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Basalt|Stone Material Basalt|Basalt Mine|Basalt Mining Industry

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Basalt|Stone Material Basalt|Basalt Mine|Basalt Mining Industry

June 15, 2023 nflg 0 Comments


Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually grey to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a planet. It may be porphyritic containing larger crystals in a fine matrix, or vesicular, or frothy scoria. Unweathered basalt is black or grey.

On Earth, most basalt magmas have formed by decompression melting of the mantle. Basalt has also formed on Earth’s Moon, Mars, Venus, and even on the asteroid Vesta. Source rocks for the partial melts probably include both peridotite and pyroxenite (e.g., Sobolev et al., 2007). The crustal portions of oceanic tectonic plates are composed predominantly of basalt, produced from upwelling mantle below ocean ridges.

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The term basalt is at times applied to shallow intrusive rocks with a composition typical of basalt, but rocks of this composition with a phaneritic (coarse) groundmass are generally referred to as diabase (also called dolerite) or gabbro.

Basalt types

Tholeiitic basalt is relatively poor in silica and poor in sodium. Included in this category are most basalts of the ocean floor, most large oceanic islands, and continental flood basalts such as the Columbia River Plateau.

MORB (Mid Ocean Ridge Basalt), is characteristically low in incompatible elements. MORB is commonly erupted only at ocean ridges. MORB itself has been subdivided into varieties such as NMORB and EMORB (slightly more enriched in incompatible elements).

High alumina basalt may be silica-under saturated or -oversaturated (see normative mineralogy). It has greater than 17% alumina (Al2O3) and is intermediate in composition between tholeiite and alkali basalt; the relatively alumina-rich composition is based on rocks without phenocrysts of plagioclase.

Alkali basalt is relatively poor in silica and rich in sodium. It is silica-undersaturated and may contain feldspathoids, alkali feldspar and phlogopite.

Boninite is a high-magnesium form of basalt that is erupted generally in back-arc basins, distinguished by its low titanium content and trace element composition.

Basalt Uses

Basalt is used in construction (e.g. as building blocks or in the groundwork), making cobblestones (from columnar basalt) and in making statues. Heating and extruding basalt yields stone wool, an excellent thermal insulator.

Basalt fiber

Basalt fiber or fibre is a material made from extremely fine fibers of basalt, which is composed of the minerals plagioclase, pyroxene, and olivine. It is similar to carbon fiber and fiberglass, having better physic mechanical properties than fiberglass, but being significantly cheaper than carbon fiber. It is used as a fireproof textile in the aerospace and automotive industries and can also be used as a composite to produce products such as camera tripods.

Basalt fiber Manufacture

Basalt fiber is made from a single material, crushed basalt, from a carefully chosen quarry source and unlike other materials such as glass fiber, essentially no materials are added. The basalt is simply washed and then sent to be melted down.

The manufacture of basalt fiber requires the melting of the quarried basalt rock at about 1,400 °C (2,550 °F). The molten rock is then extruded through small nozzles to produce continuous filaments of basalt fiber. There are three main manufacturing techniques, which are centrifugal-blowing, centrifugal-multiroll and die-blowing. The fibers typically have a filament diameter of between 9 and 13 µm which is far enough above the respiratory limit of 5 µm to make basalt fiber a suitable replacement for asbestos. They also have a high elastic modulus, resulting in excellent specific tenacity—three times that of steel.

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