Pre-Preg composites (woven cloth or uni-directional fibers with pre-impregnated resin), core materials, and other materials are combined in a Lay Up that is processed in a mold and typically a vacuum bag in the autoclave process. See the Autoclave Process details for more information on this process. For less demanding applications, an oven can be used instead of an autoclave.
Wet Lay Up
Dry composite cloth is inserted in an open (one-sided) mold and treated with liquid (wet) resins. Part thickness can be built up with fabric and mat materials. This is normally an open mold process meaning the materials are exposed to open air during the process. Typically, room-temperature cure resins are used. Wet Lay Up is normally utilized in lower performance applications. Vacuum bagging and oven post-curing can be used with this process to produce higher performance parts
Typical Wet Lay Up Applications
Wet Lay Up composite applications include cowlings, covers, some aircraft components, and prototypes of several types of applications. Wet Lay Up can be used to manufacture large structures.
Wet Lay Up Advantages
- Low capital investment in equipment
- Raw materials are easy to use
- Flexible orientation of fibers
- Can be used to produce low cost prototypes