Basalt fiber is produced through quarried basalt rock melt drawing. The crushed single material melted in a furnace is fed to the bushings and extruded through the dies to produce filaments of basalt fiber.
There are two main types of basal fiber: continuous and staple (discrete). They are differentiated in length, thickness, and a scope of application.
After the continuous basalt fiber is extruded, the sizing agent is applied. Then the filaments are moved to the winding equipment, where the fiber is spooled. At a later stage, it can be used for producing chopped basalt fiber or roving, these materials are used for manufacturing basalt rebar, components for automotive, shipbuilding, wind turbine blades, cylinders and tanks of high pressure, geogrids, reinforcement for concrete or plastic, production of fabrics and hoses for various purposes.
Staple fiber is produced by blowing the primary fibers with air flow. Depending on the diameter, the fibers are classified into:
- microfine – up to 0.5 microns;
- ultra-thin – up to 0.5 microns;
- super-thin – 1-3 microns;
- thin – 4-12 m;
- thickened – 15-25 microns;
- thick – 25-150 microns;
- rough – 150-500 microns.
Staple fiber is used for producing air and liquid filters, thermal and acoustic insulation, non-woven materials (tiles, needled mats, bundles, paper, cardboard, sheets, canvas, panels), as well as cement and composite materials reinforcement.
Basalt fiber and basalt fiber reinforced composites have a number of properties that make them suitable for the widest range of industries, productions, and science. They have excellent parameters of chemical resistance, wear resistance, temperature resistance, vapor permeability, thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity at a relatively low cost of production.