Basalt composites offer several benefits over its nearest rival E-glass composites, such as a specific strength 40% higher than E-glass, and a specific stiffness 20% higher than the glass composite. The basalt composite is also naturally resistant to ultraviolet (UV) and high-energy electromagnetic radiation, maintain their properties in cold temperature, and provides better acid resistance.
Basalt composites contain basalt fibers as a reinforcement and epoxy or polyester resin system as a matrix. Basalt fibers are produced from hard and dense volcanic rock that are abundantly available in most of the countries across the globe. Currently, Russia and Ukraine are the largest producers of basalt fibers worldwide, Stratview Research informs.
There is also a remarkable work going on related to the production of basalt fibers in China. At present, most of the Chinese players are running at very low production capacity which is expected to increase over the next five years.
Composites industry has not yet leveraged the full potential of basalt composites due to the dominance of glass fiber, inconsistent properties of basalt fibers, high cost, and the most importantly bureaucratic approach towards basalt fiber acceptance. Glass fibers have an excellent track record and well proven technology whereas parts fabricators have less knowledge about the advantages of basalt fibers and are very much reluctant on using it.
Recently, industry noticed an increasing interest in the development of basalt composites for acidic and corrosion applications, such as rebar and seawall for sea shore applications. This is driving composite parts fabricators to develop parts with basalt composites.
Building and construction segment is expected to remain the largest end industry for basalt composites during the forecast period. The segment is also likely to experience the fastest growth over the next five years. Basalt composite based rebar is one of the most attractive applications in building & construction segment. Transportation segment is also likely to experience a healthy growth rate over the next five years.
There are several manufacturing processes available for making parts with basalt composites in which pultrusion is the most popular one. The process is expected to remain the most dominant manufacturing process during the forecast period and is highly suitable for manufacturing rebars and sea walls. Other key manufacturing processes include filament winding and resin infusion.
Europe is expected to remain the largest market for basalt composites during the forecast period. Russia and Ukraine drive the demand of basalt composites market in the European region. There are several composite part fabricators in Russia and Ukraine using basalt composites and serving various industries. Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing market for basalt composites. China is the growth engine of the Asia-Pacific market during the forecast period. Market entry of several players and high focus on basalt composites are likely to drive the demand in China.
The supply chain of this market comprises raw material suppliers, basalt fiber manufacturers, resin suppliers, part fabricators, distributors, OEMs, and end users. The global basalt composites market is moderately consolidated with presence of very limited players. The key basalt composite manufacturers are
- GBF Basalt Fiber Co. Ltd
- Asamer Basaltic Fibers
- Sudaglass Fiber Technology.
Some of these companies are among the leading world suppliers of continuous basalt fiber. New product development, regional expansion, and long term relations are the key strategies adopted by the major players to gain competitive edge in the market.