Filament Winding vs Hand Lay-Up

Demand for composite materials is increasing with the developing technologies and manufacturing capability. Composite materials started to replace natural products with their enhanced properties. Regarding this situation, manufacturing methods of composite products need to be fast and convenient for the industry requirements.

Two different manufacturing methods are compared in this article to evaluate what kind of distinguishment they have. In general, filament winding is the newer method for composite manufacturing, and it is developed with new technology. However, the hand-lay-up method is one of the oldest composite manufacturing methods and it is still used for many applications.

Material Quality

In the hand layup method, fiber reinforcements get placed by hand and applied with resin on a roller or brush by an operator. Different geometrical types of parts can be manufactured depending on the mold. Cylindrically shaped parts can be manufactured with hand lay-up similar to filament winding.

In terms of material quality, since the operator needs to fill and place the materials in the mold in the hand lay-up method, material quality depends on human ability. Therefore, it is sometimes hard to get the same or close material qualities for the same composite parts in the hand lay-up method. However, filament winding uses automated technology to wind fibers into the mandrel. Thus, the same material quality can mostly be obtainable in filament wound products. In addition, fiber-volume ratios can significantly higher than the hand lay-up method and thus parts are able to high mechanical properties.


Due to the automated process of the filament winding method, composite parts can be manufactured in a considerably short time compared to the hand lay-up method. Moreover, the filament winding method is suitable for composite mass production. When industry demand considered nowadays, composite production becomes significant to meet the required quantity. The hand lay-up method, on the other hand, is useful for small quantity products for example system parts to maintenance temporarily.


The hand lay-up method requires a cheaper solution when compared. However, because of the usage of high resin material in the hand lay-up method, the overall cost can be high. On the other hand, filament winding can be more expensive due to the winding technology, algorithm, and overall system.

Despite filament winding being more expensive, when mass production of high quality considered, it becomes the most proper method for many applications.