The main function of the fibers is to
carry the load in their longitudinal direction, on this, fibers are responsible
for the strength and stiffness of the composite material. Fibers ratio ranging
from 30 to 70% of the composite material according to manufacturing method.
There are a lot of fibers types such as Carbon, Glass, Aramid, Basalt fibers.

The Glass fiber is the most widely
used due to its low cost. Glass fiber comprise of various oxides (Most of
silica oxide) and unprocessed material (for example, limestone, clay …. Etc.).
The main characteristics of the glass fibers are: high strength with elastic
rupture behavior, surface activity, excellent insulating, high density,
sensitivity to abrasion, low modulus of elasticity, and sensitivity to
moisture, UV, and alkaline environment.

The
Carbon fiber used in a high-performance structure. The utilization of Carbon
fibers were expanded from the beginning of 1998, reaching more than 30000 ton
per year. Carbon fibers used in strengthening structure elements such as beam
and column, and repairing of damaged elements. The main characteristics of the
carbon fibers are: high strength to weight ratio, low coefficient of
longitudinal heat expansion, low sensitivity to fatigue load, resistance to
moisture and chemicals, high heat and electric conductivity, moderate ultimate
deformation value, and low shock and shear resistance.

Due to the increase in the construction market and the
requirements for newer economic and environmental material, the reinforcement potential
of newer and newer fibers is investigated in the leading research institutes of
the world. Basalt fibre is the most appropriate for applying in the polymer
matrix composite instead of glass fiber. High rigidity and low elongation or
extension at break make basalt fiber the best choice for the material scientist
to replace steel and carbon fiber. Its supreme tenacity value makes it as a
useful reinforcement material in the present and also for the future era to
come.

Basalt
fibres are non-combustible, they have high chemical stability, and good
resistance to weather, alkaline and acids exposure. Moreover, basalt fibres can
be used from very low temperatures (i.e. about _200°C) up to the comparative
high temperatures (i.e. in the range 600-800°C). High modulus, good strength
and elastic behaviour make also this kind of fibres a good alternative to the
traditional ones and in particular, continuous basalt fibres are competitive
with glass fibres. Another feature of the basalt fibres is their good
compatibility with the matrix materials.

Basalt fibres can be
considered environmentally friendly and non-hazardous materials. It is not a
new material, basalt originates from volcanic magma and flood volcanoes, a very
hot fluid or semifluid material under the earth’s crust, solidified in the open
air. Basalt is a common term used for a variety of volcanic rocks, which are
gray, dark in colour, formed from the molten lava after solidification.

The basalt has low density
like 2.8 g/cc to 2.9 g/cc, which is much lower than metal (steel) and closer to
carbon and glass fibers though cheaper than carbon fiber and high strength than
glass fiber. Hence basalt is suitable as low weight cheaper tough composite
materials.

(Pearson, Donchev and Salazar, 2013) compared the long-term behaviours of prestressed basalt ?bre reinforced
polymer bars and steel ones. To this aim, three basalt reinforced polymer
samples, two steel high yield reinforcing bars, and one high tensile steel
cable sample were tested carrying out creep tests at room temperature and
setting tension equal to 16 kN. The experimental results showed that prestress loses
are seen to be equal or less with basalt reinforced bars and steel in
comparison to steel cable. (Dorigato and Pegoretti, 2012) compared the fatigue properties of epoxy based laminates reinforced
with woven fabrics of basalt, E-glass and carbon ?bres. All the laminates were
prepared by means of vacuum bagging technique. The investigation of the fatigue
behaviour indicated higher performances of the laminates reinforced with basalt
fabrics with respect to the corresponding glass ?bre composites, with an
improved capability of sustaining progressive damaging and slightly higher
damping properties.

The first attempts to
transform basalt rock into fibers by extrusion started at the beginning of the
1920’s and were attributed to the French Paul Dh`e, that was granted a U.S.
Patent in 1922. Around 1960, Soviet Union began to investigate basalt fiber
applications too, particularly for military and aerospace purposes, succeeding
in developing the first attempt of production technology for continuous basalt
fibers. In subsequent years many technical studies have been conducted in
Europe and more recently in China, aiming to improve quality of the
manufacturing process as well as to enhance the physico-chemical features and
mechanical performance of basalt fibers. Mechanical properties and stress-strain relationship of different types
of fibers are shown in fig. 1-3 and table 1-1

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