EconCore and Basaltex, a Belgian provider of balsalt fibers, have developed a new composite comprising basalt fibers, recycled polyethylene tetraphyte (PET) honeycomb, and a bioresin.
The basalt fibers are produced from basalt stones extruded at a temperature of 1450°C, in a similar way to glass, but removing the need for boric acid in the process, while the bioresin is- 100% derived from a waste stream of sugar cane, the companies say.
According to EconCore, the material has improved fire resistance and is highly rigid, making it suitable for railway applications such as cladding panels, partitions, tables and flooring. It is also reportedly more lightweight than the traditional glass reinforced plastic (GRP) material used in train interiors.
The thermoset skin layers also give a fast cure at elevated temperature, helping enable automated production.
‘Honeycomb and stone? Some combinations don’t automatically come to mind, but this material solution could enable converters to combine fire safety, light-weighting and sustainability in an elegant way,’ said Jef Delbroek, project engineer at EconCore. ‘We look forward to seeing how the railway industry will respond to this novel material combination and hope to arouse interest of other industries as well.’
This story uses material from Econcore, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.