Industry News

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...

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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