Nick Gencarelle (our own Basalt Guru) and other basalt fiber market experts were interviewed by Composite World magazine for their article “The still-promised potential of basalt fiber composites.”.

A few excerpts featuring Nick in the article:
Gencarelle refers to basalt fiber as “leaner, greener and meaner” and more impact-resistant than other reinforcement choices. These characteristics point to a sweet spot for BFRPs in the performance window between E-glass and carbon fiber composites.

Material efficiency for basalt fiber is enhanced by the fact that no secondary materials are needed to create the fiber, or as Gencarelle puts it, “One pound of rock becomes one pound of fiber.”

Gencarelle reports that the basalt fiber factory he represents is ISO 9000 certified. “They emphasize quality control from the raw materials all the way through the process,” … He believes that the lower limit for variation is around 3 percent which, admittedly, may be too high for aerospace structural applications. But other market opportunities abound, including applications in the sporting goods, prosthetics, cryogenics and energy industries.

Gencarelle also points out that the American Concrete Institute has recognized that basalt rebar meets the institute’s requirements for rebar applications.

If basalt fiber providers can point to one application that portends particularly well for BFRP growth, it would be rebar. Like fiberglass rebar, basalt rebar is considerably lighter than conventional steel rebar, “over 70 percent lighter, in fact,” Gencarelle says. “One person can easily lift a 100-meter coil of 10-millimeter basalt rebar.” Advantages over glass rebar include basalt’s natural resistance to rust and corrosive liquids and chemicals, he continues. This makes it well-suited to marine applications, chemical plants and other potentially corrosive environments. “Also, moisture penetration from concrete does not spall, so it needs no special coating like fiberglass rods,” he adds. Gencarelle also highlights the match between basalt rebar’s and concrete’s coefficient of thermal expansion. The fact that it is nonconducting makes basalt rebar a good option for buildings that house MRIs or data-intensive operations.

The still-promised potential of basalt fiber composites
Karen Mason, Composite World, April 23, 2019