October 14-16, 2014 — I attended “CAMX The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo” in Orlando, Florida and came away feeling inspired and with a good feeling for the future integration of basalt fibers into a variety of products.
Of course carbon fiber is the mainstay offering of vendors today, being super strong and light. However hybrids and much more affordable solutions such as basalt fibers and basalt fabrics are being introduced.
The best of all worlds will be found in new resins. Many bio-resins are starting to be shown and are capable of performing as well with even better properties than the standards of old. New lighter weight and yet strong and clear resins will allow fibers like basalt to compete in the carbon markets. Weight will be closer and the look and colors will offer many new choices.
3D appearance with the Basalt fiber and other fibers such as Bio-mid, a cellulose fiber which is transparent and can be dyed, offer stronger than fiberglass performance, 100 percent recyclability with the right resins, better impact as they do not shatter like carbon fibers, or conduct electricity like carbon fibers. These fibers create very small tens of pounds of CO2 in their production as opposed to hundreds or thousands of pounds in the making in synthetic or petroleum based fibers.
At CAMX it was evident new building solutions are being created for housing, aircraft framing and interiors, filament winding and bag layups. I saw very interesting new designs for tubes and structural components that we will continue to pursue.
Colleges attending are interested and excited about creating new products for infrastructure needs where basalt fibers are perfectly suited.
Meeting people and enjoying a little sunshine made the trip to CAMX very enjoyable. The new business leads and discoveries were greatly appreciated.