Our Story
Built on a long history of composite manufacturing achievements, we provide customers with bespoke processing and material options to achieve cost effective solutions to technically demanding problems. Supplying aerospace, defence and nuclear industries for 25 years with a proven track record of delivering complex structures.
Specialising in compression and bladder moulding of pre-preg composite material in metal tooling, we have taken component manufacture to the next level. The processes allow an extraordinary variety of parts to be made with levels of complexity that other method would find hard to match.
Our approach starts with a fundamental review of customer requirements, followed by design for manufacture to allow for process optimisation.  Should any processing solutions be inappropriate, we will advise accordingly and happily suggest alternative options.
The diversity of experience by the range of industries we serve gives us a unique insight into customer requirements and composite design and manufacturing option.
For any enquiries please contact us here
Design for manufacture

We design our own tooling, to incorporate process optimisation from the start. This leads to good quality components with high FIBRE VOLUME fraction and low voids. We incorporate CNC machining features where ever possibly to eliminate hand work and trimming. Good quality tooling leads to good quality parts.
 

Tooling can be designed to be configurable, that is to say that a single tool can have interchangeable inserts to enable a variety of similar parts to be manufactured from a single tool.

Stand-alone tooling is built specifically to customer requirements and can incorporate integral heating and cooling systems, bladder and compression moulding in the same tool, multi-zone heating, fully automatic cure control. These tools are not moved in and out of heated presses, they are as fully autonomous and allow fast component turn-around

Design Process

Design Process

Post machining

Post machining

Ready for moulding

Ready for moulding

Model

Model

Nesting templates for cutting

Nesting templates for cutting

Clicker press

Clicker press

Pre-preg carbon and dynema

Pre-preg carbon and dynema

Carbon fibre pre-preg materials

Carbon fibre pre-preg materials

Automated Pre-preg cutting

Automated Pre-preg cutting

Composite materials selection

We use pre-preg material sourced from a range of UK based pre-preg suppliers. The specific material selected or specified will be tailored to meet the numerous component requirements. All materials are supplied with full traceability and analysis records.

Material is cut using either  our 3 metre CNC ply cutter or clicker press for consistency and accuracy. Material traceability follows cut material through the manufacturing system.

Compressed tool

Compressed tool

Pre-preg Layup

Pre-preg Layup

Foam core

Foam core

 
 
 
 
Compression and Bladder Moulding
Compression moulding is a process where composite materials are placed on a tool, which is then forced closed within a heated press. The parts can be monolithic i.e solid, or have a light weight foam core. Components with undercut and side features can all be moulded using tooling with collapsing cores and side action tooling. The results are parts that have a moulded face on all surfaces.
Bladder moulding is a technique where an inflated pressure bag provides the consolidation pressure in the moulding process. The surface on which the bladder contacts is not controlled by tooling.
 
Hybrid tooling: We also manufacture parts that have both compression and bladder moulding processes in the same parts. This combines the precision and surface complexity available with compression moulding with the ability to have less complicated tooling for other features.
Both systems employ hard tooling usually made from aluminium. Both processes provide quick moulding turn-around time with exceptional quality.
4th axis

4th axis

Milling

Milling

CNC

CNC

Fatigue testing in liquid nitrogen

Fatigue testing in liquid nitrogen

Evalute structural properties

Evalute structural properties

Tensile Test

Tensile Test

Nitrogen test

Nitrogen test

Proof load test

Proof load test

Testing and validating components
We perform mechanical and fatigue testing to verify design specifications.
Prototypes and development
We work closely with customers and strive to over deliver on product quality and cost effectiveness, providing continual process improvement for cost and performance optimisation.
Machining Capabilities
We have a strong in house machining capability, utilising 3rd and 4th axis CNC equipment.
 
Our CNC machining capacity include vertical mills up to 760 x 400mm and Turret mills to 1200 x 400mm turning 1200 lg. by Ø300mm. All supported with CAD-CAM programming and well equipped inspection
They are operated by experienced engineers which we further supplement with a selection of trusted external machinists.
This gives us the capabilities of both manufacturing quality tooling in a timely manner and keeping the construction of complex structures firmly in house.
Nickle / gold plated composite

Nickle / gold plated composite

Gold plated composite light fitting

Gold plated composite light fitting

With care and pride in our work

With care and pride in our work

Gold plated

Gold plated

Aesthetics and completed components. 
We are no stranger to delivering finished components ready for immediate assembly into high value structures.
Our Laser engraver can add a more personalise feel your product to give it a  unique finish.
From external finishes to being clad in precious metals, we can deliver exceptional looking parts for the most discerning of customers.
Anything is possible and nothing is out of the question.
Production Capacity
We have two large presses with platens that take tools with overall maximum dimension up to 1500 x 1000 x 500mm, and operate up to 100 tonnes with 220°C of multi zone heating.
Our four smaller presses have the same temperature capacity but support tools up to 500 x 500 x 500mm and 75 tonnes. All presses use temperature profile control and are built specifically for our operational needs. Automatic production temperature and pressure profile mapping of cure schedules available as required.
Presses are built with sufficient  power maximise material cure ramp rates. A centralised 15Kw cooling is used to bring tools back to room temperature in the shortest practical times. Tools are designed to aid rapid disassembly, cleaning  and lay-up in our “design for manufacture” moto.   
 
Small press

Small press

Small press 1

Small press 1

Large press full view

Large press full view

Mobile Press

Mobile Press

Temperature control

Temperature control

 
 
 
 
 
 
Laser engraving

Laser engraving

X-Ray

X-Ray

Iso 9001 - 2015

Iso 9001 - 2015

Quality Control
Rockwood Composites works to the latest ISO 9001:2015 certified standards
Production Schedule
We have a great deal of experience in dealing with large multinational firms and are very accustomed to working to the most stringent timelines. We facilitate comprehensive traceability and  accountability systems that are necessitated when delivering the high value critical components that we pride ourselves in.
We work closely with our customers to arrange a production plan to deliver components in line with their schedules and specifications.
What differentiates  Rockwood Composites?

 Clients list

Our broad based in-house design and engineering capability to provide innovative products and product manufacturing solutions.

Manufacturing processes and expertise that are not frequently found in the UK composites industry.

Short lead times from concept to hardware, through in-house design, tool manufacture and development.

Rapid problem solving and customer support backed by ISO 9001:2015 manufacturing systems.

We have a proven track record of producing high quality products and the ability to deliver components on time.

We are happy to discuss and support design engineers in the selection of appropriate component materials, tooling and production systems.

"Design for Manufacture" is key in minimising tooling cost, maximising quality and reducing component cost and lead time. Please call to discuss.