Planned Power Outage - We are updating our flux capacitor and increasing hyperdrive speed. - Starting 6AM, Friday May 7th through 1pm Mtn time (7hrs). Phones and general operations will cease until 1pm. Website orders will still be processed.
TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK
We have temporarily disabled the sale of most prepregs due to global supply chain issues. We anticipate a resupply of most styles by late summer 2021. Please check back often as we plan to update this category whenever new material arrives.
Have you ever wondered how aircraft interiors and Formula 1 cars are so stiff and light? The secret is sandwich panels. Sandwich panels are used whenever lightness and stiffness are required for a flat or irregular shape. The main theory behind sandwich panels is the concept of mass moment of inertia. Increasing the mass moment of inertia directly increases the stiffness. So how do you increase the mass moment of inertia while keeping weight down?
First, let's consider a solid carbon fiber plate. Thicker plates will be stiffer, but not just because there is more material. When layers are further from the center (commonly called the neutral axis) they contribute more stiffness. Consider two tubes of different diameter. The large diameter tube will be stiffer than the small diameter tube, even if the amount of materials in them is equal! This is because the larger diameter tube has more material further from the center.
An I-beam works using the same principal. The web of the I-beam (the skinny center section) holds the flanges (the end pieces) far from the center, making the beam much stiffer than a solid plate using the amount of material. (See Figure 1.)
So, we know a thick plate will be stiffer but we need something lightweight. That's when the sandwich comes in. When a plate bends, the outermost layers don't just add the most stiffness, they also take a majority of the load. Both faces will experience stress with one in compression and one in tension. Strangely enough, the center of a bending plate sees no stress at all! Therefore, if we know the center layers of a plate don't contribute much we can eliminate them and replace them with foam or honeycomb.
Replacing the center layers reduces overall stiffness a little bit, bringing us right back to the mass moment of inertia by effectively moving the load carrying materials (also referred t as the panel "skins") further from the neutral axis. If we make the core thicker we've increased the mass moment of inertia and increased the bending stiffness and strength. If we add more layers we can also increase the strength and stiffness since we add more materials far from the center, and we can distribute the load over more cross-section. Getting the thickness right results in a panel that is considerably lighter than an equivalent solid panel. Rock West Composites offers sandwich panels in a multitude of thicknesses and constructions to suit your needs. And as always, if we don't have it shoot us an email or give us a call and we CAN build it for you!
Want to print this information off? We have made an awesome flyer.
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 this by providing a platform similar to industrial environments. Working side-by-side with engineering companies like Rock West Composites has opened more opportunities for the next generation of engineers to also equip the applicable skills that come with industrial collaboration.
Despite the global challenge that coronavirus has presented, Rock West Composites delivered specialist knowledge on carbon fiber tubing, bonding requirements, and material capabilities to the Warwick Moto team. This was vital for the development of the bike’s subframe. The subframe is the rear substructure of the motorcycle on which the rider sits and experiences large forces as the rider slams down on the seat during races. A hybrid aluminum node was utilized, assisted by Xometry Europe who provided 5-axis machining capability, and coupled with a carbon fiber tube design. This enabled the team to creatively design a subframe lighter than the original found on the donor bike while also housing the
We have been in a flurry of activity in San Diego as we refit our new headquarters to enhance our business operations, including some exciting expansion.
Knocking Down Walls
Our building didn’t have doors big enough for our manufacturing equipment to come into the building. Nor were they big enough to get out some of the larger hardware we’ve built for our customers. So we had to create some new ones! A 16’ x 16’ opening allowed us to move into the warehouse and will help us get large hardware to our customers. Some new 12’ x 12’ doors compliment building access.
The Big Booths
Our new spray booth encapsulates 20’ x 17’ x 10’, shown below on the left. Directly next to it in the center is our expanded grinding booth at 25’ x 23’ x 10 ft. To the right, some of our team is in the spray booth to give a better idea of scale. All of this means we can work on larger hardware more efficiently.
More Flexible, Robust and Cleaner Operations
All the columns in the warehouse have been outfitted with electrical drops and vacuum lines, enabling rapid shifts in work cells to accommodate changing program requirements. The building also has built in redundancies to protect against power outages and equipment failure.
We not only have more levels of clean room capability to accommodate program requirements in the building, but our concrete floors are polished to help maintain cleanliness throughout the facility. Our machine shop is in a climate-controlled room with wet and dry areas segregated. Our new dust collection system helps reduce contaminants to a minimum. And to keep the noise of all the vacuum and compressions systems quieter for our staff, they are located outside the building in their own housing. We have dedicated people to keeping the shop clean and cleaning stations that comply with our 5S program.
Keeping Our Staff Growing Too
We’ve got a new training room in the works. We know that a trained workforce is
Certain tubes we carry are always quick to go out the door, but as the seasons change, so do the most popular orders. Here is a rundown of our ten most popular tubes for the past month. They include a variety of sizes, styles, features, and price points. You may find that you need some of these yourself!
