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Mafic USA and Materials Group partner to increase use of basalt fiber in automotive industry

Mafic USA and The Materials Group (TMG) have allied to increase the use of basalt fiber compounded into injection molded thermoplastics within the automotive industry.

Mafic recently began operations at the world’s largest basalt fiber production facility in Shelby, NC. TMG, located in Rockford, MI, is a thermoplastics manufacturer, distributor and leader within the automotive industry in sustainable plastics directly serving the Auto OEMS and their Tier manufacturing suppliers. Together, the companies will focus on combining their respective expertise to promote the unique mechanical properties that basalt fiber attains.

Basalt fiber is a drawn continuous fiber similar to glass (i.e. fiberglass) and to fibers made from carbon or aramid. To produce the fiber, mined basalt rock is first washed and then placed into a furnace at a temperature of approximately 1500 °C. The resulting melt is extruded through a “bushing”, a precious metal block with thousands of microscopic holes, each producing a single filament.

Upon leaving the bushing, the fiber filament hardens, and a sizing is applied to improve its properties before the fiber filaments are wound with other finished fibers into a strand.

Basalt fiber is a sustainable filler as compared to glass fiber yielding a 50% reduction in emissions output during manufacturing of the fiber.

The fiber, both chopped and continuous, provides superior mechanical properties compared to glass fiber for injection molded-able thermoplastics used in a variety of auto parts. Specifically, it offers improved tensile, flexural, and impact properties compared to currently used materials.

In addition, the fiber offers a clear value proposition in nylon resins as a replacement for existing filled materials. Basalt Fiber can be blended with other fibers providing an excellent balance of cost and performance targeting structural automotive applications. Basalt Fiber filled thermoplastics provides an excellent value and balance of mechanical properties offering an environmentally friendly filler technology which may lead towards achieving cost, weight and sustainability targets.



Hopefully this will be price competitive to replace substantial amounts of the fibre glass output, which is somewhat problematic environmentally.


1500 °C is energy intensive, use carbon fiber composite.

Tim Duncan

@SJC Carbon fiber is expensive and very energy intensive to manufacture. Over the years it has not been competitive on a tensile/$ basis with glass (I think energy is the main cost for both) but on a tensile/# basis it’s been champion. A new contender will be good.

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