Basalt fibres are non-combustible, they have high chemical stability,and good resistance to weather, alkaline and acids exposure. Moreover, basaltfibres can be used from very low temperatures (i.e. about _200°C) up to thecomparative high temperatures (i.e. in the range 600-800°C). High modulus, goodstrength and elastic behaviour make also this kind of fibres a good alternativeto the traditional ones and in particular, continuous basalt fibres arecompetitive with glass fibres.
Another feature of the basalt fibres is theirgood compatibility with the matrix materials.Basalt fibres can be considered environmentally friendly andnon-hazardous materials. It is not a new material, basalt originates fromvolcanic magma and flood volcanoes, a very hot fluid or semifluid materialunder the earth’s crust, solidified in the open air. Basalt is a common termused for a variety of volcanic rocks, which are gray, dark in color, formedfrom the molten lava after solidification.The basalt has low density like 2.8 g/cc to 2.9 g/cc, which is muchlower than metal (steel) and closer to carbon and glass fibers though cheaperthan carbon fiber and high strength than glass fiber.
Hence basalt is suitableas low weight cheaper tough composite materials.The first attempts to transform basalt rock into fibers by extrusionstarted at the beginning of the 1920’s and were attributed to the French PaulDh`e, that was granted a U.S. Patent in 1922. Around 1960, Soviet Union beganto investigate basalt fiber applications too, particularly for military andaerospace purposes, succeeding in developing the first attempt of productiontechnology for continuous basalt fibers. In subsequent years many technicalstudies have been conducted in Europe and more recently in China, aiming toimprove quality of the manufacturing process as well as to enhance thephysico-chemical features and mechanical performance of basalt fibers.