BasaFlex™ BFRP (Basalt Fiber Reinforced Polymer) Rebar
Rebar 1. What is Basalt?
Basalt is the most common rock on the planet and defined as an extrusive igneous (volcanic) rock that is low in silica content, dark in color, and comparatively rich in iron and magnesium. By way of comparison, basalt fiber is similar to carbon fiber or fiberglass, but basalt has superior mechanical properties than fiberglass, and has a significantly lower cost than carbon fiber (10 – 15X lower).
2. What’s the difference between basalt rebar and fiberglass rebar?
Basalt and Glass are both FRP’s and similar in price, but with some major exceptions as reinforcement:
● Basalt has twice the working temperature (400°C vs 200°C)
● Basalt has 20 – 40% better mechanical properties and puncture resistance
● Basalt has a much greater resistance to chemicals, alkali and UV
● Basalt is very Eco-Friendly; with a dramatically lower environmental impact (10 : 1)
3. Is basalt rebar (BasaFlex™) a Green product?
Basanite is a proud member of the US Green Building Council, and its BasaFlex™ BFRP Rebar is very Eco-Friendly. According to ACMA, the American Composite Manufacturing Association has demonstrated that the production of BasaFlex™ BFRP Rebar has less than 1/10th the carbon footprint of steel, and basalt has the lowest environmental impact in a Life-Cycle Assessment compared with other FRP (Fiber Reinforced Polymer) rebars. Basalt fiber is all natural and produced from stone; having no additives that are typically found in other materials such as glass fiber.
Additional LEEDs contributions are found in the transportation and handling. Steel requires 4 Truckloads vs. 1 for BasaFlex™; steel requires special equipment to unload vs. none for BasaFlex™, and 50% more time & labor is expended to receive and unload the exact same number of steel rebar compared with BasaFlex™ rebar!
4. How does BasaFlex™, Basalt Fiber Reinforced Polymer (BFRP) Rebar compare with steel rebar?
BFRP is a sustainable, rust proof alternative to traditional steel reinforcement, with 25% of the weight of steel and a specific tensile strength that is 2.5 times greater (bar for bar). It’s also Impervious to attacks from alkali, chemicals or water, which causes steel to corrode (iron oxide hydrate, or rust).
5. How does one directly compare the performance between BasaFlex™ and steel?
Calculations for Steel’s performance are based on long existing standard (or stipulated) data, and therefore selected according to its guaranteed tensile strength (Example: Grade 60 = 60,000 psi). Calculations for BasaFlex™ are dependent upon data generated and Certified from a 3rd Party accredited laboratory. Although the engineering for FRP’s is different than steel, the mechanical data for either product is used similarly to determine the proper amount of reinforcement in a cross section of concrete.
Basanite provides proprietary software that allows the design professional to directly compare the standards and calculations for BFRP use in ACI 440, with the standards and calculations outlined in ACI 318 for steel. This “Code Normalization” demonstrates the selection of BasaFlex™ can be an excellent alternative to steel, thus making it easier for a designer to select BFRP and capture all the benefits not available when selecting steel rebar.
6. How does BasaFlex™ pricing compare with steel pricing?
This varies depending on the cost of steel this week. One of the values of selecting BasaFlex™, is that its pricing is stable compared with steel. Typically, steel pricing is good for a week at a time, forcing larger buy-ups to secure best pricing.
Normally, “off the shelf” pricing of steel from large wholesalers, is cheaper than FRP’s. However, steel rebar and BFRP rebar are clearly not “apples to apples” as reinforcing products – and shouldn’t be compared that way. More often than not, you will save money using BasaFlex™ on a sizeable project based on the final “in-place cost” - everything considered. Additionally, the Total Cost of Ownership is greatly reduced by choosing BasaFlex™ rebar over steel rebar.
7. Can you bend BasaFlex™ at the jobsite?
Hard bends at the jobsite are not possible. All hard bends (90’s, stirrups, angles, etc.) are fabricated during production; according to your design and delivered to the job site along with the straight bars. This practice saves the installer significant time, and eliminates waste for a quicker and easy installation.
8. Does Basalt FRP have its own governing body like Steel?
Yes. ACI (American Concrete Institute) 440.1R-15 offers general information on the history and use of all FRP reinforcement, a description of the unique material properties of FRP, and guidelines for the design and construction of structural concrete members reinforced with FRP bars. You will also find specific information about the selection and use of FRP’s in AC454, Fiber-reinforced Polymer (FRP) Bars for Internal Reinforcement of Concrete Members Acceptance as part of the ICC-ES, and FDOT’s Spec 932-3.
9. What testing of significance has been performed on BasaFlex™ bar?
Outside of multiple ASTM testing criterion, BasaFlex™ has passed the equivalent of AC 454 testing protocol (Fiber-reinforced Polymer (FRP) Bars for Internal Reinforcement of Concrete Members Acceptance), as specified within the BasaFlex™ Certificate of Compliance, most recently published in January of 2021.
