News and Updates

Composites Classroom

  • Revolutionary New UAV Relies Heavily on Carbon Fiber

    Ancient steel production thousands of years ago produced variations of steel that were used to build weapons, tools, and household implements. The thought of using steel to build skyscrapers and airplanes probably never dawned on the ...
  • Anisotropic vs. Isotropic: Why It Matters in Composites

    On any given day we might sell a load of carbon fiber plates or sheets to a client who knows all about the strength-to-weight advantage composites have over alternative materials like steel and aluminum. That same client's end-using custo ...
  • 5 Reasons We Provide Rapid Carbon Fiber Prototyping

    As experts in composite materials and design, we are also fortunate to be heavily involved in prototyping. We can provide a rapid carbon fiber prototype for your project based on your exact specification. Moreover, we can do it quickly. T ...
  • Tools of the Trade for Vacuum Bagging

    You are launching a brand-new startup with a mission to fabricate carbon fiber surfboards and skateboards. You have chosen Rock West as your supplier of carbon and fiberglass cloth and prepregs. In order to make use of them, you're going ...
  • Carbon Fiber's Intrinsic Link to Transportation

    What is the first thing you think of when you hear the phrase 'carbon fiber'? As a Rock West customer, you probably think of whatever application you use carbon fiber for. Maybe you fabricate sporting goods. Perhaps your business is inv ...
  • Breakthrough Epoxy Resin Could Reshape Composites

    The standard operating procedure for carbon fiber fabricating involves layering sheets of carbon fiber impregnated with resin, removing all the air with a vacuum bag, and then heating the entire layup in order to cure the resin. This proc ...
  • 3D Printing and Prototyping: The Aerospace Race Is On

    In late 2014, Reuters published an article detailing how Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works opened up its manufacturing facilities for the first time in history. The importance of that decision is monumental in a number of different ways. For on ...
  • 2 Practical Reasons Behind Composite Prototyping

    Last fall, students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) were fully engaged in a project intended to create a number of composite sled prototypes. The project was facilitated by the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturi ...
  • Green Driving: Combining Composites and Renewable Energy

    For all the talk of revolutionizing the auto industry by introducing renewable energy sources, we are surprised that so little progress has been made over the last decade or so. There seems to be so much potential that industry movers and s ...
  • Hard Tooling vs. Soft Tooling: What's the Difference

    The words 'tool' and 'tooling' mean a lot of different things throughout the broad arena that is industry and manufacturing. In the tool and die industry, for example, tools can be both the dies used in manufacturing and the actual mech ...