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New reinforced material for textile composite - Basalt fiber

Written by: Hireni Mankodi Hireni Mankodi


Principle Investigator of Career Award for Young Teacher


Textile Engineering Department, Faculty of Technology and Engineering,

M .S. University, Kalabhavan, Baroda: 390001, Gujarat, INDIA.





Basalt fiber or fibre is a material made from extremely fine fibers of basalt, which is composed of the minerals plagioclase, pyroxene, and olivine. It is similar to carbon fibre and fiberglass, having better physicomechanical properties than fiberglass, but being significantly cheaper than carbon fibre. It is used as a fireproof textile in the aerospace and automotive industries and can also be used as a composite to produce products such as tripods.


Basalt fibres are used in a wide range of application areas such as the chemical, construction and marine sectors, not to mention the offshore, wind power, transport and aerospace industries. This is due to their superior properties: not only do they boast good mechanical and chemical resistance, but also excellent thermal, electric and acoustic insulation properties.




The raw material for basalt fibres is a naturally occurring mineral that belongs to the family of volcanic rocks. As a mineral, basalt ranges from dark gray to black. Basalt fibres are mineral fibres, which are 100% inorganic. Fibre compatibility to matrix resins is ensured by using organic sizing agents. Basalt is well known in rock form and is found in almost every country around the world. It is traditionally used as crushed rock in construction and road building.

The fibre is composed of 100 % mineral continuous filaments. The focus is on the range of 9 to 13 m for the filament diameters. These diameters give the best compromise between tenacity, suppleness and cost. They are also safely larger than the 5 m limit for non-respirability. As the product presents no hazard to health and environment, it is very suitable for asbestos replacement. The natural golden-brown appearance of the resulting fabrics, incidentally, can be covered for decorative purposes.


Main features of basalt fibre reinforcements.

  • High strength
  •   High modulus
  • Corrosion resistance
  • High temperature resistance
  • Extended operating temperature range
  • Easy to handle








The specific tenacity (ratio: rupture stress divided by density) of basalt fibres exceeds that of steel fibres, many times. Basalt is roughly 5 % denser than glass. The tensile modulus (E modulus, Young modulus) of basalt fibers is higher than the one of E-glass fibers. This makes basalt fibers & fabrics attractive for the reinforcement of composites. The low elongation perfectly elastically up till rupture results in dimensionally very stable fabrics. Basalt textiles show sufficient suppleness and drapeability. They exhibit good fatigue resistance. The yarn shows low friction coefficients vs. most materials.




Electrical applications from insulating panels to circuit board manufacturing usage of basalt in demand. Its chemical resistance is also clearly better than that of E-glass, which enables its use in chemically demanding and corrosive environments.




Basalt fibres can be used in virtually all applications where glass fibres are used. .


1.    Surface & Air Transportation

     Fire protected seats in planes, trains, ships, subways,

           Fire proof floorings & ceilings, Airplane life jacket pouches


2.    Specialty furniture

           Fire proof mattresses (for hospitals, hotels, etc), Fire proof seating


3.    Electricity and Electronics

           Power: fire resistant cable construction components as fillers, braiding, tapes

           Transformer stations: screens, protection, and insulation

           Motor insulation: tapes


4. Construction

           Fire protective wall, floor & ceiling panels. Fire proof curtains and partitions for indoors and outdoors

           Heat insulation in heating systems, power generation, incinerators

           Roofing: rigid and flexible roof covers with raised fire resistance

           Fire protective clothing

           Fire resistant floor coverings: backing, reinforcement

           Fire resistant interior decoration




[1] "Filaments from basalt", Dhe, P. US Pat. No. 1,438,428, Dec. 12, 1923. (CA 17, 860; 1923)

[2] "Process for forming a basaltic glass-ceramic product", Beall, G. US Pat. No. 3,557,575, Jan. 26, 1971.

[3] "Glass fibers, new edition 1993 Fiber Tables according to P.A. Koch. Institut fr Textiltechnik der

RWTH Aachen, Germany.

[4] "Basalt fibre : New competitor to glass fiber",R. Duraiswamy, Dpt. of Textile Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India. Popular Plastics,February 1982.

[5] "Basalt fibers" - by Jiri Militky, Vladimir Kovacic, Jiri Kvicala. Textiles Magazine ,Issue 4, 1998.

[6] "Hitzeschutztextilien aus neuartigen Basalt Filamentgarnen", M. Bednar, M. Hajek VUVL splo. s.r.o., Sumperk, Tschechische Republik. Technische Textilien Jahrgang 43, November 2000.

[7] "Basalt fibers as reinforcement for composites",K. Van De Velde, P. Kiekens, L. Van Langenhove,Dpt. Of Textiles, Ghent university, Belgium

[8] "Barrires au feu en Basalte"


About the Author:


The author is presently working as Sr. Lecturer in the Textile Engineering, Faculty of Tech and Engg M.S. University Of Baroda, India. She has recently completed PH.D Thesis .She has also been awarded FTA from All India Textile Association and Career Award for young teacher from AICTE.


During her 16 years of academic experience, she has published over 12 research and 20 review papers, of which two papers were awarded as best articles by the Institute of Engineers and the Textile Association of India. This does not include 10 papers presented in national seminars and 12 papers in international seminars at different countries like Manchester, London, Croatia, China, Switzerland and Korea. She has also undertaken 11 projects in different areas of textiles, of which 5 projects are in the field of technical textiles. Her research areas include medical textiles, hybrid yarns, electronic controls in textile machineries and design consideration for smart garments.



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