Industry News

Latest news from the Labs:
  1. Rock West Composites supports student teams in universities around the country and around the world. We were happy to provide assistance to the Warwick Moto team from the University of Warwick by helping them with with information on carbon development and assembly for the build of their unique 1.3kg subframe. Warwick Moto is a student-led university project building a highly innovative electric superbike, ‘Aurora’, a motorcycle designed around a superbike chassis known for its excellent handling. The interdisciplinary team is made up of 25 students and academics, with superbike racer Tom Weeden as their rider; they are innovating some impressive state-of-the-art electrical systems to be integrated within it. For instance, they are using an immersion cooled battery pack and a carbon fiber subframe design supported by Rock West Composites. Although racing is a primary target, the team aims to upskill young engineers and expose them to real world engineering. Warwick Moto does Read more...

Do Carbon Fiber Phone Cases Really Mess with Your Reception?

You are about to drop several hundred dollars on a new cell phone. Your significant other suggests that you protect your investment with a carbon fiber case. But you remember reading an article suggesting that carbon fiber cases mess with cell phone reception. Now you're stuck. Is it true? Does carbon fiber really interfere with cell phone signals? If it does, you might be trading a bit of extra protection for decent signal strength. If not, there is no reason to avoid a carbon fiber case that could save your phone at some point. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer. Some people

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Carbon Fiber, Hyperloops, and Next Gen Transportation

Virgin Hyperloop made history in early November 2020 when it sent two volunteers barreling down its hyperloop track at 107 miles per hour. The manned test was the first such test of a hyperloop. The company claimed the test was a huge success, but there is still plenty of work to be done before they, or any of their competitors, start carrying cargo and passengers on a regular schedule. Meanwhile, the hyperloop team at Technical University of Munich (TU Munich) is hard at work building a full-scale prototype of their latest hyperloop system. The team has regularly participated in SpaceX

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Dutch Company to Test Temporary Composite Bridges

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

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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,

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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

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