Nylon 66

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Nylon 66 2016-12-06T05:35:21+00:00


Nylon stockings 1945 Nylon gear wheels 1983 Racquet frame - carbon fibre filled nylon 1980s  

Nylon is the common name (whose origin is disputed) for high-molecular weight polyamides – crystalline polymers typically produced by the condensation of a diacid and a diamine. There are several types, numeric suffixes referring to the number of carbon atoms present in the molecular structures of the amine and acid respectively (or a single suffix if the amine and acid groups are part of the same molecule). The principal materials for plastics are nylon 66 (derived from hexamethylene diamine and adipic acid) and nylon 6 (from caprolactam) – more specialised nylon 11 (aminoundecanoic acid), nylon 12 (aminolauric acid) and nylon 610 (hexamethylene diamine and sebacic acid).

The most familiar use for nylon is, of course, as a textile yarn and, in thicker section as monofilaments for brushes, etc. However, nylon 66 and 6 in particular are very important engineering thermoplastics. Their dominant feature is a much higher softening temperature than other polymers in this category. They are also exceptionally tough and wear resistant, with low friction characteristics.

This range of properties makes nylon a choice for technically demanding injection moulded components, such as in ‘under-the-bonnet’ automotive parts.

The natural colour of nylon is waxy-white. As well as injection mouldings it is also available in stock shapes for machining into, for example, gearwheels and as a powder for tough coating applications such as handrails.