Monday, 8th August, 2022

Nylon is the first commercially successful synthetic thermoplastic polymer to reach industrial manufacturing. Nylon is a synthetic polymer based on polyamides which is a thermoplastic material that melts into shapes and films. Dupont was one of the first research adopters of Nylon as of 1930 whicch has lead to the manufacture of many new products with the thermoplastic.

The first commercial use of Nylon was in toothbrush bristles, followed by women’s stockings and later on into parachutes and parachute cord. Needless to say, war has lead to increased awareness in the polymer industry and improved development in research.

Nylon is mainly known for being easy to wash and dries relatively quickly and retains shape depending on the level of stress applied. Although this depends on density and volume, it is also very responsive and resilient to heat, UV rays and light environmental chemicals.

To this day, Nylon has been experimented with for multiple applications from clothing to industrial insulators. It is less flammable than cotton and rayon however has the characteristic of melting and sticking to bare skin. Depending on the application, it has the capacity to maintain rigidity over high pressure impact and high temperature resistance. It is difficult to assume the characteristics of Nylon in general as it’s normally mixed with other agents and adopts itself into different types such as Nylon 6 (dye), Nylon 11 (powder) and more commonly Nylon 66 (mold plastics) which is used in Cordura and Nilit brands.

The many uses of Nylon

We have already covered brush bristles, woman’s stockings, and parachutes. It is worth noting that due to its diversity, Nylon has also been used in rope, cords, powder coatings, and other layered applications which include film and injection molding. Although there is a large magnitude of applications for Nylon, it is worth knowing that Nylon is not the best for every application in comparison to alternatives (based on functional requirements of application).

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