THE MAIN AREAS FOR THE USE OF BASALT PRODUCTS ARE :
Textile applications for fire protection :
BCF does not melt nor shrink in the flame and, when not mechanically stressed, keeps its geometric integrity. This opens the sector of fire blocking.
Applications are : fire curtains for hall partitioning and external emergency house protection in case of wild-fire, fire-blocking interliners for mass transportation seatings,… The good thermal conductivity of BCF (Approximately 1.7 W/m.K for basalt vs. 1 W/m.K for E-glass), combined with its equally high electrical resistivity and unique resistance to fire, has allowed BCF woven tapes to be selected for the construction of fire-proof electrical power cables.
When coming to heat resistance, BCF is exceptionally suited to block fire. BCF products resist the open flame. Basalt melts at ca. 1450 °C. A fabric made of BCF, 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.
High Temperature Insulation (HTI) :
BCF fibers, at present, exhibit a resistance to temperature superior to E glass fibers in the range 300°-500°C. This opens the sector of high temperature insulation (HTI). Chopped BCF fibers, non-woven BCF 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. BCF is also functional to very low temperature (down to – 260°C). Useful applications are insulation of liquid nitrogen tanks and pipes.
As reinforcement in composite materials :
The good mechanical properties of BCF (strength & rigidity), the easy wetting of the filament surface and their recyclability make them particularly suitable for said composites application.
The UV resistance, the better acid resistance, the somewhat better alkaline resistance and very low water absorption of BCF fibers ensure excellent weather ability to outdoors BCF fiber reinforced Composites.
The higher thermal conductivity and equally high electrical resistivity of BCF fibers also allow making reinforced composites with good dielectric properties and better heat diffusion. Like is required, e.g. for electrical mounting boards and radar antennae covers on planes (in case of lightning strike).
BCF 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.
This makes basalt products interesting to be used as reinforcement in the following areas :
leisure/sport : hockey sticks, tennis rackets, skis, snowboards, arrows, …
automotive sector : interior and exterior
construction : machine construction, building construction,…