Filament Winding


This process is primarily used for hollow, generally circular or oval sectioned components, such as pipes and tanks. Fibre tows are passed through a resin bath before being wound onto a mandrel in a variety of orientations, controlled by the fibre feeding mechanism, and rate of rotation of the mandrel.

Materials Options: 

Resins: Any, e.g. epoxy, polyester, vinylester, phenolic. 
Fibres: Any. The fibres are used straight from a creel and not woven or stitched into a fabric form. 
Cores: Any, although components are usually single skin.

Main Advantages: 

i) This can be a very fast and therefore economic method of laying material down. 
ii) Resin content can be controlled by metering the resin onto each fibre tow through nips or dies. 
iii) Fibre cost is minimised since there is no secondary process to convert fibre into fabric prior to use. 
iv) Structural properties of laminates can be very good since straight fibres can be laid in a complex pattern to match the applied loads.

Main Disadvantages: 

i) The process is limited to convex shaped components. 
ii) Fibre cannot easily be laid exactly along the length of a component. 
iii) Mandrel costs for large components can be high. 
iv) The external surface of the component is unmoulded, and therefore cosmetically unattractive. 
v) Low viscosity resins usually need to be used with their attendant lower mechanical and health and safety properties.

Typical Applications: 

Chemical storage tanks and pipelines, gas cylinders, fire-fighters' breathing tanks.

Published courtesy of David Cripps, Gurit