WHAT ARE COMPOSITE MATERIALS?

Basalt is the New "All Purpose" Construction Material!!

COMPOSITE MATERIALS AND ITS TYPES

COMPOSITE can be defined as a combination of different materials, when mixed together become stronger than the individual material original structure. The materials used don’t lose their qualities, they combine and contribute their most effective attributes to improve the final product. Composites can be versatile as they can be applied to specific projects which results in a lighter, stronger and more durable solution compared to more traditional materials.

An example of where composite material can be used is in composite decking. The framing is stronger and decking boards which are composite based can face the weather elements without compromising the deck. 

FOUR MAIN TYPES OF COMPOSITE MATERIALS CURRENTLY USED IN VARIOUS APPLICATIONS

1. CARBON FIBER

Carbon fibre is formed by polyacrylonitrile fibres, rayon or pitch resins at high temperatures. The process incorporates stretching and wounding into larger threads where it can be created into carbon fabrics, cloths, mats with the action of weaving.  It is stronger than steel and lightweight however, once it is cracked it lacks the ability to take on its original form. Carbon fibre is also very high in price compared to Basalt and it is not as durable when it is pushed beyond its tensile strength. 

2. CARBON FIBER REINFORCED POLYMER (CFRP)

Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer is a strong and lightweight plastic that contains carbon fibers. This resource is used in the structure of ships, aerospace projects, civil engineering, the automotive industry and sports equipment. This specific composite material may include; aramid, aluminium, glass fibers, carbon fibers and polyethylene.  

It has some disadvantages including;

  • Breakage or shatter when compressed beyond its tensile strength
  • Crack if impacted by a hammer
  • Holes that are drilled into it increase its likelihood to break

3. GLASS FIBER REINFORCED POLYMER (GFRP)

Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer is a textile fiber that is used to trap air mainly used for insulation purposes. It is a popular product to reinforce plastic by being used for injection moulding. Used in construction, glass fibre can be formed into varied products including fabric, threads and rebar. Glass Fibre Reinforced Polymer is a light material and can be shaped with other resources. However, compared to Basalt it can be brittle and crack when it has reached its tensile strength.

4. BASALT FIBER REINFORCED POLYMER (BFRP)

Basalt is one of the most beneficial and innovative materials to use as a composite due to its structure being versatile. Basalt fiber is composed of pyroxene, olivine and plagioclase. When it is combined with polymer, it develops into Basalt fiber reinforced polymer (BFRP). Its properties are more utilized as it is more of a substantial and durable material.  With its fine fibers equivalent to fiberglass its properties are an improvement alongside it being more cost effective compared to carbon fiber. Due to it being a fireproof textile it can be used for insulation materials and high- temperature applications.

BASALT FIBERS ADVANTAGES INCLUDES;

  • Replacement for fiberglass
  • More durable compared to Carbon, Glass and Carbon Fibre reinforced.
  • Lighter in mass compared to Carbon, Glass and Carbon Fibre reinforced.
  • Insulates more effectively 
  • Alkali resistant
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Environmentally friendly

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