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PISCES Seeks RFP for Basalt Fiber Manufacturing in Hawaii

Wed December 20, 2017 - West Edition #26
CEG


PISCES has been researching Hawaii Island’s volcanic basalt as a feedstock for in-situ resource utilization for space exploration, and has confirmed that basalt fines found in local quarries meet the specifications necessary to produce basalt fiber.
PISCES has been researching Hawaii Island’s volcanic basalt as a feedstock for in-situ resource utilization for space exploration, and has confirmed that basalt fines found in local quarries meet the specifications necessary to produce basalt fiber.

The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) — a state-funded aerospace center located in Hilo, Hawaii — is seeking a qualified firm to conduct a comprehensive market feasibility study. The goal of the research is to determine whether a basalt fiber manufacturing facility in the County of Hawaii will benefit the local economy.

PISCES has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) as of Dec. 12, 2017, to accept offers from organizations interested in conducting the feasibility study.

The RFP, along with submission guidelines and deadlines are available to view online at pacificspacecenter.com/rfp.

The global basalt fiber manufacturing industry is currently valued at $100 million and is expected to grow. A successful operation in Hawaii would create new manufacturing jobs, economic growth and business opportunities, as well as a sustainable new construction material with a wide variety of uses.

PISCES has been researching Hawaii Island's volcanic basalt as a feedstock for in-situ resource utilization for space exploration, and has confirmed that basalt fines found in local quarries meet the specifications necessary to produce basalt fiber.

Though lesser known, basalt fiber has similar applications to glass and carbon-based fiber products but is considered superior in several aspects: corrosion and abrasion resistance, thermal stability, heat insulation, vibration and chemical resistance. Basalt fiber can replace nearly all applications using asbestos. It also can be used to make structural mesh, durable fabric, insulating material, hydroponic growth media, basalt rebar and as an aggregate to reinforce concrete.

The deadline for completed proposals received via email as listed in the RFP is no later than noon (HST) on Jan. 22, 2018.

For more information, email Polly Roth at pacificspacecenter@gmail.com or call 808/935 8270.

The RFP is being issued by the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii (RCUH).