Trim & Machining
Machining composites can be a challenge for those inexperienced with the materials. Whether it’s trimming, drilling, or machining, conventional or CNCs, our experienced team will make sure the material is handled correctly for optimal results.
CNC and Conventional Machining Centers
Precision cutting and other post cure modifications to a composite part are done using CNC and conventional machines. No matter the process we use, the key to success is accuracy. The less a part moves, the more accurate we can be. As such, we create fixtures that hold the part in place for the work. We use 3, 4, and 5 axis machines depending on the complexity of the work. The higher number of axes, the more ways the machine head can approach the part without the part having to be moved. In addition to dry machining, Rock West has expertise with waterjet cutting. Matching the right machine to your project ensures the best quality part at the best possible price.
Drilling composites is always a challenge. We use precision tools to guarantee hole placement accuracy, but there is always the risk of fiber blow out or other structural damage. We have tactics to reduce this risk. While we are experts in machining carbon fiber in a dry state, we also offer a fully qualified process to machine carbon fiber parts with water or coolant. We use an ultrasonic cleaning processing after machining to remove contaminants when coolant is used. While not appropriate for all programs, it can be a cost-effective way to meet program requirements where fiber blowout is a concern.
When a part is removed from a tool, the flashing or selvage edge will need to be removed as well. This requires trimming before the component moves to the next phase of manufacture. Trimming parts can be done by hand or machine.
Experience matters! We know how to manufacture composites, and we know how to machine them. Let us do the work for you.