing you with the necessary materials to operate your business effectively. This new discovery just goes to show that at your quarry you might be unearthing more than just everyday rock and stone. 

So what is the Richmond Raptor?

Quarries in the area turn up dinosaur bones relatively frequently, but the "Richmond Raptor", as it's now being named, is the first discovery of a dinosaur-bird in the area. Around 500 kilometres from the east coast, Richmond is the capital of Australia's Inland Sea, and therefore the discovery of the bird came as something of a surprise. 

The prehistoric dinosaur-bird was found in a quarry miles from the coast.The prehistoric dinosaur-bird was found in a quarry miles from the coast.

Dr. Patrick Smith, curator of Richmond's prehistoric experience museum Kronosaurus Korner, spoke to ABC about the discovery. 

"This is the first indication that they're actually here — previous to this we didn't know they were in Richmond," he said.

"Because Richmond was at the centre of the inland sea during the cretaceous period, it's really strange to find these bird-like fossils in the middle of a seaway."

It's thought that the bones are from the Nanantius eos species, a creature Dr. Smith said was not dissimilar to a seagull. "They would've been like a modern seagull, living on the coastline, feeding on fish that have washed up and occasionally going out to sea," he explained.

Volunteer victory

The discovery came about from the work of a local volunteer, Mike D'Arcy. He started the project over five years ago, after he'd found some fragmented bones that looked as if they were from a bird. It was only until he found the humerus that they were able to positively identify it. The species was then confirmed by Dr. Smith as the nanantius eos. 

Speaking to ABC, Mr D'Arcy said he was thrilled to have discovered the dinosaur. 

"For me it's the fun of the hunt — and it's always good to find something new and something different and share it with others," he said.

Dr Smith is now recruiting a number of local volunteers to help find any other dinosaur bones in the old quarry.

How can Locker Group help your quarry?

At Locker Group, we provide all sorts of tools and materials to help your quarry be as productive as it possibly can. We recognise that quarries extract a variety of materials, and that's why we offer different screening media depending on your needs. You never know, you might just discover a dinosaur along the way. 

Australia is rich with natural resources for the quarrying industry.

How does quarrying provide value to builders in Australia’s economy?

For decades, the Australian building industry has relied upon miners to uncover raw materials that they can use for constructing homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities. Without mining, builders would have no access to the metals, stones and various other substances they need to do their jobs.

Quarrying work is essential for building many of the structures that keep Australia's economy thriving.

Quarrying, meanwhile, has quietly emerged as an equally vital industry. It may not get all the same praise or media attention that mining does, but quarrying work is also essential for building many of the structures that keep Australia's economy thriving.

A closer look at the Australian economy reveals that different regions of the country are rich in varying natural resources, and optimising the work of quarriers has helped in recent years to give the nation's builders more materials to work with. Read on to discover what comes from where, and the unique value these substances have to offer.

What separates quarrying from mining?

It's already well known that mining delivers a lot of key building materials to the industry in Australia. So what makes quarry products unique? According to Business Queensland, the distinction is a small one, but it's important.

Both mining and quarrying are processes that involve extracting raw materials from the earth. The difference is that quarrying occurs at sites that are approved and administered by local government agencies – often with the express written purpose of acquiring sand, gravel and/or quarry rock.

In Australia, most of the main quarrying sites are administered by the Sustainable Planning Act, which was passed in 2009. Anyone who wants to run a quarrying operation in Australia is required to have a development permit – which narrows the field of prospective quarriers and makes the market quite exclusive. This means that building materials obtained through quarrying are premium products.

A variety of products to be found in Australia

What sorts of architectural products can be uncovered through quarrying? Research from The Marble Man found that there are many, and the most plentiful materials tend to vary wildly from state to state.

If you're mining in Western Australia, you'll have a wide range of options available to you. Quarriers in that state are able to find marble in Maroonah, granite in the Fraser Ranges and limestone in Moore River, for example. Sandstone is also available to quarriers in some regions.

A wide variety of building materials can be found across Australia.A wide variety of building materials can be found across Australia.

Other states have narrower niches when it comes to the products available via quarrying. Two prime examples include Queensland, where it's easiest to find sandstone, and South Australia, where granite is most prominent.

Australia has many significant deposits of natural stones and minerals located all over. As quarrying experts continue to find more of them, the market keeps evolving – which in turn, means a wider range of construction materials available for building professionals nationwide.

Locker Group leaves its mark on the construction business

At Locker Group, we are proud to take the products of Australia's quarrying work and pass them along to you, in the form of superior building products. We have dedicated ourselves to bolstering the quarrying business and uncovering all sorts of resources, from large rocks to sand, that can help people build better homes, storefronts and offices.

