Nylon: The Ultimate Guide to Properties, Benefits and Applications

Nylon- The Ultimate Guide to Properties, Benefits and Applications

Nylon is a synthetic material that has become an integral part of our daily lives. It is a versatile plastic that can be molded into a wide variety of products, ranging from simple commodity items to complex engineering components.

The material’s popularity can be attributed to its ability to withstand wear and tear, making it ideal for various applications.

Nylon is widely used in the manufacturing of toothbrush fibers, a preferred choice for oral hygiene floorings that are durable, comfortable to walk on, and easy to clean.

The nylon dishes or containers for our meals are lightweight and resistant to damage, making them perfect for daily use.

Nylon’s exceptional bearing and wear qualities make it ideal for engineering applications. It is a highly durable and rigid engineering plastic that can withstand heavy loads and high temperatures.

Nylon’s properties make it suitable for manufacturing gears, bearings, and other machine components.

Are you getting interested; Let’s look deeper at what Nylon is before discussing its applications and advantages.

What is Nylon?

What is Nylon

Nylon is a generic term that describes a group of synthetic polymers that contain aliphatic and semi-aromatic polyamides. These polymers have a unique chemical structure that consists of amide linkages (-CO-NH-) which are directly attached to either aliphatic or cycloaliphatic units.

This arrangement of chemical bonds makes Nylon exceptionally strong, durable, and resistant to abrasion. They can be transformed by a melting process into films, fibers, or any other injection molded or extruded profile shapes.

It is a petrochemical-based synthetic thermoplastic linear polyamide. Crystalline and amorphous zones coexist in this semi-crystalline plastic like Nylon.

Nylon plastic is a well-recognized and extensively utilized manufactured material in modern times. This material’s popularity can be attributed to its ability to be adapted into numerous forms and its cost-effectiveness.

Nylon’s introduction in 1935 revolutionized the industry and quickly gained widespread use due to its unique properties.

Over time, the material has been further developed and refined, leading to its dominance in the global market.

Several industries utilize Nylon, including agriculture, construction, apparel, sports, and food processing. In reality, it was developed as a more durable and affordable substitute for silk fiber.

How is Nylon Made?

The condensation polymerization of a plastic solution is necessary to produce Nylon. It is typically made in processing plants that also make synthetic materials like polyester, acrylic, and polyamide.

Nylon was initially developed by chemists at the DuPont chemical company by fusing ingredients obtained from petroleum, coal, natural gas, agricultural byproducts and air.

How is Nylon Made

The production of Nylon 6,6 involves the combination of two key monomers, namely hexamethylenediamine (1,6-diamino hexane) and adipic acid (hexane-1,6-dicarboxylic acid). The resulting polymer is named (Nylon 6,6) after the two monomers that have 6 carbon atoms used to synthesize it.

The manufacturing process involves a series of chemical reactions, starting with the condensation of the diamine and dicarboxylic acid to form Nylon salt.

This salt is then melted and polymerized to produce Nylon 6,6. The procedure uses much quantity of water, energy, and chemicals and demands high temperatures (about 285°C or 545°F).

Spinning is a crucial technique that has revolutionized the textile and clothing industries. It involves the extrusion of molten Nylon through a spinneret, which is a device with tiny holes, to create fibers of a specific diameter.

These fibers are then stretched and solidified by cooling them with air or water to form continuous strands of Nylon.

Properties of Nylon

Let’s explore some of Nylon’s (PA) main characteristics. Nylon is a thermoplastic (re-meltable) synthetic polymer classified as a condensation copolymer, meaning it is created through a chemical reaction that eliminates a small molecule, usually water, during the polymerization process.

It can be made with several methods, usually beginning with the distillation of crude oil; however, biomass can also be used. At around 220oC, Nylon turned from a solid state to a liquid state that can be formed into any shape.

Distillation of crude oil

Nylon is durable, lightweight, strong plastic used in a wide range of applications. Moths, molds, insects, fungi, and several common chemicals are unable to harm it.

Nylon melts in phenol, acids, and a variety of other corrosive substances. Nylon fiber has exceptional resilience and tenacity and is somewhat stiff. Additionally, Nylon is a simple material to dye in vibrant colors.

