In this paper, the corrosion mechanism and tensile properties of basalt fibers in sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution with various concentrations and temperatures were studied. The hydroxyl ions disrupt the –Si–O–Si– and –Si–O–Al– bonds leading to the formation of insoluble hydroxides. With the continuation of the hydration reaction, a hydration layer (corrosion shell) with high content of calcium, iron, manganese and titanium ions was formed on the fiber surface. The corrosion shell enabled an increase in the strength and elongation at break of basalt fibers, significantly. Results showed that the tensile strength of fibers was strongly dependent on temperature and concentration. After the basalt fibers were immersed in 1 mol/L NaOH solution at 50 °C for 1 h, 3 h, 6 h, 1 day and 3 days, their retention ratios of strength were 67.6%, 57.8%, 52.5%, 49.0%, 58.2%, respectively. Higher temperature accelerated the corrosion rate of basalt fibers, shortened the formation time of the corrosion shell and increased mass loss. From 25 to 70 °C, the mass loss of fibers increased from 2.4% to 33.8% for fibers immersed in 1 mol/L NaOH for 3 days. The experimental results from quantitative x-ray fluorescence (XRF) showed that the mass loss of basalt fibers was mainly due to the leaching of silicon, aluminum and potassium ions.
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