Processes
Here you can see details of the approach we take and the techniques we use within Rockwood to achieve the quality in which we pride ourselves.
Please scroll down or select your area of interest from the list on the right.
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 wherever possible 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 a single tool can have interchangeable inserts to enable a variety of similar parts to be manufactured from that one tool. We also offer a selection of tooling materials  such as aluminium, invar and carbon tooling.

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 fully autonomous and allow fast component turn-around

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.

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 within the same component. 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.
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.
Testing and Validating Components
We perform mechanical and fatigue testing to verify design specifications.
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 who we further supplement with a selection of trusted external machinists.
This gives us the capabilities of both manufacturing quality tooling in a timely manner whilst keeping the construction of complex structures firmly in house.
Aesthetics and Finished Components. 
We are experienced in 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 dimensions 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 is available as required.
Presses are built with sufficient  power to maximise material cure ramp rates. A centralised 15kW cooling system 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 as part of our “design for manufacture” philosophy.   
Quality Control
Rockwood Composites works to the latest ISO 9001:2015 certified standards.
Production Scheduling
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 necessary 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.