AN UNWOVEN BASALT-FIBER MATERIAL FOR THE ENCASING
OF FIBROUS INSULATION: AN ALTERNATIVE TO GLASS CLOTH
A. G. Novitskii
and V. V. Sudakov
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 5, pp.6–8,May,2004.
Methods for production of glass and basalt cloth and properties of a cloth produced from continuous basalt fi
bers are described. The characteristics of glass and basalt cloth are compared
Currently, advanced technologies require the use of new
materials that meet increasingly stringent thermophysical,
environmental, and mechanical requirements. Glass cloth
has been the conventional material for reinforcing plastics,
filtering and waterproofing materials, and for the encasings
of fibrous heat- and sound insulators. However, glass cloth
has some shortcomings. It is rather expensive in comparison
to unwoven materials with similar characteristics; when used
as encasing for fibers, it fails to provide a uniform spread of
fibers over the interior of a coating matt because of its slip-
pery inner surface, which must be avoided in insulating pipe-
lines and vertical walls of thermal power units. Furthermore,
glass cloth, when damaged, loses strength and becomes inef-
fective for coating. Therefore, this leads to a need for deve
loping a new material as an alternative to glass cloth. In this
direction, a new material, basalt cloth, was developed and a
pilot batch was turned out; tests were carried out to deter
mine the major characteristics of the newly developed mate
rial. Our goal in this study was to review the existing produc
tion techniques and to examine the properties of the new ma
terial in some detail.
There are two methods, wet and dry, for production of
basalt cloth that allows one to prepare cloth of different
types. The dry method, in which fibers are drawn out by
means of compressed air (CA), is a well-established tech
nique (Fig. 1) . By this method, the fibers are worked out
of the melting furnace die. The fibers drawn out by a stream
of compressed air are transferred by suction on the surface of
a perforated rotating drum and then fed into a roving frame.
The roving is wound around a bobbin and transferred for
spinning. This technology was used to prepare production
basalt-cloth prototypes (Inventor’s certificate No. 813988);
however, it has failed to gain commercial acceptance.
Over the past years, the CA technology for production of
basalt cloth has been modernized substantially. New auto
mated melting furnaces, methods for treatment of rocks and
minerals, and new types of refractory equipment were devel-
oped that made possible wider use of raw mineral sources.
Advanced technologies (using new materials for manufac-
ture of die feeders, blowing equipment, and regenerative heat
exchangers) makes it possible to increase the CA tempera-
ture and thus to prepared basalt fibers 200 to 2000 mm long
with improved performance characteristics. This is a major
advantage of the CA method over other techniques. The CA
method also provides a route toward fabrication of filtering
cloths and heat-insulating materials.
Typically, the glass cloth is woven from glass fibers that
are prepared from a multicomponent mixture; in contrast, the
basalt cloth is prepared from basalt fibers based on a single-
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 45, No. 4, 2004
1083-4877/04/4504-0239 © 2004 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
National Technical University, Kiev, Ukraine; Russian Mining
Fig. 1. Schematic diagram for production of glass cloth by com
pressed air technology: 1 ) molten bath furnace; 2 ) die feeder;
3 ) blowing heads; 4 ) diffuser; 5 ) fiber deposition chamber;
6 ) binder feed nozzle; 7 ) device for reinforcing the cloth with glass
fiber; 8 ) suction chamber; 9 ) drying chamber; 10 ) conveyor;
11 ) longitudinal cutter; 12 ) bobbin.