Basalt fiber: the new green “blue sea” in the era of big capital
From the “new energy darling” to be watched to the hot market of capital market, the huge market of basalt fiber, which is 100 billion yuan, is accelerating its own transformation, and has developed a series of business models and growth space to grow into a new investment “blue ocean”.
In Fuyang, Hubei, Huierjie New Material Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Huierjie”) produced new materials for basalt fiber, which has entered the international market one step at a time.
Going into the sea, “point stone into gold”
Into Huierjie, the workers are pouring the selected basalt mineral powder into the furnace. After 1650 degrees Celsius, the crushed stone becomes “water”, and the discharge port under the furnace “spits” a carbon black “filament”. These “filaments” are basalt fibers. It has only one-third the diameter of the hair, twice the strength of the same diameter steel fiber, corrosion resistance over the alloy, can withstand 200 tons of weight, and can withstand high temperatures of 1000 degrees Celsius.
“Fire-fighting suits made of basalt fiber can be insulated; made into spacesuits, can prevent radiation; instead of steel-stayed cable-stayed bridges, 200 years without maintenance; instead of paint anti-corrosion ships, 100 years without maintenance.” In basalt fiber new At the material project site, Yang Xingming, chairman of Huierjie, told the China Economic Times reporter that the bags made of basalt fiber are not only light but also fireproof and heat-insulating, and can also prevent blade scratches.
In a “close contact” with Huierjie, you will find that Huierjie, who started from fiberglass in the past, has begun to make full efforts in the field of new materials, making the once-myth of “pointing stone into gold” become a reality.
“As a green high-performance new environmentally friendly material, basalt fiber has good compatibility with the environment, does not cause secondary pollution, and has many excellent properties such as high strength, electrical insulation, corrosion resistance, high temperature resistance and anti-aging.” Liu Jiayu, an academician of the institute, has been working on basalt fiber for many years. He said that basalt fiber can meet the needs of transportation, construction, chemical, energy conservation, environmental protection, electronics, aviation and other fields. The application prospect is very broad, and it is called “the green strategic resource of the 21st century” by the scientific community.
However, it is really difficult to melt the basalt into a fiber. Guo Qing, technical director of Huierjie, said that the basalt fiber has very strict requirements on the melting temperature, and it is easy to burn the furnace refractory material. When it is low, it is easy to cause broken hair and can not be woven into qualified fiber cloth. After repeated trials, we have explored a set of basalt fiber production processes including control system and refractory design, which can keep the temperature in the kiln at 1650 degrees Celsius, plus or minus 5 degrees Celsius. Like the “point stone into gold”, these charcoal black inconspicuous basalt eventually turned into golden filament fiber.
“From the current market situation, there are 7 or 8 basalt enterprises (inorganic non-metallic materials) supported by local governments.” Yang Xingming said that although there are not many enterprises with real technology and production capacity, they are huge. The market is already growing rapidly.
From “0” to “1” fission development
Opportunities always bring miracles to those who are brave in innovation and change.
As early as many years ago, Huierjie has become a leading brand in the field of alkali-resistant glass fiber in China, and has formed a foothold in the international market with other international giant materials companies.
“In 1983, only three companies in the world were able to make alkali-resistant glass fiber, Japan NEG, American Owens Corning (OC) and China Huierjie.” Yang Xingming said that now, technically, each has its own characteristics, but Erjie’s deep processing technology is second to none.
However, Huierjie did not satisfy this, but soon saw the special “stone” of basalt fiber, which was only subject to the domestic technical and market restrictions at that time, delaying development.
In 2014, in order to improve the level of urban industrialization, Fuyang established an academician expert station and introduced three academicians. One of them was Academician Liu Jialu. He brought three academic achievements to Liyang, one of which was the basalt fiber project. A year later, Academician Liu Jialu finally decided to industrialize his basalt research results for nearly 30 years, and merged with Huierjie. The two sides jointly developed a new generation of basalt fiber production technology system.
In 2018, Huierjie built a new production line with a production capacity of 4,000 tons in the first phase and completed industrial production. Yang Xingming said that the reason why Huierjie can undertake the basalt industrial production technology research project mainly comes from two aspects: First, through the field investigation of Academician Liu Jialu, the basalt ore reserves in the Xiangyang area are rich and sustainable, and Gucheng County has explored There are a large number of basalt reserves that can provide raw material support for the basalt project. Second, Huierjie has many years of experience in the production of alkali-resistant glass fiber technology and equipment as well as talent and market advantages. At present, the cost of carbon fiber is 120,000 yuan a ton, the aramid fiber is more than 200,000 yuan a ton, and the basalt fiber is only 18,000 yuan a ton, the price is very high. The basalt fiber market has great potential, and in the future, Huierjie will replace the more functional carbon fiber and aramid on the market with lower cost basalt fiber.
In December 2018, Fuyang City listed Huierjie as an alternative enterprise in the science and technology board, and Yang Xingming’s plan was to expand the scale of basalt to 6,000 tons to 10,000 tons in three years, and withdraw from the new three boards to the science and technology board. go with.
“If you walk right, you are not afraid of far.”
At present, “continuous basalt fiber and its composite materials” have been included in the “13th Five-Year Plan” national key science and technology specialization and industrialization specialization, giving priority to the scientific research and industrialization, especially to vigorously develop China’s independent innovation of basalt melting. Brushed all-electric kiln technology. However, Yang Xingming also admitted that there are still some problems in order to truly achieve the “point stone into gold.”
“Enterprises are most concerned about market applications, expecting the application cycle to be shorter, and can quickly carry out application verification in related fields. To prevent product from being shoddy, to avoid similar projects everywhere, to guide the orderly development of the industry, high-quality, matching development. At present, investment promotion in various regions has been listed as a key point, but there are not many enterprises with system technology and production capacity. Many enterprises will soon die after they are launched. In addition, the application should break the original interest pattern. , crafts, etc., only use price standards, it is easy to shut out high-quality products.” Yang Xingming said that the current four-time bidding encountered the same problem, the price is slightly higher than other companies, 7% to 10% spread But the company with a low price wins. But in fact, some are trading companies that do not have production capacity at all, some are small workshops, and the products cannot withstand strict testing.
Yang Xingming believes that there are standards in the industry, but the materials are relatively broad, and there is no production catalog. If the industry is to be healthy, there should be a production access. “Strictly speaking, there should be production qualifications of 3 to 5 years, legal registration and corresponding assets, modern equipment, quality system, safety system certification, environmental assessment, etc. The annual production capacity of the enterprise must meet certain standards and guarantee materials. Stability, standard price and payment period. In addition, product standards must meet and exceed the corresponding standards, etc., after the threshold is reached, the poor products can be eliminated.”
Walking Jingchu, Huierjie is unique, but the spiritual temperament of “innovation” seems to have met before, but also deeply branded the role of “biasing the tiger mountain line”.
“In the future, with the help of the capital market, Huierjie will take off with responsibility, quality and brand, and leave the beautiful environment to future generations through green products, leading the creative development of inorganic non-metallic reinforcing materials.” Yang Xingming said Although the new technology has not yet completely “goed out of the laboratory,” it is obvious that everything is changing.