Composites Classroom

Latest news from the Labs:
  1. Our 15th Anniversary

    Our 15th Anniversary

    Rock West has been in business for 15 years! The business was started by Jim Gormican and Keith Loss, two former colleagues, who decided to pursue an entrepreneurial endeavor together in Jim’s garage in late 2006. Since then, Rock West has grown into a business with four locations and nearly 200 people. From the Garage to the New Headquarters in 15 Years The initial work was centered around aerospace engineering and the commercialization of carbon fiber composites, which had been historically expensive, too expensive to use beyond specific, highly demanding applications. The business grew in 2009 through the acquisition of the former Maclean Composites in Salt Lake City, and the Rock West Composites brand was born. The new office pursued the online sales of carbon tubing and pioneered ecommerce for composites. Ecommerce Pioneer: flashback from a decade ago (left) to our current site (right) Ecommerce operations are located in our Salt Lake City facility (bottom Read more...

4 Pieces of PPE for Carbon Fiber and Fiberglass Home Fabricating

As a leading provider of composite materials in Salt Lake City, we frequently sell products to home fabricators. This includes glass and carbon fiber fabrics, tubes, plates, epoxy resins, and even adhesives. Working with any of these materials does pose some amount of risk to human health. As such, we recommend our home fabricating customers be smart about using personal protective equipment (PPE). The pros use appropriate PPE whenever working with carbon or glass fiber. We use PPE at all of our facilities. If you are a home fabricator, you should too. Do not take any chances with your health

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What Is Unidirectional Carbon Fiber Tubing

We are extremely proud at Rock West Composites to carry a complete selection of carbon fiber tubing. Our inventory of tubing products continues to grow as well. Among them is unidirectional carbon fiber tubing, the most popular form of tubing we sell. We consider unidirectional tubing the workhorse of our tubing inventory. Unidirectional tubing is so named due to the alignment of the carbon fibers. This post will explain this, and more. Suffice it to say that unidirectional tubing is suitable for a wide range of applications – whether straight up or finished with an outer layer of woven

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What Is a Carbon Fiber Veneer and What Is It Used For?

Imagine you are a manufacturer. Choose any product, it doesn't really matter. Imagine your customers wishing you made a carbon fiber model. You don't because you know it would cost too much. Well, we may have a solution for you. That solution is carbon fiber veneers. Rock West Composites specializes in all things carbon fiber. We carry raw materials for DIY and commercial fabrication. We carry finished carbon fiber tubes, prepregs, laminates, and sandwich panels. We even offer prototyping and small-run manufacturing. We say all that to say that veneers are just one small part of the Rock West

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Composites 101: An Introduction to Vacuum Bagging

There are numerous ways to fabricate composite parts utilizing carbon fiber and glass fiber. One method is the manual layup, a method that sometimes relies on vacuum bagging to help the materials consolidate more uniformly. Vacuum bagging is a procedure that is utilized both commercially and by DIY fabricators. We have written this post to introduce our readers to the concept of vacuum bagging, what it does, and how it works. Note that we sell vacuum bagging kits and supplies. In fact, we have everything you need to complete manual layups at home or in your professional shop. The Point of

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Carbon Fiber for Newbies: Before You Make that First Part

Despite carbon fiber being commercially available for decades, we find that there are plenty of opportunities to sell carbon fiber materials to new customers. These are folks who have never used carbon fiber before. They are just getting started as DIY fabricators or commercial operators looking for alternatives to other materials. At any rate, carbon fiber brings a lot to the table. Designed properly, it can be stronger and lighter than aluminum, steel, titanium and even wood. For some applications, there simply is no better composite. Yet choosing to use carbon fiber for the first time

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