Innovation with basalt fibres
The power to innovate and the pursuit of environmentally-friendly manufacturing form a major part of the work of our R&D department. In this work, basalt is one of our current research focuses as a futuristic raw material. Basalt is an alkaline volcanic rock that occurs in vast quantities in nature. This not only means that manufacturing conserves other resources: basalt can also be easily recycled at the end of the product lifecycle.
Mechanical processes are used to produce basalt fibres from its rocky state. Basalt is first liquefied in a kiln, and the resulting molten rock is then extracted from the kiln using a special spinneret apparatus: the basalt fibres are created before the molten basalt can crystallise out. To make the fibres usable in the subsequent textile manufacturing process, they are given a coating of sizing and reeled onto a spinning cake.
Basalt fibres are characterised by their silicate-like surface. When used in textiles, this gives the fabric moisture- and oil-repellent features. As a mixed fibre, with viscose or polyester, for example, basalt fibres are suitable for use in flame-retardant and heat-resistant equipment stable up to 800 °C. The non-toxic and UV-stable properties of basalt fibres offer considerable potential for use in end products.