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What are the Fundamental Steps of Composites Manufacturing?

Updated: Jul 1, 2022

There are four fundamental steps involved in composites manufacturing:

  1. Impregnation

  2. Lay-up

  3. Consolidation

  4. Solidification

These four steps are common in all composites production, although, the order of operations will be different depending on the application and manufacturing process!


In the impregnation process, the resin is applied to the previous dry fiber and ensures the fiber is thoroughly soaked during the process. The outcome of this process is called a lamina. Different methods are used to achieve thorough and uniform impregnation, although automation is the most common method today and uses a compaction roller to ensure that the resin flows evenly across fibers.

For example, in a filament winding process, fibers are passed through the resin bath for impregnation. In a hand lay-up process, materials that are already impregnated by the material supplier in a controlled environment are used. In the automated fiber placement process this step is done at the impregnation lines. The produce of the impregnation line is known as prepreg.

Figure 1. Manually impregnating dry fiber with resin


Hand Layup
Figure 2. Hand Layup

In the layup process, composite laminates are formed by placing either the fiber and impregnating it later, or by placing the combined fiber/resin prepregs, at desired locations and orientations. The composite part thickness is built up by placing