It’s more durable than cotton or wool and dries much faster. Nylon is frequently utilized in swimwear and athletics because of this.

UV damage and sunshine are not resistant to nylon fiber. Nylon’s mechanical and physical qualities fade quickly when exposed to sunlight. In outdoor applications, Nylon processing frequently has a UV stabilizer.

Since Nylon is easily flammable, flame-retardant additives are occasionally added where they are necessary.

Nylon cloths restrict breathing and cause overheating in hot areas due to limited airflow. Fortunately, Nylon rapidly dries and wicks away moisture.

Plastic bearings

Nylon’s inherent low-friction characteristics make it a popular material for gears, bushings, and plastic bearings. It is a suitable option for parts that can experience heavy wear due to its great mechanical, chemical, and thermal performance.

The versatility of Nylon is a result of its ability to be modified in numerous manufacturing variants and its compatibility with a vast range of other materials and additives.

These variations allow Nylon to be tailored to meet the requirements of various industries, including automotive, aerospace, and healthcare.

Popular Applications of Nylon

Now let’s deep dive into the popular applications of Nylon.

Textiles: The production of clothes, stockings, and other materials frequently uses Nylon because of its strength, ease of cleaning and wrinkle resistance.

Automotive components: Nylon manufactures a range of automotive components, including bushings, bearings, and gears. Strength, resilience, and resistance to deterioration are qualities that make it valuable.

Circuit breaker parts

Electrical components: Cable ties, circuit breaker parts, and switch housings are just a few examples of the many electrical parts made from Nylon. It is valued for its heat and chemical resistance and insulation capabilities.

Packaging materials: Nylon is used to make packaging materials such as films, bags, and containers. Its longevity, adaptability, and resilience to tears and punctures are exceptional.


Overall, Nylon is a prominent material in a variety of sectors and applications due to its strength, toughness, and adaptability.

What Are Nylon Common Types

We have learned about Nylon and its popular applications. Let’s be more expert in Nylon selection by type for different applications and requirements.

Nylon 6,6

Nylon 6,6 is the original and most popular kind. Competitors like BASF had to develop alternatives once DuPont obtained a patent for it. One of the most frequently produced forms of Nylon is 6,6.

This variant comprises hexamethylene diamine, six carbon atoms, and adipic acid. High melting point, great colorfastness, and superior abrasion resistance are all characteristics of nylon 6,6.

Nylon 6

Nylon 6 is the second most widely used type of Nylon after Nylon 6,6. Nylon 6 fibers are known for their exceptional strength, suppleness, and gloss, making them highly durable. The fibers also resist abrasion, wrinkles, and chemicals, including acids and alkalis.

Nylon 6,12

Nylon 6,12 type absorbs moisture. It’s more frequently seen in cosmetics and is less resilient and sturdy than Nylon 6.

Nylon 1,6

Nylon 1,6 has a variety of industrial applications but it is not commonly used in fabrics. Due to its high amide residue density, the polymer has a strong affinity for moisture absorption.

Nylon 4,6

Nylon 4,6 withstand high temperatures, making it ideal for use in engine components such as gearboxes, brakes, and air conditioning systems.

It offers faster cycle times, stronger resistance against acidic salts, and a higher thermal distortion temperature than other nylon grades.

Yellowish thermoplastic nylon 4,6 is resistant to high heat. This form of Nylon has few commercial providers. Both cooling and braking systems employ it.

Nylon 5,10

Nylon 5,10 is mostly used in high-end industrial and scientific research applications. It has exceptional mechanical properties but the high cost limit its use in wider applications.

Nylon 12

The strength, resistance to heat, and water absorption of Nylon 12 are the lowest. It is frequently present in cosmetics, deodorants, and bath products.

Bulletproof vests also make use of Nylon. It is a strong, heat-resistant synthetic fabric.

