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Nylon 6 and Nylon 66

Polyamide 6 and Polyamide 66

Nylon or Polyamide is an engineering polymer offering excellent toughness and also abrasion resistance.

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Physical Properties

Stiff, strong and tough but have poor creep resistance

Low friction and good wear resistance

Good solvent resistance at room temperature but the hydrogen bonding encourages moisture uptake (up to 8%). The absorbed water acts as a plasticiser and improves impact strength

Show low permeability of oxygen Are translucent to opaque

Polyamides make very good fibres (tough and extensible).

Polyamides are prone to oxidation and yellowing in sunlight.

Chemical Properties

Resistant to oils, fuels, benzene, alkaline solutions, solvent, chlorinated hydrocarbons, esters and ketones.

Not resistant to ozone, hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid and hydrogen peroxide.

Typical Applications

Automotive parts include door handles, air intake manifolds and radiator grills.

Low Voltage Switch Gears including: fuses, contactors, miniature circuit breakers, switches and relays Gears and bearings

  • Tubing
  • Rollers
  • Fuel tanks
  • Textiles



Polyamides (nylons) are a family of linear chain polymers.

The lower code number members (polyamide 6 and polyamide 6.6) have a higher concentration of amide link groups than the high code number members (polyamide 11 and polyamide 12).

Polyamides with a higher concentration of amide links are more polar than the high code number polyamides, which tend towards the properties of polyethylene.

Higher concentrations of amide links encourage cross-linking through hydrogen bonding. The lower the code number the higher the degree of crystallinity. The simple chain structure has reasonable flexibility and the glass transition temperature (Tg) will be 50°C and lower for the high code numbers


Flammable with a blue flame and a yellow rim to it. It continues to burn after the ignition source has been removed. When burnt it will froth and produce stringing drips. It smells like burnt horn.

Useful Data

Density – 1.14 g/cm ³

Pre-Drying – 4 hours at 80°C in a dehumidifying hot air drier, unless taken directly from a hermetically sealed bag. .PA is hygroscopic and so will absorb moisture if left in unsealed bags or containers.

Melt temperature – PA 6: 240-250 °C / PA 66: 270-290 °C

Mould Temperature – PA 6: 60-100 °C / PA 66: 60-100 °C

Shrinkage – PA 6: 0.7-2.0 % , if glass filled then 0.3-0.8 % / PA66: 0.7-2.0 % , if glass filled then 0.4-0.7 %

Trade Names And Manufacturers

Akulon – DSM

Durethan – Lanxess

Polytron – Polytron Kunststofftechnik

Ultramid – BASF

Zytel – DuPont

Plustek – Polyram

Rilsan _ Arkema

Technyl – Solvay

Vydene – Ascend Performance Materials

Hardie Polymers can help source grades from all of the above manufacturers



Wallace Carothers of DuPont discovered polyamide 6.6 in 1931. In October 1938 commercial production of nylon 6,6 began. The first commercial application were for the bristles for the Miracle Tuft toothbrush. The following year, nylon stockings became available and were a sensation at the World’s Fair in New York City

Nylon 6 was developed in the 1940’s (largely as a consequence of the patent that existed on Nylon 6,6). With the start of World War II, nylon was then commandeered for war purposes for example, to make canopies for parachutes. Nylon for injection moulding did not begin until the 1950’s.

More about Polyamides

Articles by Dr Charlie Geddes

What are Engineering Thermoplastics?

Does the coding for Polyamides mean anything to designers and processors?

Understanding the causes of silvering in injection mouldings .

The Long and the Short of Fibre Reinforcement of Thermoplastics

Our longstanding partnerships allow us to specialise in sourcing and compounding most grades of engineering polymers. All brand names listed are trademarks of the manufacturers and we are not an authorised distributor for these manufacturers. We only supply prime grades in original packaging with the manufacturers documentation.

® – Trademarks owned or used by the producers.
™ – Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (status in the U.S. only, registration status in other geographies may be different)

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