What is filament winding?

man with drill

Filament winding is a technique used to manufacture composite materials, which are materials made from two or more physically and chemically different substances. The filaments are wound around a mold called a male mold or mandrel. The most common filaments used in this process are glass, carbon and aramid fibers. This technique is especially important for products in the aviation and industrial sectors.

As a highly automated procedure, the filament winding process is typically precise and accurate in its measurements. The fibrous material is soaked in a resin bath and covered with low to medium molecular weight reagents. The fiber is then collected from cylindrical spools and wound around the mandrel. As the material is rolled, epoxy resin, epoxy or a polyester resin is poured over it evenly.

It is extremely important that the mandrel is held firmly in the filament winding machine. This allows the mandrel to be wound more precisely and the filaments to be placed in the correct pattern according to the final application. Specialized computer programs are often used to control this precise process.

After all the filaments have been rotated around the mandrel, the resin-covered composite is cured by heating in a computerized oven. The heat hardens the fiber and makes it easier to remove the new component from the mandrel shape. The component is carefully extracted using a machine that maintains the structure of the chuck and component. After extraction, the new composite fiber structure is ready to be processed and used.

The arrangement of the filaments is crucial for the constitution of the final product. A high fiber placement angle pattern encourages greater material crushing resistance. Crushing strength refers to the amount of compressive force required to break or break a material. Arranging the fibers in a low angle pattern improves the tensile strength of the material. Tensile strength is the amount of tension a material can withstand when being pulled or stretched before it tears or breaks.

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A high strength-to-weight ratio in component structure is the result of the rigors of the filament winding process. This final structure is capable of withstanding a lot of pressure and stress, whether in the form of a helix, sphere or cylinder. For this reason, composite structures made from this process are highly valued in the industry. These components are used as pressure vessels, aircraft bodies, power poles, pipes, and more.

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