Nylon, also known as Polyamide, is used in applications where hardiness, reduction in friction, and wear by a lubricant are important, such as in gears. It is tough, abrasion-resistant, and highly versatile, making it one of the most widely-used engineering thermoplastics. Of the many types of Nylon, Nylon 6/6 and Nylon 6 are the most commonly used. While they compete with each other in many applications, Nylon 6/6 is often superior.
Nylon can be reinforced with glass fibers, glass beads, or carbon fibers in order to improve mechanical and thermal performance. The effect of moisture on Nylon varies. The plasticizing effect of moisture helps to give Nylon its toughness. As moisture content rises, there is a significant increase in impact strength and general absorbing characteristics. However, moisture also acts as a plasticizer, which reduces tensile strength and stiffness, thus reducing the resistance to breaking under tension and increasing elongation.
+ Key Strengths:
Nylon 6/6 has excellent abrasion resistance and dimensional stability. It also exhibits lower shrinkage than certain thermoplastics from exposure to dry heat or steam. It has a high melting point and higher tensile strength than many thermoplastics. And it has good dye wash and UV light fastness.
- Key Drawbacks:
Nylon 6/6 exhibits low absorbency and less stability in certain environments. Additionally, it tends to be fairly heat sensitive and to have poor resistance to sunlight.