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Old 22-11-2007, 01:10   #1
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Basalt Fiber for construction of yachts

I am wondering why we are the only yacht builders to use basalt fiber in construction of yachts.
it is a wonderfull material non toxic , the source is renewable , fossil fuels are not needed to manufacture it.
It is stronger than E glass
It is noise dampening contrary to glass and carbon fibre .
It does not burn.
It infuses better than both E glass and carbon fiber.

You can read some more on it in the link below

CompositesWorld.com - Composites Technology - Basalt Fibers: Alternative To Glass? - August 2006
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Old 22-11-2007, 03:30   #2
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does it's use give you weight savings

does it's use give you weight savings

Is it cheaper than E glass or Carbon

Could you tell us more
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Old 22-11-2007, 03:42   #3
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It is cheaper than Carbon fiber by 75 % but more expensive than e Glass factor 3 we pay around 9.00 euro per kilo while e glass costs 3.50 per kilo but we need 10 % less so abouth double the cost
with using it in the hull deck and bulkheads and floors we save 240 kilo,s over using glass or 10 % on the structure , other advantages are
a much quieter boat and no use of fossil fules and no itch to work with
in other words safer.
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Old 22-11-2007, 06:28   #4
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Very interesting, but why do you say it is "renwable?" Isn't basalt a volcanic rock?

George
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Old 22-11-2007, 06:38   #5
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It is renewable because 1 cubic kilometer a year is actally made on our earth.
Not only is it renewable it is also just like glass recyclable

Greetings
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Old 22-11-2007, 06:55   #6
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The word "renewable" has become a environmental buzzword along with "sustainability".
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Old 22-11-2007, 07:13   #7
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Yes you are right and arent we happy, that should have happened years ago.
Some people start to care about the environment and i hope that number grows by the day , that can only create a more livable earth ( world )
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Old 22-11-2007, 11:32   #8
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Well from everything I've seen production boat building is an incredibly conservative industry. That must to some extent be driven by the desires of customers. I have always assumed that boatbuilders are conservative because boat buyers are conservative. Since you presumably interact with a lot of boat buyers, you know whether or not this is true better than any of us, you can probably answer your own question better than we can.

Have you heard a lot of concern from buyers over the sheer quantity of innovation in your boat? Do you feel like that is scaring some buyers away? It certainly seems likely to me.

Are there any other production boats using basalt fiber or would yours be the first? Has basalt been proven in composites with 10 or 20 year durability? Any basalt fiber boats been caught in a 100 year storm? Questions anyone trusting their life to a boat would want to ask.
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Old 22-11-2007, 11:47   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastcat435 View Post
It is renewable because 1 cubic kilometer a year is actally made on our earth.
Not only is it renewable it is also just like glass recyclable

Greetings
How is something recyclable after it has been saturated with epoxy? It would not make any sense to use harsh chemicals to dissolve the old epoxy resin in order to recycle the basalt fiber. Is there another less polluting way of recycling it?

According to Wikipedia, basalt fiber was declassified in 1995. It's no wonder not many are using it. Probably not many know of it. I certainly would consider a boat made of it.

Basalt fiber - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 22-11-2007, 12:04   #10
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Basalt Fiber was first invented in the States in 1923 and hase been used more and more in Russia in the building of army tanks and many other high tech machinery, it is also used a lot in fire prevention since it does not burn at all, Since the Iron wall came down it came over to the rest of the world and already 15 different Factorys are producing it for many uses including aircraft , yachts , Weapons ( unfortunately )
and in many other ways, We have had it investigated and approved for use in yachts .
It is stiffer stronger and easier to work with than glass.
Customers may be conservative but we are sold out until the end of 2010 and for that reason tripling our production , so I guess not all are very conservative.
It is my guess that boat builders are more conservative than boat buyers
Look at resin infusion or prepreg ( preimpregnated fibers )
This has been around over 30 years yet just a couple of boat builders are using this and all know these are better ways to produce a boat.
In South Africa with 35 boat builders only 2 use prepreg and only one infuses boats
In France I do not no of even one boat builder that infuses a boat with epoxy.

