What is Nylon?Leave a Comment
Nylon is a versatile synthetic plastic fiber used in everything from stockings to toothbrush bristles to industrial wear components. Introduced as an alternative to silk in the 1930s, the plastic is a long, heavy chain of repeating polymer patterns—including diamine acid and dicarboxylic acid—known for its easy combination with other materials. Depending on which material a manufacturer chooses to mix it with, nylon can take on a broad range of properties and textures. This capability makes nylon well-suited for creating durable engineering plastics.
Properties & Benefits of Nylon
While the specific properties of any nylon depend heavily on the other materials involved, there are a few key properties and benefits that the inclusion of nylon imparts to the plastic material. Some of the most common properties include:
- Strength and toughness. Nylon boasts incredible strength and material toughness, which brings a host of benefits to applications in a variety of industries. For example, nylons are regularly used to reinforce rubber vehicle tires or to make rope.
- Dyeable. Nylon is easily dyed, making it ideal when an engineering plastic needs to match a particular brand or aesthetic.
- Abrasion resistance. High resistance to abrasion makes nylon a popular choice for producing moving mechanical parts, such as gears, machine screws, or sheaves.
Common Applications for Nylon Plastics
With such a diverse, comprehensive set of features and benefits, nylon is the perfect fit for many potential applications. In addition to consumer-facing applications such as clothing, nylon is also an essential material for many industrial use cases. Some of these include:
Moving Machine Parts
With a low coefficient of friction, nylon is an excellent addition to products that slide or rotate. The material can handle motion without dampening its force or requiring more energy to keep the process going. It’s high wear resistance also enables it to provide a long service life in these scenarios. Specific examples of this principle include:
- Wear Pads
Sealing, Structural, and Protective Components
Nylon is lightweight, yet durable and stiff. This combination provides a good solution for an expansive range of components, ranging from sealing solutions to building components. Examples include:
- Wear pads
- Seals and gaskets
- Bearings and bushings
Sensitive Machinery Parts
Nylon’s resistance to corrosive elements ensures favorable performance in sensitive applications where machinery must handle organic, perishable, or otherwise fragile components. Relevant industries include:
- Packaging machinery parts
- Food processing machinery parts
WS Hampshire: Your Customer Fabricator/Supplier of Nylon & Other Nonmetallic Materials
Nylon offers a broad range of material properties that make it suitable for use across numerous industries. Crafting the best possible nylon plastic solution for your particular application requires careful planning and material selection. If you’re looking to take advantage of the durability, resistances, and strength that make nylon an ideal fit for industrial and consumer-facing products, partner with WS Hampshire’s team of experts to get the job done right. We offer custom bearing, bushing, and wear solutions that will help improve the functionality and lifespan of your products.
To see how we can help, please contact us today.