The many uses of Basalt include the following

1. Textile applications for fire protection
Basalt does not melt nor shrink in the flame and, when not mechanically stressed, keeps its geometric integrity.

When coming to heat resistance, Basalt is exceptionally suited to block fire. Basalt products resist the open flame. Basalt melts at ca. 1450 C. A fabric made of Basalt, with a Bunsen burner pointed at it (1100 – 1200 C) becomes red hot as a metal fabric would. This can last for hours. For reference, an E-glass fabric of the same surface density gets pierced by the same flame in a matter of seconds.

2. High Temperature Insulation (HTI)
Basalt fibers, at present, exhibit a resistance to temperature superior to E glass fibers in the range 300-500C. This opens the sector of high temperature insulation (HTI). Chopped Basalt fibers, non-woven Basalt needled mats (lined or not with BCF fabrics) find their place in the construction of car and bike exhaust mufflers and of ovens. They are used for the heat insulation of gas turbines, including in nuclear plant locations, as basalt is known to resist to degradation caused by radiations, unlike synthesized materials as glasses. Basalt is also functional to very low temperature (down to 260C). Useful applications are insulation of liquid nitrogen tanks and pipes.

3. As reinforcement in composite materials
The good mechanical properties of Basalt (strength & rigidity), the easy wetting of the filament surface and their recyclability make them particularly suitable for composites application.

The UV resistance, the better acid resistance, the somewhat better alkaline resistance and very low water absorption of Basalt fibers ensure excellent weather ability to outdoors Basalt fiber reinforced Composites.

The higher thermal conductivity and equally high electrical resistivity of Basalt fibers also allow making reinforced composites with good dielectric properties and better heat diffusion.

Basalt fiber reinforced injection molded parts seem, for a same fiber volume fraction, to have a better surface finish. This could allow direct metallization as for automotive interior decoration components.

Basalt continuous fibers have a melting temperature higher than that of the flame, which allows separation of the composite constitutions by fire at the recycling stage (e.g. in automotive industry,) There is no disposal issue at the recycling stage after separation, being a natural product.

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About Nick

Nick Gencarelle

Working with concrete and steel 5-6 days a week at least for over 25 years gave me an innate understanding for the properties and use of these materials. Having worked on everything possible from rebuilding old homes in New England to hospitals in Alaska, union work on the Pipeline, commercial jobs from Hawaii to Arizona and Florida, I have seen it all.

My motivation when seeing people lose their homes to fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, etc. is the knowledge that by building correctly many of these homes, and lives and pets can be spared or at least hopefully be able to return to a structure still standing. Thousands of homes are destroyed each year. New standards are in place to help alleviate some of that by doing things like installing better windows or hurricane ties. These however are to me just band-aids on the greater problem of building correctly in the first place. Concrete homes can be built today with designs and new reinforcements that can withstand the elements.

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