The Project BasFlair of the Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University focused on basalt fiber reinforced concrete is recognized by Klima Expo. NRW. The BasFlair project is established with the aim to protect climate through energy saving and reducing CO₂ emissions.
The BasFlair researchers have decided to replace expensive and energy-intensive carbon fibers with basalt fibers in textile concrete, which is an alternative to conventional concrete. Textile concrete has been developed in Aachen since 1990s. Usually, textile concrete contains glass- or carbon fibers that enhance the tensile strength of normally brittle concrete. Because the components of textile concrete are up to 75 % thinner, and therefore lighter, than those of conventional steel-reinforced concrete, while maintaining the same strength, transport costs and production-related CO₂ emissions are considerably lower.
Textile concrete is also more corrosion-resistant and more malleable than conventional concrete. Replacement of carbon fibers with basalt fibers can significantly enhance the application fields of the innovative composite material that is textile concrete, says Andreas Koch, Head of the Department of Textile Construction at ITA. “The main arguments are the low price and sustainability which result from the use of a renewable material”.
Construction industry has practiced various methods of basalt fiber reinforcement. For instance, the USA offers to use basalt rebar to enhance strength of foundations for offshore wind parks. During the International Bridge Conference, the delegates from ACMA held technical workshop and presented the advantages of composite rebar over conventional steel rebar. Taking into account the market trends, the researchers forecast the growth of global FRP rebar market to $ 91.00 million by 2021.