Basanite Industries

BASANITEBasanite Industries targets the concrete industry with a new rebar.

By Mark Lawton, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Publishing

Imagine a product with all of the strengths of the market leader and none of its weaknesses. That’s what the newly formed Basanite Industries plans to do with BasaFlex BFRP Rebar™, a type of rebar that is composed of special filaments generated from volcanic rock.

Rebar is used as a tension device in reinforced concrete or reinforced masonry structures. It is most commonly made out of steel but Basanite Industries will manufacture BasaFlex BFRP Rebar from volcanic basalt.Basanite info box

“Although it looks a lot like [steel] rebar,” says Dave Anderson, principal at Basanite Industries, BasaFlex BFRP Rebar has several advantages. “It eliminates the concern of corrosion and concrete degradation always associated with steel,” Anderson says, “and eliminates the long-term maintenance costs caused by on-going corrosion. It’s significantly stronger than steel. It’s four times lighter. It’s UV stable, chemical, acid and water resistant, making it optimal for use in extreme or harsh environments.”

BasaFlex BFRP Rebar is also non-conductive and won’t interfere with RF signals. Unlike steel rebar, BasaFlex BFRP Rebar can be coiled, bent or made into any shape necessary at the factory.

“It is basically a bar formed by high-strength filaments and an optimized resin matrix, with a fine wrap around it to bind the filaments and cause a mechanical bond in the concrete,” Anderson says. “Using the basalt itself as the wrap adds about 20 percent additional bond strength.” Anderson notes that “this process and the fact that it has a similar coefficient of expansion as concrete – which actually aids in the reduction of the cracking mechanism – provides a serious alternative [to steel] rebar.”

By the end of January 2019, Basanite intends to open its new headquarters and production facility. Basanite expects to be commercially operational and certified in the second quarter of 2019.

Complementary Strengths

Anderson has 25 years of experience in the manufacture of plastic and composite materials and has worked in corporate development, sales and marketing. He previously worked at Fabpro Oriented Polymers where he led the company to $73 million in sales and oversaw it becoming the largest producer of synthetic fiber materials in North America.

Other corporate leadership at Basanite Industries enjoys long-standing relationships with state departments of transportation and federal agencies including FAA, OSHA and the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. “Between our industry and government relationships at the highest levels, and strengths in manufacturing and business development, we are expecting an expedited product launch,” Anderson says.

Customers Lining Up

Basanite is experiencing a great deal of interest in its BFRP and has already entered into verbal agreements to supply BasaFlex BRFP Rebar to several companies.  

Basanite Industries will target customers in numerous organizations and fields, including the Federal Highway Administration, various departments of transportation, precast companies, chemical companies, homebuilders and “anything architectural that requires a reduced weight,” Anderson says. “I’ve always looked at basalt as the wave of the future. If the design community and industry require a 100-year life cycle product, they have to consider BFRP, as steel reinforcement simply won’t get the job done.   

Typical applications for BasaFlex BRFP Rebar include wastewater seismic requirements, wastewater treatment facilities, swimming pools, bridges, parking structures, seawalls, port aprons, mine tunnels, hospital MRI areas, aluminum smelters and steel mills.

It’s a good time for a new company to start manufacturing Basa- Flex BRFP Rebar. “The construction market is a growing market that is finally coming back,” Anderson notes. 

The Basic Process

“We take the basalt filaments from many bobbins at once and move them through a resin bath, where the filaments are coated before being pulled through a die to achieve an industry standard bar size,” Anderson explains. “It’s then wrapped. A fine aggregate can also be applied and then it’s drawn through a series of ovens to give it its ultimate strength and characteristics. The customer can cut the BasaFlex BRFP Rebar to the desired length or Basanite Industries will cut it.

He adds, “What makes our BFRP special is the careful quality process we adhere to and our resin matrix. Our process and design help to eliminate potential air voids and impurities that can weaken an FRP product. Our goal is the consistency and the quality of the product.” 

While basalt is a common rock, finding basalt with the right qualities is tricky. “Finding a source with low moisture content and low air content is very difficult,” Anderson says. “There are only a few places to get it.”

Basanite Industries will also produce basalt fiber reinforcement and possibly other products, but BasaFlex BRFP Rebar will be the primary focus of Basanite Industries. 

The global steel rebar market is somewhere north of $120 billion, which leaves a lot of room for growth for Basanite Industries. 

“We have designs on global scenarios, manufacturing around the world” Anderson says. “These steel companies know that the design professionals in the [concrete] industry are expressing the need for a 100-year lifecycle product, and the only way to achieve that is to move away from traditional rebar and find an alternative source with impressive attributes like BFRP. Basanite Industries is preparing to meet than need.” 

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