Great quarrying work leads to a wide range of superior building products. These include materials to be used in screening media, such as woven wire, and rubber that's put towards making high-quality tension mats that can support and strengthen all sorts of architectural projects. Contact us today to learn more about how quarrying can add to the building options available to you.

How do we perforate our metal sheets, and what do people do with them once they're made?

Looking into perforated metal: what we do with hundreds of thousands of holes

The various outcomes of perforating metal are an important aspect of what we produce here at Locker Group, and an area in which we have a lot of experience. We thought it was worth taking a closer look at what it is, how it works and what we can do with this lightweight, versatile product.

The perforation process: What happens?

As Mert Tavsanli, Locker Group's Perforation Manager, describes it, perforation is done with hydraulic machines that "basically consist of a punch and a die." The punch penetrates the material, pushes out the slug (the excess metal) through the die, and creates a hole.

Mass perforation machines can punch up and down anywhere from 120 hits per minute up to 500 hits per minute, making two to four rows of perforations with every hit, thus creating hundreds of thousands of holes in minutes. These are not used for every project, however; a lot of architectural products will be manufactured using a linear punch press. The pattern can be made using standard dies, or customised tools if the project demands.

Although the bulk of the perforation we do at Locker Group is to aluminium and steel, the process can be applied to other metals such as brass or copper, and also non-metal products like MDF, plywood, plastics like polyethylene and polypropylene, and polycarbonate materials.

"Effectively we can punch any malleable material" says Mert.

Pic-Perf is an aesthetic application of the perforation process.Pic-Perf is an aesthetic application of the perforation process.

Pic-Perf – an aesthetic evolution

We've adapted the perforation process to create our Pic-Perf product, which uses varying sized holes to recreate a figurative or abstract image in a perforated sheet. According to Mert, the difference between Pic-Perf and regular perforation isn't so much about the punching technique as the preparation and digital file creation leading up to it. A customer will supply an image which is translated into a digital file suitable for the perforation process. This file is fed into the programming software and the image is applied to the metal in the same way as regular perforations.

What happens to the holes

What happens to the metal that's punched out of the sheet?

"It's all recycled," says Mert. "It goes to a foundry where it's melted down and reused. A lot of it used to be recycled into car parts for the automotive industry, but now that's gone they're finding other homes for it."

The benefits of perforation

The strength of perforated metal comes from its versatility and customisability. While there are plenty of pre-defined die shapes, a unique die shape is also a possibility.

"If you can draw it, you can make the hole just about whatever shape you like," says Mert.

Perforated metal often fills a dual role: not only is it an aesthetic device, it is also functional.

Once the perforation is done the sheets themselves offer a range of applications. You can leave a border or a solid edge around the perforations, which makes it easier to work with and easier to fix to a structure. Unlike some other screening materials, perforated metal doesn't need to be put into a frame, making it more cost effective.

Curving and folding the sheets can create interesting visual devices, and it also has the structural benefit of adding rigidity, which means fewer supports are necessary.

Around 95 per cent of Locker Group's work for architectural applications is aluminium panels, which are light and pliable. "It has great anti-corrosion characteristics so it lasts for a long long time," Mert says. "You could put perforated aluminium into an area with a design life of 50 years plus, easily."

The lightweight nature of aluminium also has the benefit of reducing the load put on a building by the sheets and their supports.

The uses of perforated metal – where does it end up?

Perforated metal has a huge range of uses, which can broadly be separated into industrial and architectural applications. 

Some of its industrial uses include watering the pulp in paper mills, crushing and squeezing sugar cane, shielding electrical devices to reduce EMI/RFI radiation and as speaker grills or lining on transmissions in motor vehicles.

In architectural projects our perforated metal sheets have been used for ceiling tiles, balustrades, privacy screens, partitions, infill panels on bridges, sunscreens, decorative screens and facades. Perforated metal often fills a dual role: not only is it an aesthetic device, it is also one that has a functional purpose – usually reducing sunlight or moderating sound in a space. 

Atmosphere – sustainable sun protection

Our Atmosphere facade is made of perforated sheets supported on stainless steel cables. The facade is held out from the building's surface where it can limit the effects of direct sunlight without interrupting visibility from within. The aluminium sheets are folded in one of our standard configurations designed to optimise sustainability, visibility or ventilation. These configurations can also be customised to suit individual projects.

Perforation is a widely applicable process, and the results can have any number of uses. We're proud that our product is used in such a varied and exciting range of projects. But perforation isn't all we do at Locker Group. To talk about the products we supply and how they could help your project or business, please get in touch today.