By heating up the epoxy laminate the epoxy would melt and the basalt could be taken out , this is all theory but at the rates the prices of fossil fules are going up this might be feasable.
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Old 22-11-2007, 12:11   #11
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other advantages are
a much quieter boat and no use of fossil fules and no itch to work with
in other words safer.
I'm sold!

But let's see how long it will last in an off-shore boat. I may not live long enough to see the results

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastcat435
fossil fuels are not needed to manufacture it.
"Manufacture

The manufacture of basalt fiber requires the melting of the quarried basalt rock to about 1,400C. The molten rock is then extruded through small nozzles to produce continuous filaments of basalt fiber. There are three main manufacturing techniques, which are centrifugal-blowing, centrifugal-multiroll and die-blowing. The fibers typically have a filament diameter of between 9 and 13 m which is far enough above the respiratory limit of 5 m to make basalt fiber a suitable replacement for asbestos. This also has High E modulus resulting in excellent specific tenacity, three times that of steel"
Basalt fiber - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
It is renewable because 1 cubic kilometer a year is actally made on our earth.
Not only is it renewable it is also just like glass recyclable
It would comsume more energy to seperate it from the epoxy/resin then it would to just manufacture more.

But, I do like the stuff. The military has been using it since WW II but just declassified it in 1995 (see wikipedia above) and that's why one does not see much of it around the USA. But it is available in TX Sudaglass Fiber Technology - BASALT BASED FIBER TECHNOLOGY basalt fibers and basalt fabrics more stable than alternative mineral and fiberglass, with tenacity that exceeds steel fibers many times over. basalt, basalt fiber, basalt fibers, mat felt, g
and Calif, Basalt fiber ......................_/)
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Old 22-11-2007, 12:17   #12
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That's great to hear, I am happy to see customers embracing change in the boating world.

Question about the fire prevention aspect. Since multihulls are virtually unsinkable fire becomes one of the few reasons to leave a multihull at sea. Does basalt make the finished composite more fireproof? Is there any data available on this? As I understand, basalt used as a fireproofing material is generally fiber mat, not composite.

This is getting off topic, but does the choice of resin affect fire resistance? Which boatbuilding resin is most fire resistant?

Sorry for the digression but this is an area where I am completely ignorant.
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Old 22-11-2007, 12:28   #13
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If we would purchase epoxys that are fire resistand and they exist and are used in the Aircraft industry we would produce an almost indistructable boat unfortunately the cost of these epeoxy resins is so high that we would never sell another boat, about 10 x the price of the presently used high quality epoxy or around 40 $ per pound . And yes our cats are unsinkable we build in 200 % buoyance in closed chambers thru out the boat.
We also use about 5 cubic meters of closed cell foam so that alone will keep the boat afloat.
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Old 22-11-2007, 13:35   #14
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Fascinating stuff, Fastcat435

Would basalt fibre lend itself to mast construction and possibly produce a cost reduction against carbon equivalent?

Also, have you ever (retro-)fitted or considered fittng a Green Motion sytem to a monohull? Another piece of string question from a previous thread but any idea of costs to replace a 50hp diesel?

Finally, I get to Holland occassionally to visit my sons (practice my Dutch and remember the seventies!) and would be interested in visiting you for a chat - misschien met 'n kopje koffie erbij! Zou dat mogelijk zijn?

De groeten uit Engeland

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Old 22-11-2007, 16:35   #15
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Here are some specs from a manufacturer's website:

1. Permanent flame retardant resistance: Limiting oxygen index (Loi) >70
2. Extraordinary high softening temperature (point): >1200 Celsius degree
3. Operating temperature range: from -260 to 760 Celsius degree
4. High tensile strength (breaking strength): 3200 MPa
5. Low elongation at break: 3.1 %
6. High elastic modulus: 89 GPa
7. Density: 2.7 gram/cubic centimetre
8. Low thermal conductivity: 0.035 W/mK
9. High sound absorption coefficient: 0.95
10. Low moisture absorption: 0.1 %
11. High specific volume resistance: 1x1012 ohmm
12. radiation proof lead equivalent: 0.0073 mmPb

According to Wikipedia, Standard modulus carbon fiber has an elastic modulus of 250 Gpa so Basalt isn't quite as stiff but the tensile strength is impressive and if the price is 75% that of the other black stuff it becomes pretty attractive. I couldn't find any data on fatigability.

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