Polyamide, also known as nylon, is a synthetic thermoplastic material made from a chemical reaction between monomers of diamines and diacids. Polyamide is a strong, lightweight, and durable material and is used in a wide variety of applications, including 3D printing technology, clothing, textiles, automotive parts, and electrical components.
Properties of Polyamide
Besides being durable and lightweight, nylon or polyamide is also resistant to abrasion, chemicals, and moisture. It has a high tensile strength, which implies it will not break easily and can withstand a lot of force. It is also a good conductor of electricity, and therefore a good choice for electrical components. Because of their strong properties, they have wide use cases.
Applications of Polyamide
Nylon or polyamide is used in a wide variety of applications, including:
3D Printing: Polyamide in 3D printing application has various forms of use-cases like in mechanical engineering, aerospace industry, and automotive industry. Polyamide’s properties include high strength and wear properties, and excellent friction, with a heat deflection temperature of about 220C @1.8 MPa.
Clothing: It is a popular clothing material like swimwear because of its durability, and lightweight feature. Also, because it doesn’t get wrinkled, it is easy to care for.
Textiles: Polyamide is used in a variety of textiles, including carpets, upholstery, and also for making ropes and nets.
Automotive parts: Nylon is used in a variety of automotive parts, including gears, bearings, hoses, and in car tires.
Electrical components: Nylon is used in a variety of electrical components, including connectors, switches, circuit boards, and housings.
It is necessary to know the different types of polyamides before selecting the ideal one based on your application.
Types of Polyamides
There are different types of polyamides having different kinds of properties which may not be applicable to all. Some of the most common types of polyamides are:
Polyamide 6 or nylon 6 is the most common type of nylon that has high tensile strength and temperature resistance. Plus, it is resistant to chemicals, moisture, and abrasion. It has high water absorption and insulating properties, while being wrinkle-proof. However, it is biodegradable in nature.
Additionally, polyamide 6 has a wide use case, being used as a vital component in many industries such as the automotive industry, aircraft industry, electronic and electrotechnical industry, clothing industry and medicine.
Polyamide 66 or nylon 66 has similar properties to Polyamide 6, but it is a bit stronger than nylon 6. It also has a higher modulus and doesn’t get worn easily, while having good heat resistance for the short-term.
It is mainly used in fibers for textiles and carpets and moulded parts, along with application use cases such as electro-insulating elements, pipes, conveyor belts, profiles and automotive applications such as tankers air intake manifolds etc.
PA66-GF30 is like a type of extension of Polyamide 66 that is reinforced with 30% glass fiber. It is stronger and more durable than regular polyamide.
The difference between PA66 and PA66-GF30 is that while PA66 has good heat resistance in terms of short-term applicability, PA66-GF30 can be used for application parts which are exposed to high static loads for longer durations, in environments with high temperatures.
It comes with excellent mechanical properties such as higher durability, rigidity, dimensional stability, and improved UV protection for outdoor weather resistance applications. It is also resistant to oils, greases, and fuels.
PA66-GF30 has a wide range of applicability in various industries, such as automotive parts, aircraft, mechanical engineering, electrical components, and structural components.
Polyamide 11 or nylon 11 is a type of plastic based on bio-based engineering. It has lower water absorption, as well as melting and glass transition temperatures levels. Due to its low water absorption, its dimensional stability increases on being exposed to a damp environment.
Besides, it is resistant to heat and chemicals, has flexibility, and burst strength, making it ideal for applications like tubing, electrical, and sports equipment.
Polyamide 12 or nylon 12 can be said to have properties of both polyamide 6 and polyamide 66, and has the lowest melting point among other types of polyamide. It has resistance to chemicals and stress or pressure, meaning it doesn't dissolve or break easily.
It is ideally used for films for food packing material, in addition to sterilised films and clinical bags for use in the pharmaceutical and medical industry.
Polyamide or nylon is a versatile and durable material that has a wide range of applications in various industries. It is strong, light in weight, and resistant to abrasion, chemicals, and moisture, therefore making it a good choice for applications requiring great strength and durability.