Basalt Sleeves

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Well-Known Member
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Jan 29, 2009
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I just order some basalt sleeves for tube reinforcement and was wondering if anyone has used it before instead of fiber glass or carbon fiber. If you have any tips or anything I need to know before starting. Thanks :D
From what I could research it is about 15% stronger than glass and only about 5% heavier. Finally it was cheaper than a fiberglass.
I did try some basalt sleeves on my level 2 rocket. The basalt is a very loose weave and with only one layer there were quite a few bare spots on the body tube I added a second layer that covered most of them up. Being such a loose weave it also left the pattern on the surface that required filling for a smooth finish. although the rocket ended up on the heavy side with double layers the body tubes ended up very strong and durable and have survived many flights.
I just got the sleeves and you are right it looks like when I put it on it may be a pretty loose weave with a lot of potential fill work. I like the color and would love to put it on and finish the rocket with some clear coat to show of the tubes.
When I got my Basalt sleeve I thought it would look kind of like carbon fiber when done, but after aplying resin the Basalt is just there you can't see the weave like carbon fiber it just doesn't gets that distinctive look. In the end I just painted the body tubes. As for strength my body tubes are super strong with two layers and with a little fill they ended up looking good.

You were right Andy. That weave is very loose and was pretty hard to get a clean lay up. I had to also put two layers; one layer had way too many gaps. It was definitely more temperamental than the easy glass sock from GLR. When I am finished I will try to post some pics.
Here is pic. It does need a lot of fill work that is for sure. Hope this helps anyone considering this material in the future.