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Old 07-04-2017, 11:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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PolyMetal [I]vs[/I] Basalt fiber

Times past I have advocated for PolyMetal as a construction material.


Experiments resulted in my wanting to make a teardrop trailer from it:

However, it comes to my attention that this is the same material used in cladding Grenfell Tower, which burned to the ground! Combustibility may not be a deal-breaker for an airdam, etc., but it is for sleeping inside it. Not a problem for basalt fiber: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basalt_fiber#Properties

Thermal performance: Super-thin basalt fiber

Nano-glass-coating before adding the resin matrix makes it as cool looking as carbon fiber:

Basalt fabric with a touch of glass - Basalt Guru

Strengthening of basalt fibers with nano-SiO 2–epoxy composite coating

So — in summary — forget everything I said about PolyMetal. Thank you.

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Old 07-05-2017, 09:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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apples and oranges?

A teardrop and a high-rise are not very comparable on fire risk, especially given that polymetal is approved under US fire regs for buildings under 40 feet tall. (according to the Wikipedia article you referenced). Yes, if you apply two crossed torches to the teardrop skin for 30 minutes (or tip over a combustion heater), your trailer may burn. Just like all the other trailers made of plywood and filled with wood cabinetry and combustible fabrics.

The basalt fiber doesn't seem comparable because it is a fabric and not a rigid panel. I'd love to build a trailer out of fabric and resin, but it requires a lot more skill and time to make it look good and perform well than fitting together some rigid panels.
I found references to some prototype basalt wall panels, but other than simulated stone cladding, no commercial products. Is a basalt alternative panel to polymetal out there?
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe I'm being alarmist.

I like PolyMetal because you can hand work it and it's prefinished. I just don't want someone going down a bad path on my say-so. The fire regulations are prolly about how tall their ladders are. I guess if I'm in a forest fire in my teardrop I have bigger problems.

Did I mention basalt is electrically insulative?

The trailer design I showed would require rollers 4ft wide to form PolyMetal (not undoable) But with fabric I could cinch it down over some hoops and then spray or roller it with resin. Sort of a Conestoga look.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm OK with flammable. (for the day when the project pizzes me off enough)

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