A new reinforcement microfiber is designed to create a 3D-reinforced composite materials and made on the basis of mechanically crushed very thin basalt fibers. The high melting temperature of 2200°C destroys the basalt mineral crystalline structure. In this way manufactured basalt fibers have monofilament diameter of 1-3µm and are characterized by completely amorphous structure. These lead to enhanced mechanical strength and elasticity, better chemical and thermal stability compared to conventional used continuous basalt or E-glass fibers with a monofilament diameter of 10-17µm. Visually the microfiber is a is a fine powder of a beige-gray color, which is consisting superfine fragments of basalt fibers. The fiber fragment length depends on manner and time of grinding. Also bulk density of the powder is determined by the degree of grinding and amounts to 1.5-2 g/cm³.
The simplest basalt microfiber products consist of fiber fragments in length of 25-120µm and up to 10-20% of fine particles of irregular shape with the linear dimension of 0,1 – 0,5µm. There gives also an innovative technology of separating milled fibers, which can allocate fractions of microfibers with an average length of 25, 50 and 75µm, respectively. Amount of the fine fraction of 0.1-0.5 microns in these materials is reduced by about ten times.
Basalt microfibers are nonflammable and environmentally friendly product from natural raw material. It has low thermal conductivity and is completely transparent to electromagnetic waves. Lower conductivity than by glass fiber allows to create high-performance insulating materials for power engineering, microelectronics and cable-conductor industry. Reduced microfiber diameter leads to a significant increase thereof value in the specific surface area. Due to higher mechanical properties are microfibers excellent suitable for the creation of high-performance filter materials and design of composite materials. Additionally are microfibers an effective reinforcing filler by manufacturing of protective coatings, gel coats and repair putty. Modification of basalt microfibers with zirconium silicide increase chemical resistance to aggressive chemical environment.
- Structural, safety and power elements in the automotive and transport industries.
- Casings for laptops, mobile phones, tablets and other gadgets.
- Cases for optical devices: cameras, lenses, tripods, eyeglass frames.
- Impellers and blades for different purposes.
- Armor for tanks, special vehicles, helicopters, weapons systems elements.
- Protective coatings, fillers for paints, primers, putties, glues.
- Pipes and gutters for pumping aggressive and abrasive compounds.
- Fabrication of composite printing rods for 3-D printer.
- Designer furnishings and fittings in the form of tiles sculptures, friezes.
- Reinforcing elements in construction.
- Manufacture of medical applications, endo prosthesis and restorative materials.
- Production of 3-D reinforced polymer films.
- Reinforcement of rubber products, tires, trucks.
- Power and insulating elements in the power industry.
- The elements of urban and road infrastructure – light poles, benches, sewer manholes and drain grate.
- Fireproof cable boxes, channels, partitions.
- Sports equipment – rackets, skis, helmets, snowboards, bicycles frames.
- Tanks for storage and transportation of corrosive liquids, including galvanic baths.
- Basis for the production of printed circuit boards of the new generation.
- Manufacture of friction elements, high-performance compressor rings with increased resource services, lubrication sliding and, for example, computer coolers based on them.
- Manufacture antifriction pairs and brake pads.Microfiber can be used in the production of basalt fiber reinforced polymer composites and basalt ceramics with improved parameters:
- Mechanical tensile, compressive, flexural, impact strength;
- Durability and abrasion resistance;
- Reduced cost;
- Reduced shrinkage of products in the manufacturing process;
- Higher thermal dimensional stability of finished products;
- The possibility of grinding and polishing;
- Low electrical conductivity and radio transparency. Microfiber is effective reinforcing filler in creating protective coatings, gel coats and repair putty.