Basalt Rebar (Zeebars)

Basalt Rebar (Zeebars)


Here’s a natural substitute for steel rebar. It seems like this material would work perfectly with earthbag building, especially in seismic areas where additional reinforcing is typically required. Image and content below is from the Smarter Building Systems website.

“Zeebars Basalt Rebar is an alternative to steel and fiberglass for reinforcing concrete. Made from volcanic rock it is tough, stronger than steel and has a higher tensile strength. Much lighter than steel, 89% percent in fact! One man can easily lift a 500 foot coil of 10 mm rebar.

Zeebars are naturally resistant to alkali, rust and acids. Moisture penetration from concrete does not spall. Zeebars need no special coating like fiberglass rods. The same thermal coefficient expansion as concrete!

Allowing thinner, lighter panels and decks, Zeebars reduce the thickness and spacing between the rods and the concrete and surface. Much more flexible design! Smaller rods allow for more critical spacing and designs. Zeebars are easily cut to length with regular tools.

Basalt rebar does not conduct electricity or induce fields when exposed to RF energy, great for MRI or data buildings. Zeebars are perfect for marine environments and chemical plants where corrosion is a continuous concern.”

Smarter Building Systems


Comments

Basalt Rebar (Zeebars) — 27 Comments

  1. The ONLY disadvantage to basalt rebar is the cognitive dissonance of the concrete contractors. If the engineers would specify it and the basalt industry would stock parts like corners and stirrups, the savings to road builders and building owners would be incredible. I love the stuff. It’s just, different and people are not comfortable with change.

  2. Hello (please delete if this sort of post is not appropriate), my father recently passed away, leaving me with a substantial (in my view) amount of different types of basalt (rebar/fibres/mesh) and we are trying to sell them. I am based in sussex England. If you are interested please do let me know panchoeliott at gm ail dot com
    (sorry for the advert here, it just seems to be the only place with some sort of public (not business) interest in basalt)

  3. Dear Ones:

    I am trying to get an answer about basalt rebar. Can anyone tell me if there has been testing done that will show the comparison between steel rebar and basalt rebar.

    If we use 60 ksi rebar we are allowed to use 24 KSi strength. We know that it will stretch a bit but it will safely hold the load. In dome building stretch is essentially all we need. If we get to much stretch we get cracks in the dome.

    If we use basalt rebar that is 60 ksi or 180 ksi how much stretch do we get if we actually design for 40% of the rating. Does Basalt rebar inherently stretch more than steel.

    Please advise me if you know. I assume there has been testing but I do not know where to find it.

    Your help will be greatly appreciated.

    • You’ll have to contact the manufacturers. Code approved building products like this require testing and certification. Engineers, building officials, etc. can look up the data sheet with all the specs.

  4. Hi just wondering about using basalt rebar with hempcrete? i see that it is resistant to rust, acids and alkali but what about with lime?

    • It should be resistant to lime. The higher cost and limited availability are the main concerns. It’s also harder to work with (bend).

  5. Hello again Owen!

    Were you able to research the concerns about the zeebar’s fragility under seismic loading? Thanks in advance and pleasant evening to you sir.

    AFM

    • No, I haven’t. This seems like an overly expensive product for specialty uses. Typical steel rebar seems more practical for most applications.

  6. we can provide you a better price.

    PRODUCTS SPECIFICATIONS UNIT PRICE (USD/unit FOB Shang Hai Port)

    Basalt fiber rebar ф4mm (Diameter) USD 0.38 /m
    ф6mm (Diameter) USD 0.49 /m
    ф8mm (Diameter) USD 0.82 /m
    ф10mm (Diameter) USD 1.26 /m
    ф12mm (Diameter) USD 1.72 /m
    ф14mm (Diameter) USD 2.24 /m
    ф16mm (Diameter) USD 2.99 /m
    ф19mm (Diameter) USD 3.31 /m
    ф20mm (Diameter) USD 3.70 /m
    ф22mm (Diameter) USD 4.57 /m
    ф25mm (Diameter) USD 6.93 /m
    ф29mm (Diameter) USD 9.13 /m
    ф32mm (Diameter) USD 11.34 /m

  7. It is not more natural than traditional iron rebar. Basalt rebar is about 85% basalt. The remainder is dacron fiber (dacron is a trade name for polyethylene terephthalate), sand filler, and epoxy resin.

    It has potential for some applications, especially where moisture, corrosion, and spalling are important factors. For an application like earthbag building, the transportation advantage of light weight and a high strength to weight ratio is significant. The ability to leave it exposed to the elements without rusting is an advantage when projects take much longer than expected.

    It’s interesting and has potential but I have some concerns about it’s fragility under seismic loading simply because I haven’t had time to really study the data.

  8. Owen,

    Kelly Hart had mentioned melting point as evidence of environmental impact. While 1,600 degrees is hot and does require a lot of energy, it’s comparable to the energy use required to make steel rebar.

    • So if the energy required to produce it is the same, then balsalt rebar may be preferred because it’s made from 100% natural material (lava rock). Plus, it doesn’t rust, conduct electricity, etc.

  9. Perspective. The melting point of medium carbon steel, like ordinary rebar, is about 1,400 to 1,500 C.

  10. This basalt fiber rebar does have some valuable characteristics. A quick internet search reveals that there are many manufactures, and most of them tout the environmental benefits…which I don’t deny. But one of the websites explained how the basalt fibers are actually made, and this caught my eye:

    “Basalt filaments are made by melting crushed volcanic basalt rock of a specific mineral mixture to a staggering 1700 degrees Celsius for 6 hours. The white hot material is drawn through special platinum bushings and then cooled into fibers.”

    Anything that uses enough energy to do this, has some environmental drawbacks as well!

    • Bottom line steel rusts, basalt doesn’t. So as steel degrades so does it’s properties. What life do you want on the structure you are building. If you put steel rebar in concrete and it begins to spall there is no cheap or easy fix. Are you building something for just your life time or something for generations. Building is all about compromise, you just need to know your building criteria.

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