Tiny Pultruded Carbon Fiber Tubes
Two of our most popular items are very small pultruded unidirectional carbon fiber tubes. These are great choices for those seeking strength, rigidity and affordability. For 78” tubes with prices starting at either $7 for the smaller ID or less than $15 for the larger, they become more affordable the more you buy. But be aware that they may not be appropriate choices if crush resistance or torque transfer is needed.
0.079 X 0.118 X 78" Pultruded Carbon Fiber Tube: Learn More
0.118 X 0.197 X 78" Pultruded Carbon Fiber Tube: Learn More
Filament Wound Carbon Fiber Tubes
Three more of our most popular carbon fiber tubes are made with the filament winding process. The very long continuous fibers add to strength and stiffness of these tubes, which are excellent for torsion applications. Our customers can get very long tubes with a unique aesthetic; and since you can buy by the foot, you get as much as you need. Of these popular selections, one is unsanded and two are sanded.
0.75 X 1.05 X 12"+ Filament Wound Carbon Fiber Tube Unsanded: Learn More
1.840 X 2.00 X 12"+ Filament Wound Carbon Fiber Tube Sanded: Learn More
1.00 X 1.125 X 12"+ Filament Wound Carbon Fiber Tube Sanded: Learn More
Hexagonal Shaped Tube
Shaped carbon fiber tubing offers a lot of interesting benefits and is easy to machine. Our most popular shaped cross-section or profile right now is hexagonal and offers fabricators and designers alike the ease of affixing motors, accessories and machined features since there is always a flat
Rock West Composites is now offering an extensive collection of PRO-SET epoxies and adhesives, which are a great solution for composite lamination, fabrication, and assembly. These epoxies can withstand the harshest of environments and are optimal for today’s high-performance composites manufacturing. PRO-SET epoxies have a long shelf live and can be stored at room temperature. We offer multiple types of epoxies depending on your application: laminating, infusion, high temperature and adhesives.
The PRO-SET laminating epoxies are designed for laminating reinforcement fabrics, resin infusion processes, and bonding many materials, including metal, core materials, and even wood. They cure at room temperature. You can mix and match resins and hardeners to create your own custom blend of cure times and viscosity. With excellent moisture resistance, they are tough against heat and structural fatigue. We also carry PRO-SET absolute clear laminating epoxies that offer colorless clarity and UV stability in addition to offering excellent sandability.
Our PRO-SET infusion epoxies meet strong structural requirements with a room temperature cure and have superior strength with an elevated temperature cure. These are very low viscosity systems designed to work well with modern infusion processes.
PRO-SET high-temperature epoxies offer excellent thermal stability and work when cosmetics matter. These resins are stable in temperatures up to 300°F (149°C) and are moisture, heat and fatigue resistant.
PRO-SET adhesives are pre-thickened, two-part epoxy adhesives used for secondary bonding of laminated composites as well as steel, aluminum, cast iron, concrete, stone, and most woods. They are great for assemblies, offer a wide variety of options (speed, strength, color), and require no welding, fasteners or rivets.
Designed for the professional but also excellent for the DIYer, this new series we offer can meet your projects most demanding structural needs. Check
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rock West Composites Moves Into Its New San Diego Headquarters
Rock West Composites moved this month to its new corporate headquarters, a 107,000 sq. ft. facility in San Diego, California. The company is expanding to accommodate new staff, add manufacturing space, grow capability for large-scale composites manufacturing, and meet the needs of its expanding business.
San Diego, CA (PRWEB) February ##, 2021 – Rock West Composites (RWC) has moved this month into its new corporate headquarters at 7625 Panasonic Way in San Diego, California, a facility more than three times larger than its previous headquarters. While the company retains its locations in Salt Lake City, UT and Tijuana, Mexico, RWC’s former San Diego location on Precision Park Lane will be vacated in favor of the new building.
With 107,000 sq. ft. of total space, there is 20,000 sq. ft. of office space, 80,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space, and an additional 7,000 sq. ft. for general warehouse use. The entire space is not fully utilized, and the company is positioned for significant growth. This building will house the corporate offices, engineering, product development, and manufacturing centered around prototyping and production.
The plant will be able to accommodate large scale composites production and significant new capital equipment with the intention of growing the company’s already expansive capabilities to meet the space requirements of the expanding business. Its location is also close to the border with easy access to the company’s Tijuana plant, which specializes in high-volume production. The new facility has an adaptive infrastructure that allows for rapid refitting of manufacturing areas to accommodate new program requirements. There are clean room areas with varying levels of classification to accommodate customer needs.
“We are excited to start the new year in our new location,” said Jim Gormican, CEO of Rock West Composites. “As our company