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Nylon resin, also known as polyamide resin, is a type of engineering thermoplastic synthesized from ethylenediamine for the purpose of producing a variety of products for industrial use, such as films, hot-melt adhesives, binders, insulation, fiberglass, and filaments. Generally, these resins are grouped together as a class of polamides, which are known for stability and adaptability when it comes to mechanical engineering applications. However, the specific use of each type of nylon resin varies depending on the crystallization of polymer molecules, which determines its properties and the kind of end product it will go into. In the U.S., the majority of resin produced is nylon 66, which is most often used in the production of extruded and molded parts. Some Western European countries, and most notably Japan, lead in the world’s production of nylon 6, which is primarily used to make fibers and filaments.
While the polymer crystallization of most nylon resins provide for exceptional durability, the strength of some can be chemically enhanced by promoting the formation of new crystal nuclei in a process known as nucleation. However, there is an inherent difference between nylon resin compounds that directs their application, and an increased trend toward the reuse of raw materials has created a global shift in product availability, performance, and cost effectiveness. For instance, nylon 6, which is somewhat resistant to modified crystallization, can be reprocessed several times more than many other types of nylon resins. This feature makes this particular resin more desirable in terms of reducing cost by virtue of an extended life span as well as the variety of end products it can be used to produce. In fact, the majority of nylon resin sold between producer and manufacturer are actually a mixture of virgin and reclaimed raw materials.
Nylon 66 and its sub-grades 525 through 528 are particularly valued for their application is making injection molded gears, bearings, and mountings since they provide excellent weather and friction-resistant properties. These resins also contribute to better performance and reduced noise output from such parts given the fact that they require little or no lubrication. Other types of resin, such as nylon 612 and its sub-grades B925LH and B930LH, are plasticized to withstand extreme heat and ultraviolet radiation.
Nylon 6 is one type of resin that can be reinforced with minerals or glass fibers to improve strength and resist warping from extreme temperatures. Nylon 612 and 12 may also infused with glass or minerals to varying degrees depending on its application. In addition, some grades of nylon 12 that resist melt-processing methods are further reinforced with powdered or aqueous solutions of polytetrafluoroethylene.