What is Nylon? (Polyamide)

November 2016


What is Nylon? (Polyamide)

The first example of Nylon (nylon 66) was produced on February 28, 1935, by Wallace Carothers,

Nylons generally tend to be semi-crystalline and are very tough materials, Available in different grades, those most commonly supplied as engineering plastics would be Nylon 6, Nylon 66 and Nylon 6.12. they provide good resistance to most chemicals, however, they can be attacked by strong acids. Nylons can be blended with fillers such as glass or oil to enhance certain aspects of their performance.

A feature of Nylon 6 (our FL349) that should be considered in the material selection process is that it can absorb moisture which means that components parts could grow in size if exposed to damp environments, making it unsuitable for such parts that operate in tight tolerances.

The numerical label for Nylon is derived from the number of carbon atoms in the diamine and dibasic acid monomers used to manufacture it. Nylon 66 for example, is made of two monomers each containing 6 carbon atoms, hexamethylenediamine and adipic acid, which gives Nylon 66 or PA66 its name. The ratio of carbon atoms is what gives each nylon type its unique property characteristics.

Nylon 66 (FL328) is often used when high mechanical strength, good stability under heat and/or chemical resistance are required and lends itself well to injection moulding 3D parts such as rocker covers and ball bearing cages.

In its natural state Nylon 66 is easily recognisable by its cream colour although its skin is slightly darker due to the annealing process.

Nylon 6.12 (FL343) was developed as a lower moisture absorbing nylon and does not swell to the extent of Nylon 6 or 66.

Key features:

  • Natural 66- Food contact safe
  • Good heat stability
  • Good Chemical resistance
  • Impact resistant
  • Hard wearing
  • Low friction
  • Corrosion resistant

Typical Applications:

  • Insulators
  • Switch housings
  • Ball bearing cages
  • Rocker covers
  • Conveyor belts
  • Radiator end tanks
  • Bearings
  • Rollers
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