Nylon: What Makes it a Commercially Successful Plastic Resin?

It is a well-known fact that plastic has emerged as a choice over metal and other materials in recent years. There are various types of plastic resins in use today and they are preferred for the typical mechanical and economic benefits that they offer. Among them, nylon resins have gained immense popularity over the years. Perhaps, it is the first commercially successful synthetic thermoplastic polymer in the history of plastics. What makes it popular? What are the different nylon resin grades used today? Stay tuned to know more.

A Brief Description of Nylon

Polyamide, most popularly known as nylon, is a common name for a family of synthetic polymers that are commonly used in various household and commercial applications. These resins can be formulated with a variety of additives to improve their properties. These polymers can be easily melt processed into shapes, fibers, and films.

Common Beneficial Features of Nylon

The following features of nylon resins have contributed to their increasing use in various applications across industries:

  • Good temperature, creep, and chemical resistance
  • Good stiffness and strength
  • Good toughness and impact
  • Good tribological properties
  • Excellent tear and wear properties

All these beneficial features of nylon make them an ideal choice for injection molding, extrusion, co-extrusion, blow molding, and films.

A Few Popular Commercial Nylon Polymer Grades

The following are a few popular types of commercial nylon resin grades:

  • Nylon 6: This grade is known as polycaprolactum, and it is a semi-crystalline polyamide, which can be modified to meet specific application requirements using stabilizers and comonomers. These fibers possess high tensile strength, luster, elasticity, and toughness.  
  • Nylon 6/6: This grade is also known as nylon 6/6, nylon-6-6, nylon 6,6 or nylon 66. This grade along with nylon 6 is popularly used across plastic and textile industries. This grade is most commonly used when high stability in harsh environments, high strength, and heat stability are required. This grade is used to create injection molded 3D structural objects.
  • Nylon 4/6: This grade is variously known as nylon 4-6, PA46, nylon 4/6, polyamide 46, and nylon 4,6. Nylon 4/6 is the high heat resistant grade and it can easily withstand aggressive work environments, which is why it is used in under-the-bonnet applications in the automotive industry.
  • Nylon 6/10: The nylon polymer grade is a semi-crystalline polyamide, which offers low moisture absorption, high chemical resistance, and is more affordable when compared to other low moisture absorption nylon resins.
  • Nylon 11: This polymer is also known as polyamide 11 and is a bioplastic that finds application in textiles, oil and gas, electronics, aerospace, automotive, and sports equipment industry. This nylon resin has low water absorption, and exhibits increased dimensional stability when exposed to heat, moisture, chemicals, and so on.
  • Nylon 6/12: This is low moisture absorbing nylon that possesses high strength and offers excellent resistance against heat and chemicals. The nylon variant offers excellent lubricity and wear resistance.
  • Nylon 12: This resin exhibits properties that lie between polyolefins and short-chain aliphatic nylons. It exhibits mechanical properties such as high tensile strength, hardness, resistance to abrasion, and so on.   

Most nylon resin grades can be availed in forms such as glass fiber, aramid fiber, flame retardant, hydrolysis resistant grades, nucleated, heat stabilized, glass beaded, carbon fiber, impact modified, lubricated, and so on.

Applications of Nylon Resins

Nylon resins are widely used in building various commercial and industrial products. The following are a few commonly used nylon products.

  • Connectors and Switches
  • Fasteners
  • Brackets and Housings
  • Gears, Cams, and Bearings
  • Vacuum Cleaner Handles
  • Power Tool Housings
  • Radiator Tanks
  • Mirror Housings
  • Intake Manifolds
  • 3D Printed Models

If you are planning to invest in nylon resins for your industrial or commercial applications, always take care to source them from trusted suppliers like MidContinent Plastics. The company buys and sells nylon resins of various grades. It buys nylon polymers in regrind and virgin forms. If you are unable to understand the difference between the various grades discussed here, perhaps, you can contact the experts at the company. With a vast industry experience to their credit, the experts at MidContinent Plastics will help you select the right nylon grade for your application.

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