10. What are typical applications for BasaFlex™ BFRP?
Although BasaFlex™ can be used in any cubic yard (or meter) of concrete, the most attractive applications are usually those harshest applications where steel rebar is not really part of the solution… for example:
● Hydraulic Structures & Precast ● Freeze Thaw Environments ● Thin Wall & Panel Systems
● Harsh Chemical Environments ● Architectural Precast ● Bridge Decking
● Sea Walls & Marine Applications ● High Heat Applications ● Shielding Concrete
11. What are the main advantages of BasaFlex™ BFRP Rebar?
A. 100% Corrosion and Rust Proof – This eliminates spalling and cracking experienced by selecting traditional steel reinforcement and further eliminates the costs and need for special coatings or treatments on your concrete. You can even consider a reduction in the overall concrete depth or wall thickness – also saving money and time on the project. All in all, by using BasaFlex™. Rebar you are reducing the Total Cost of Ownership and creating a 100+ year useful lifecycle!
B. 75% Lighter than Steel – The lighter weight makes BasaFlex™ safer and easier to unload, handle and place, saving time on the jobsite. Also, it requires no special equipment to unload the truck. Trucking is also a huge advantage with less trips (4 x 1) for the same linear footage of bar.
C. Stronger than Steel – BasaFlex™ has a specific tensile strength of 2.5 X greater than steel rebar.
This attribute allows you to go down a bar size in secondary reinforcement applications!
D. Non-Conductive – Basanite’s entire family of reinforcing products are all non-conductive, and do not interfere with RF signals – unlike carbon and steel reinforcement.
E. Natural Resistance – BasaFlex™ is naturally resistant to heat, chemicals, UV, alkali and moisture. BasaFlex™ can be considered for even the harshest environments and applications.
12. Does salt water affect BFRP?
Test results show that the static strength of the BFRP shows negligible degradation after prolonged aging in the salt solution, making BasaFlex™ an excellent choice for salt water concrete applications.
13. Are there bad applications for BFRP’s?
Pretty much anywhere you have selected up to a #8 (25 mm or 1.0” diameter) rebar, you can consider BasaFlex™ as an alternative. At this time, FRP’s are not recommended as the main structural members for primary vertical reinforcement in high rises of more than 4 stories – although, neither is #8 steel in most cases. This is due to a lower modulus vs steel. It is however, approved for use in the internal walls and flooring to reduce the weight of the structure.
14. Is BasaFlex™ manufactured in the USA?
Yes. Basanite’s family of reinforcing products are produced right here in the USA. Our current production facility is located in Pompano Beach, FL; with future plans to grow into several manufacturing plants throughout the US.
15. What sizes of BasaFlex™ are available?
Basanite manufactures and stocks BasaFlex™ in #2 - #8 Bar sizes; which is equal to ¼” – 1.0” in diameter. Standard stocked bar lengths are 10’, 20’ and 40’ (3M, 6M and 12M). Longer length coils are available up through #4 (1/2”) diameter size bar; with custom cut sizes available upon request. Watch for announcements in the second half of 2021 as Basanite will then be commercializing #9 & #10 (1.128” & 1.270”) BasaFlex™ rebar. Special stirrups, bends and shapes are engineered and can be produced from any size of bar (#2 - #8).
16. What other types of reinforcing products does Basanite produce?
Other than Basanite’s “patent pending” BasaFlex™ BFRP Rebar, the company proudly produces a line of Basalt Fiber (Micro and Macro), as well as a line of GeoGrid Mesh.
BasaMix™ is a blend of chopped basalt fibers that provide, 3-dimensional, secondary isotropic reinforcement. BasaMix™ (Micro Fiber) and BasaMix-M (Macro Fiber) are engineered to impart toughness to any concrete element at a range of 0.1% – 0.3% by volume respectively. BasaMix™ delivers 100’s of millions of individual, high tenacity fibers that control the formation of plastic shrinkage cracking by absorbing the stresses associated with volumetric changes in fresh and hardened concrete; leaving you with a fiber-free finish. BasaMix™ greatly improves the surface performance and durability of your concrete through impact and fatigue resistance, and through freeze / thaw cycles.
BasaMesh™ is a Geo Grid Mesh made from Basalt Fiber Reinforced Polymers, and is used as an alternative to traditional welded wire mesh in walls, flatwork, and precast – especially in reinforcing applications where coverage and depth of application or shadowing are of concern.
17. What is Modulus strength?
Often known as Young’s Modulus, or Tensile Modulus, is a mechanical property of linear elastic materials, or its stiffness. It evaluates the elasticity of rigid or solid material, which is the relation between the deformation of a material and the power needed to deform it, or the stress in a material just before it yields in a flexure test. Modulus is typically measured in GPa’s (Gigapascals).
18. What is Tensile strength?
Tensile strength is the maximum load that a material can support without rupture when being overextended (in short, an ability to withstand a pulling force), divided by the original cross-sectional area of the material. Tensile strengths are typically measured in pounds per square inch, or psi.
19. Why is tensile strength so important?
Often a reduction in ductility and an increase in brittleness are related to an enhanced corrosion rate, which subsequently can change the failure of a material from a ductile failure (beyond the limits of tensile strength) to a perilous brittle failure. As noted in the paragraph above, and as a point of common sense, steel rusts and corrodes.
20. What is pultrusion, and how is it compared with extrusion?
Pultrusion is a process where fibers, in this instance basalt fibers, are pulled through a resin matrix and a precise die; then heated at specific temperatures where the resin is cured in and around the fibers. Extrusion melts resin pellets and pushes them through a die to create fibers and profiles