Polyamide typeMonomer(s)
Polyamide 6,6Hexamethylene Diamine & Adipic Acid
Polyamide 6Caprolactum
Polyamide 12Laurolactam
Polyamide1,6Adiponitrile & Formaldehyde
Polyamide 6-12Hexamethylene Diamine & Sebacic Acid
Polyamide 4,61,4-Diaminobutane & Adipic Acid

Nylon Material Specifications

Nylon Material Specifications

Physical and Mechanical Properties

PropertyUnitsASTM testNylon 6/6Nylon 6
Specific Gravity D7921.14 1.15 – 1.17
Water Absorption  (Immersion 24 hours)%D5701.200.6 – 1.20
Tensile StrengthMPaD6388569 – 93
Elasticity ModulusMPaD63832402750 – 3790
Tensile Elongation%D63890 20 – 55
Flexural StrengthMPaD790120105 – 120
Flexural modulus of ElasticityMPaD79028252825 – 3450
Compressive StrengthMPaD69593 – 110
Hardnessscale as notedD785, D2240 Shore D 80Shore D 78-84
Izod Impactft-lbs/inD2561.20.7 – 0.9

Thermal Properties

PropertyUnitsASTM TestNylon 6/6Nylon 6
Heat deflection temperature (@ 1.82 MPa)°CD6489093 – 204
Max continuous service temperature in air°C99110

Nylon Chemical Resistance

ChemicalResistance Level
Dilute AcidPoor
Dilute AlkalisGood
Aromatic HydrocarbonsVery good
Oils and GreasesVery good
Aliphatic HydrocarbonsVery good
Halogenated HydrocarbonsVariable

What is the Core Function of Using Nylon?

Nylon is a versatile material that provides strength, durability, and lightness to products, making it an ideal choice for various applications in various industries.

What is the Core Function of Using Nylon

Additionally, Nylon’s excellent mechanical and thermal properties and ability to be easily molded into different shapes make it a popular choice for manufacturers.

It can be used to make tough market goods like luggage, suitcases, and carriers that can withstand abrasion.

What Are the Advantages of Using Nylon?

We’ve learned many important concepts about Nylon. Now let’s learn about its core advantages.

Tensile Strength: Nylon has a high tensile strength, which makes it perfect for uses like ropes, gears, and many other machinery parts.

What Are the Advantages of Using Nylon

Abrasion Resistance: It has good abrasion resistance, making it ideal for applications where wear and tear are problematic.

Adaptability: Nylon can be used in various products, such as fibers, films, and moldings. Additionally, it is simple to color, making it a good option for clothing and textiles.

Chemical Resistance: Acids and bases are only two of the numerous substances Nylon is resistant to. Industrial goods and laboratory equipment are two examples that need this feature.

Lightweight: Nylon is a popular choice for many applications because of its lightweight nature, making it ideal for use in items where weight reduction is essential, such as aviation and car parts.

Ease of processing: Nylon’s flexibility and ease of processing make it an excellent choice for manufacturing products with intricate designs and shapes.

What is the Nylon Origin?

Nylon was first developed in 1935 by the organic chemist Wallace Hume Carothers who worked at a DuPont research facility.

Carothers’ search for a synthetic material that could substitute silk led to the discovery. The DuPont company gave the research station Carothers’ name after his passing.

Why is Nylon So Widely Used?

Why is Nylon So Widely Used

Nylon can be used for many different things because it can be made in many different ways and its qualities can be changed by combining it with different materials.

Nylon has many types. Further, different additives can be incorporated to obtain customized properties.

What Are the Disadvantages of Using Nylon?

There are some limitations that Nylon has and should be noted being curious to be an expert in Materials.

Price: Nylon might be more expensive as raw material and during processing compared to other synthetic materials like HDPE, PP, ABS, polyester, etc.,

Hydrolysis: Moisture can cause Nylon to undergo hydrolysis, a chemical process that can weaken its structure and durability over time. This issue can restrict its use in wet conditions for a longer time.

UV sensitivity

UV sensitivity: Nylon is not suitable for outdoor environments since it deteriorates over time when exposed to sunlight.

Flammability: Nylon is combustible and may catch fire quickly.

Environmental effect: The energy-intensive nature of nylon manufacture can harm the environment and contribute to the buildup of plastic waste because of its non-degradable nature.

What is the Difference Between Nylon and Polypropylene?

