News and Updates

Latest news from the Labs:
  1. A nation's infrastructure is critical to daily life. When things go wrong with roads, bridges, etc., people's lives are impacted. And as America's annual summer construction season demonstrates, the impacts often go far beyond mere inconvenience. The question is, can we do anything about it? As long as there is infrastructure there will be a need for maintenance and repair. However, there are two things we can do to minimize the impacts. First is developing new means of building infrastructure so that it lasts longer and requires less maintenance. Second is finding ways to complete repair projects while minimizing the impact on daily life. To that end, a Dutch company is on the verge of testing a revolutionary concept that involves installing temporary composite bridges that keep traffic flowing while existing bridges are being repaired or replaced. They have proven their system in concept. Now they are looking for five bridge projects they can use to test in the real world. A Read more...

Nissan Says It Can Cut the Cost of Automotive Carbon Fiber

If you follow our blog, you know that cost has been the one thing preventing carmakers from going all-in on carbon fiber. They simply cannot justify raising the price of consumer vehicles to accommodate more expensive carbon fiber parts. However, there may be a solution on the horizon. Nissan claims to have developed a fabrication process that cuts the cost of automotive carbon fiber significantly. Car Scoops published an article about Nissan's announcement in early September 2020. The article offered very few details as to how the fabrication process actually works. From what we can tell,


New F1 Seat Showcases the Potential of Natural Fiber Composites

Carbon fiber and F1 racing have been synonymous for years. In fact, some of the greatest developments in carbon fiber technology have resulted from the industry's partnership with auto racing. So it's no surprise when F1 teams push the envelope to come up with new composites and better manufacturing processes. McLaren has done just that by teaming up with Switzerland's Bcomp to design a brand-new seat featuring a flax fiber composite. The seat offers the same strength and stiffness as the older carbon fiber seat on which it was based. But being made with natural fibers, its emissions


Why Make a Stand-Up Kayak with Carbon Fiber?

We are always looking for new applications of composite materials like carbon fiber. One application we recently ran across is a new stand-up kayak designed and built by a company run by former Olympic kayaker Eric Jackson. His creation is a state-of-the-art kayak designed for anglers. Needless to say, it is quite impressive. Jackson's company gave the world a look at his prototype fishing kayak in June. He hopes the publicity combined with a Kickstarter campaign will get the kayak to full production. We hope he succeeds. In the meantime, we thought it might be helpful to answer the question


What's Holding Back Composites in Residential Construction?

The composites industry has proven itself more than capable over the last several decades. Companies like Rock West Composites have demonstrated the viability of composites as replacements for more traditional materials like wood, steel, and aluminum. Our big task now is convincing other industries to embrace more composites. One industry that comes to mind is construction. In particular, residential construction offers a lot of room for composite materials. For example, consider the foundation. A home with a typical basement starts with foundation walls constructed with either poured


We Now Support the Bike Industry with More Carbon Fiber Tubes

Carbon fiber tubing has been a mainstay of our business since Rock West Composites was first established. Likewise, many of our biggest customers in the tubing department are custom bicycle makers. It is with that in mind that we recently expanded our inventory of carbon fiber tubes and bicycle frame elements in support of building better bikes for consumers. In recent weeks we have tripled our inventory of bicycle frame products, including: head and seat tubes steerer tubes and seat posts top and down tubes chain and seat stays bottom bracket shells. Our goal is to be the one-stop


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