Due to the increase in the construction market and the
requirements for newer economic and environmental material, the reinforcement potential
of newer and newer fibers is investigated in the leading research institutes of
the world. Basalt fibre is the most appropriate for applying in the polymer
matrix composite instead of glass fiber. High rigidity and low elongation or
extension at break make basalt fiber the best choice for the material scientist
to replace steel and carbon fiber. Its supreme tenacity value makes it as a
useful reinforcement material in the present and also for the future era to
fibres are non-combustible, they have high chemical stability, and good
resistance to weather, alkaline and acids exposure. Moreover, basalt fibres can
be used from very low temperatures (i.e. about _200°C) up to the comparative
high temperatures (i.e. in the range 600-800°C). High modulus, good strength
and elastic behaviour make also this kind of fibres a good alternative to the
traditional ones and in particular, continuous basalt fibres are competitive
with glass fibres. Another feature of the basalt fibres is their good
compatibility with the matrix materials.
Basalt fibres can be
considered environmentally friendly and non-hazardous materials. It is not a
new material, basalt originates from volcanic magma and flood volcanoes, a very
hot fluid or semifluid material under the earth’s crust, solidified in the open
air. Basalt is a common term used for a variety of volcanic rocks, which are
gray, dark in colour, formed from the molten lava after solidification.
The basalt has low density
like 2.8 g/cc to 2.9 g/cc, which is much lower than metal (steel) and closer to
carbon and glass fibers though cheaper than carbon fiber and high strength than
glass fiber. Hence basalt is suitable as low weight cheaper tough composite materials.
Pearson et al. 132 compared the long-term
behaviours of prestressed basalt ?bre reinforced polymer bars and steel ones.
To this aim, three basalt reinforced polymer samples, two steel high yield reinforcing
bars, and one high tensile steel cable sample were tested carrying out creep
tests at room temperature and setting tension equal to 16 kN. The experimental
results showed that prestress loses are seen to be equal or less with basalt
reinforced bars and steel in comparison to steel cable. Dorigato and Pegoretti 33 compared the fatigue
properties of epoxy based laminates reinforced with woven fabrics of basalt,
E-glass and carbon ?bres. All the laminates were prepared by means of vacuum
bagging technique. The investigation of the fatigue behaviour indicated higher
performances of the laminates reinforced with basalt fabrics with respect to
the corresponding glass ?bre composites, with an improved capability of
sustaining progressive damaging and slightly higher damping properties.
The first attempts to
transform basalt rock into fibers by extrusion started at the beginning of the
1920’s and were attributed to the French Paul Dh`e, that was granted a U.S.
Patent in 1922. Around 1960, Soviet Union began to investigate basalt fiber
applications too, particularly for military and aerospace purposes, succeeding
in developing the first attempt of production technology for continuous basalt
fibers. In subsequent years many technical studies have been conducted in
Europe and more recently in China, aiming to improve quality of the
manufacturing process as well as to enhance the physico-chemical features and
mechanical performance of basalt fibers