PARIS – Little by little, volcanic rocks are working their way into the automotive industry. Basalt fibers, extruded from molten basalt rocks at high temperatures, are beginning to compete with less-expensive glass fibers in making composite components. To make the tiny threads, just 9 microns in diameter, basalt is melted at 4,352° F (2,400° C) and spun into a monofilament that has 40% more tensile strength than glass fibers, is 60% more resistant to shocks and resistant to heat up to ...

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