Let’s explore the difference between polypropylene (PP) and Nylon side by side:

Polypropylene  Nylon
Polypropylene (PP) is synthesized from propylene gas in the presence of a catalyst.Nylon is a general name that refers to aliphatic or semi-aromatic synthetic polymers. Hexamethylenediamine and 1,6-diamino hexane are involved as monomers in the synthesis process.
It is produced by the addition polymer process. It is simple to produce with high purity.Nylon is produced through condensation polymerization and involves relatively sophisticated operations. 
Polypropylene is lightweight and highly resistant to acids, cracking, organic solvents, electrolytes, etc.Nylon is a bit denser. Nylon can be shiny, semi-shiny, or dull. They are capable of experiencing great elongation. Nylon is resistant to abrasion, numerous chemicals, organisms, and fungi.
PP is generally less expensive than Nylon but is not as strong or heat-resistant.Nylon is generally more expensive than PP but shows good structural rigidity against heat.
PP is commonly used in commodity, household and packaging applications.Nylon is frequently used in products like automobile parts, electrical components, and textiles that need to be resilient, durable, and resistant to heat and chemicals.
It has no interaction with moisture.It interacts with moisture and changes physical and mechanical properties to some extent.

Can Nylon Be Plastic Injection Molded?

Can Nylon Be Plastic Injection Molded

Nylon is a thermoplastic material that can be easily molded and shaped using injection molding. Nylon is a popular material for injection molding due to its strength, durability, and other desirable properties.

It can produce a wide range of products such as automotive parts, electronic housings, consumer goods, and medical devices.

Nylon is available in different grades and formulations, each with specific properties suitable for different applications.

How to Process Nylon in Injection Molding?

Here are the details for the injection molding procedure that will help you to process Nylon and meet the market needs:

Drying OperationWe must ensure that the nylon material is dry before plastic injection molding since it is prone to moisture absorption. Keeping Nylon in an injection molding drier for 20 to 30 minutes at 70 to 80oC is standard procedure.
Barrel Temperature ProfileSet the temperature profile for Nylon in the barrel section to be between 230 to 280oC (446 -536oF), and for reinforced nylon grades, between 250 to 300oC (482 to 572oF).
Mold TemperatureThe suggested mold temperature ranges from 80 to 90oC (176 to 194oF) for items that need a high level of crystallization, such as structural sections. Higher mold temperatures are advised for thin-wall items with lengthy flow lengths.
Injection PressureNormally between 75 to 125 MPa (dependent on the type of material and the design of the product)
Injection SpeedDepends on part geometry and short size. Usually higher (a little bit lower for reinforced Nylon).

Is Nylon Environmentally Friendly?

Nylon is a non-biodegradable material; its basic synthesis chemicals are derived from petroleum resources. Global nylon output isn’t decreasing despite the rise in environmental worries about textile manufacture and consumption.

The decomposition of nylon products takes hundreds of years. As Nylon degrades, it spews out hazardous chemicals and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Fabrics made of nylon discharge plastic microfibers into the environment that damage human health, contaminate whole food chains and destroy land and marine species.

Is Nylon Environmentally Friendly

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is also a byproduct of the manufacture of Nylon. According to a study, it is a powerful greenhouse gas that has contributed to the catalytic destruction of stratospheric ozone for roughly 150 years.

The rate of nitrous oxide increase in the environment is roughly 0.2% per year due to the high rates of adipic acid generation required to polymerize Nylon.

The process of making Nylon uses a lot of water. According to the World Bank report, the textile sector releases between 17 to 20 percent of the global wastewater.

Kemal: Plastic Injection Molding Services

Kemal- Plastic Injection Molding Services

At Kemal, we are committed to delivering high-quality customized plastic products, including Nylon and other commodity and engineering-grade plastics, to meet a wide range of applications.

Our team of qualified professionals operates advanced machinery and utilizes best practices to ensure that every product meets your unique requirements.

In addition to our expertise in plastic manufacturing, we also offer services such as Plastic Injection Molding, CNC Machining, and Mold Manufacturing. At Kemal, we offer a vast selection of plastic types, all of which can be customized to your specific needs.

For more information or to receive a quote, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us. Our dedicated team is available 24/7 to assist you.

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