Famous for everything from women’s pantihose to toothbrush brissles, nylon is a synthetic plastic polymer that has woven its way into the fabric of our lives (no seriously, check your clothing tag). Nylon was invented in 1935 by Wallace Carothers of the Dupont Company, and finally used in commercial products by 1938. Today, nylon production has done anything but slowed down. Its strength and versatility make is a beautifully complex plastic.
Nylon has an incredible ability to absorb shock, and remain strong under pressure, while also providing a common need for elasticity. Because of these properties, it is often looked to when replacing metal bearings and bushing. The benefits of replacing metal in this instance go beyond the direct benefits previously described, but additionally, using nylon instead of metal is lighter, less noisy, decreases wear and tear, and doesn’t need to be lubricated.
Nylon is temperature resilient, long-lasting, and chemical compatible. These properties make it a frequent choice for reinforcement in rubber material, and for a number of injected molded parts for machines or vehicles. Nylon can be mixed with other plastics and even glass fibers to improve its strength and to appropriate the rigidity or flexibility a product needs.
How We Use Nylon?
Nylon is a great plastic for many injection molding projects. Nylon can be made into virtually any color. It is easily melted down at a temperature of 220 degrees Celsius, and with a typical injection molding temperature of around 93 degrees Celsius. Sometimes, in injection molding, glass fibers are added to the nylon plastic to increase its strength. Finding the balance between the flexibility of the nylon and the brittle structure the glass fibers add is a perfect challenge that provides us with exactly the strength we need for each product.
Is Nylon a Good Choice for Your Product?
If the description of Nylon and its properties above sounds like what you need for your product, it is likely nylon can be of use to you in some way. There are a few drawbacks when we discuss nylon, however, that might need to be considered. Nylon is water absorbing. Although this often doesn’t cause issues, depending on the nature of your project, it could present its challenges. Additionally, because it is sensitive to UV exposure, if your product will be experiencing direct sunlight, injection molders add a UV stabilizer to the material. Although withstanding high temperatures, nylon is not well equipped when coming in contact with an open flame. Since it is naturally flammable, flame retardants can also be added to the material to increase its durability toward open flame. The best way to find out whether nylon is the right plastic for your project is by contacting an plastic engineering expert.