«The bitterness of poor quality remains long
after the sweetness of low price is forgotten»
Benjamin Franklin

Basalt Fiber: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Nowadays there are three leading directions in basalt fiber manufacturing. They are: composite staple fiber, basalt fabric and continuous basalt fiber (CBF).

The first group comprises basalt fiber materials made of “basalt super-thin fibers” (BSTF). They outrun the quality of the ready product made of “basalt thin fibers” (BTF), being more durable, hydroscopic, thermally conductive, chemically resistant, etc. Moreover, the range of basalt super-thin fibers products is much wider than that of basalt thin fibers. Basalt super-thin fibers mats are basically formed on phenol-formaldehyde thermosetting resins, silicone lacquers and bitumen binders.

These fibers differ greatly from the point of view of technology and cost. Thus, BSTF manufacturing is 2.5 – 3 times more expensive than that of BTF.

Basalt fabric is a non-woven fabric, consisting of proportionally placed fibers. The fibers are drawn together with the help of organic additives, mostly thermosetting resins. They together make fabric which is folded and packed for further shipment after polymerization.

Basalt non-woven fabric can easily stand atmospheric factors, ultra-violet rays, it is flexible and demonstrates tensile strength, is not subject to decomposition and maintains stable size. Due to its porosity, it has good impregnability, as well as high chemical resistance, sealing, corrosive protective and fire-proof properties.

There exist two ways of basalt fabric production: wet and dry. These methods help to make different types of fabric suitable for various industries, such as insulating materials manufacturing, automotive and construction industry. Basalt fabric is used as waterproof and reinforcing material, stabilization or separating layer, surface finish or insulation.

Recently one can notice a growing interest to continuous basalt fiber due to its advantages as compared to glass fiber. They are more rigid; demonstrate higher chemical resistance and act at higher operating temperatures. As far as its properties are concerned CBF stands between glass fiber and carbon fiber;

-  basalt rock as a raw material for CBF production is cheap and affordable; 

-  production process has one chain – basalt raw material – fiber;

-  development in equipment and technology in recent years has lowered production cost which is now less than that of glass fiber.

In brief the technology of CBF production can be described as follows:

-  basalt rock melting and hot melt creation;

- homogenization of the hot melt and its conditioning for the production;

- hot melt working out through the bushing assembly;

-  fiber stretching;

-  sizing application

-  winding up the fiber to the bobbins.

 


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