At last, an alternative to fiberglass ?

Here’s what I’ve just found : A russian company has been developping a new fiber out of basalt. Basalt is the generic term for solidified volcanic lava, an abundant natural ressource. It’s available in the form of fiber strands, fabrics, rovings … Basalt fibers are 100% natural and inert. They have been tested and proven to be non-carcinogenic and non-toxic. Tough and long-lasting, these fibers deliver acid, alkali, moisture and solvent resistance surpassing most mineral and synthetic fibers. They are immune to nuclear radiation, UV light, biologic and fungal contamination. The stuff is said to be stronger and more stable than alternative mineral and glass fibers… Basically, basalt fibers are 5% heavier than fiberglass, 15% stronger, 100% natural and non toxic, UV stable and at the same price as fiberglass. Furthermore, the fibers are said to be highly compatible with epoxy and phenolic resins. Anyone ever tried it or heard of it ? Pierre

Hey Pierre, Basalt is generally black. Do you them make cloth out of it? What color is it? ~ Interesting ~ But ~ Russia sounds far away. Mahalo, Rich

Did you check the link below, it seems they also have an adress in the US. Pierre

excellent research pierre, thats what swaylocks is all about, im trying to get some now to do some testing.

A proven alternative in cloth for fibre glass is Hemp. It is hard to find stuff that is ethically and environmentally sound, but I have managed to do so. have offices in Germany and the US. A company called now have full scale production of hemp glassed boards. are also considering it. All the best Simon J

By the way, I mentionned some while ago a german product that acts as a primer to bind polyester with wood. I’ve experimented it with a plywood/fiberglass flexy longboard skate. It seems to work, so far I haven’t had any signs of delam. I still need to see in the long run how it ages with UV rays… Pierre

Alternatives are great, but I really don’t see what’s wrong with fiberglass. It’s just glass. When the word “alternative” comes to mind, I think of aramid and carbon…Or maybe even boron, but I don’t think I’ll be affording that anytime soon… You can’t replace fiberglass. It’s like replacing concrete.

I agree with anton and you cant get anymore natural than fiberglass cloth, its made from sand.

Fiber glass is just SiO2? I thought there were some petroleum things in there. Say whats the chemical formula for that basalt based fibre?

Keep your eye on carbon fiber pricing. It WAS very expensive. It is today very reasonable.

Basalt surfboards? It seems like it would be a natural industry for Hawaii.

  1. Fiberglass is a lung and skin irritant and a known carcinogen. 2. Fiberglass is a non-recyclable material. I don’t know much about basalt yet, but to my opinion these are two good reasons to look for alternate natural fibers. Pierre

Basalt is a extrusive rock (lava)with a certain chemical composition that differentiates it from Rhyolite, Dacite, etc. Basalt is made of tiny (microscopic) crystals of olivine, oligocene, augite and other “basic” minerals. Because the basalt is belched onto or near the ground surface, the minerals crystalize quickly. In other words fiberous basalt does not exist naturally. While there are fiberous minerals that occur in nature, the only one that is abundant enough for commercial use is asbestos. Whats my point? This stuff has to be manipulated from the rock into a fiber either by melting it into a glass and spinning it or “gluing” the crystals using some other binding agent. Glass is essentially silica (quartz) with no crystalization. If they are melting the stuff, olivine is no stronger than quartz. The fiber is likely no safer than asbestos or glass (the mineral is not the cancerous agent, its the fiberous shape of the crystal). Seems to me the stuff would be great if you were surfing on Venus or Mercury where the insulating benefits might protect your foam core…

Indeed, but… You forgot to mention that basalt is An-hydrous, and just about every rock in the whole stinking world is Basalt plus varying amounts of water, organic stuff or alittle pressure and heat. And cooling time, ohh heck…i’m a Rock Nerd, but thats my excuse for college. If this new fiber is based off Olivine, i dont think it’ll be much better. Olivine weathers fast in surface conditions, but that is probably a chemical affair of H ions, wind and water. Not the mechanical stresses that will be valued as a textile.

i had no idea there where so many geology majors on this site. i myself am a geo major and earth science/chem teacher. is anyone else dreaming of a high strength plastic core with a cell structure like pumice? lots of little air bubbles, but none connected- i.e. high porosity & low permeability?

way beyond majors…

i bet a surfboard made out of pumice would work, it would have to be a longboard. The vesicules could be sealed on the outside with some sort of paste, otherwise the lam resine would just soak into the open vesicules. Perhaps a couple of wood strigers, pumice is too ridgid, a flexible backbone to keep it from busting. Probally arrange the pumice in horizontal sections a foot of so wide so as to compensate for the rigity, and because you might not be able to fin big long pieces that easly. Anyone want a claim to fame,build one of these, 30 seconds atleast. Were are all the other Rock Nerds from?

Fiberglass that we use is NOT a carcinogen. There is a particle size limit, that I can’t remember off the top of my head, but fiber from fiberglass cloth is well beyond those limits.

Even fiberglass dust from sanding ?