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NYLON (POLYAMIDE) AN INTRODUCTION
V.Ryan © 2015-16
 
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Over the last one hundred years, ‘plastics’ have come to dominate the material world around us, from carrier bags and textile products to more sophisticated products. Part of this has been the introduction of Nylon, a material that continues to be one of the most important ‘plastics’.It was one of the first fully synthetic fibres.
 
 
 
  In 1935 a team of chemists at DuPont, led by Wallace Carothers, developed nylon66. Commercial applications followed quickly, first with the introduction of nylon bristle toothbrushes in 1938, by DuPont. Nylon fibres arranged as a textile material appeared in the 1940s, as sort after ‘nylon’ stockings. Over the following decades, nylon changed the world of clothing and fashion. It became popular as a textile material during the Second World War, when silk was scarce. Solid nylon also gained in popularity, often replacing metals such as brass in some practical applications.
 

Nylon is now used in a wide and varied range of products. These include nylon nuts, bolts, washers, screws, tools, packaging and even parts for cars. The list is endless and includes clothing / textiles.

Physical Properties: Nylon is an excellent insulator, preventing electricity flowing through it. For this reason it is often found inside electrical products, as parts that help to provide insulation. It has really good mechanical properties, as it is strong, durable and tough, with very little ‘give’. It produces very little friction and can be used as a material for plain bearings, as it does not need lubrication. Consequently, nylon is used in the manufacture of screws and insulation spacers for motors. It is resistant to corrosion.

Machinability: Nylon can be machined into precision parts, using standard engineering equipment, such as centre lathes and milling machines. It can be cast, injection moulded and extruded, which allows it to be manufactured into a vast range of precision products.

 
 
 
EXAMPLES OF NYLON PRODUCTS
 
 
 
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