March 11, 2019 by Steve Blade
The burden of regulations for the automotive manufacturers to reduce the vehicle weight has triggered the demand for basalt fibers by nearly 7% during the past four years, explains Fact.MR. The stringent regulations prevailing in the automotive industry regarding the reduction of vehicle weight to reduce emissions has positively impacted the demand for basalt fibers. Moreover, composites made of basalt fiers are being widely used in the aerospace industry for fuel efficiency. The additional properties of fire protection have led to a rise in the demand from the fire protection clothing segment.
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Attributed to superior properties as compared to other glass and carbon fiber and steel reinforcements, there has been a constant rise in the demand for basalt fibers. Only 1/10th of basalt fibers is required as a reinforcing material to obtain the same strength as steel. Basalt fibers also exhibit good mechanical strength, chemical and thermal resistance, and are also economically priced as compared to carbon fibers.
Basalt fibers have exhibited better mechanical strength, chemical and thermal resistance, insulation and other properties. There has been an increase in the use of basalt fibers as an alternative to steel reinforcements owing to a number of properties such as corrosion resistance and light-weight, which allows mounting without the use of lifting or any other specialized equipment. Basalt fibers also outperform e-glass fiber in composites used for construction. In all the forms i.e. roving, chopped strands, fabrics, etc. basalt fibers have witnessed higher breaking load capacity and better durability and stiffness.
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However, there are a few challenges with respect to the production of basalt fibers. For instance, the quality and exact chemical composition of the basalt rock required for the formation of basalt fibers is available at only specific locations in Eastern Europe. Therefore, though the raw material is available at cheap cost, it has to be imported. Moreover, the initial set up and equipment cost are quite high and require capital investment, thus posing a major challenge for the manufacturers.
On the basis of end-use industry, sales of the basalt fibers are likely to remain concentrated for the building and construction industry where it is widely used as a replacement to the conventional steel and other carbon and fiber-based reinforcements. Automotive and aerospace segments in the basalt fibers market are also projected to expand significantly over the forecast period.
To remain at the forefront of the competition, leading market players in the Basalt fibers market are focusing on long-term partnerships with composites manufacturers, and expanding their regional market footprint. The report highlights some of the leading companies operating in the global basalt fibers market such as TECHNOBASALT-INVEST LLC, Sudaglass Fiber Technology, Kamenny Vek, Zhejiang GBF Basalt fibers Co., Ltd (GBF), Mafic SA, JiangSu Tianlong Continuous Basalt fibers Co.Ltd, Shanxi Basalt Fibre Technology Co., Ltd, Isomatex SA.
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