Two US-located companies presented their solution for fire-resistant composites based on basalt and other fiber types – non-toxic fire retardant (FR) epoxy resin.
Smarter Building Systems LLC, supplier of basalt volcanic rock composite fiber fabrics and Innovative Formulations, developer of environmentally safe epoxies, announced the successful development of the first truly non-toxic Fire Retardant (FR) epoxy.
Usually, most resins used in composite construction emit toxic smoke when exposed to the fire and high temperatures, which is sometimes more dangerous than fire.
A new epoxy is self-extinguishing, has no flame spread and emits no harmful smoke. When on fire, this new epoxy builds up a char layer, and prevents fire from penetrating to the lower layers of cloth and resin while maintaining great structural capacity.
The completely environmentally safe non-toxic fire retardant epoxy was developed for California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) as a bridge deck coating surface that is currently successfully applied.
The researchers tested fire-resistant properties on basalt fiber fabrics. Then, they also tested the resin on other fibers: basalt, glass and carbon. All successfully.
In addition, they offer custom modifications to reach high impact resistance, necessary hardness, temperatures, and flexural modulus elasticity.
Testing of basalt fiber fabric:
Epoxy matrices are popular for composite manufacturing. It was the matrix used for making basalt composite cabin of a fire engine cabin. Epoxy resins with flame retardant properties are able to make basalt fiber composites more popular, safe and eco-friendly.