What is Nylon?
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Nylons have been around since the early 1940's and were the first commercially successful synthetic thermoplastic polymers. Nylon falls under the category of polyamides which include both natural substances (silk) and synthetic materials (thermoplastics). Due to their characteristics, nylon is widely used in such fields as Aerospace, Automotive, Medical and many others. In 3D printing, nylon has become the most widely used material. As for the numbers that follow the abbreviation PA (which stands for Polyamide), it simply indicates the number of carbon atoms in the material. Nylon powder coating is widely used to protect a variety of metal substrates such as steel and aluminum. It is applied either electrostatically or in a fluid bed. It protects a wide variety of applications from corrosion to impact and abrasion.
What are PA11, Nylon PA12 made from?
Nylon PA11 is a fine bioplastic polyamide powder. The material is among the rare bio-based engineering plastics made out of renewable raw materials derived from vegetable oil, mainly castor oil. It is produced by Arkema, under the trade name Rilsan, from castor beans.
Unlike PA11, Nylon PA12 is a synthetic whitish fine powder derived mainly from petroleum sources. Nylon PA12 has many manufacturers which include Arkema and Evonik, whereas PA11 is only manufactured by Arkema.
What are the properties of PA11?
PA11 has properties quite similar to Nylon PA12. However, PA11 has a lower environmental impact, consumes less non-renewable resources to be produced, and has superior thermal resistance. Indeed, PA11 is stable to light, UV, and weather. It is also characterized by good elasticity, high elongation at break and high impact resistance. Moreover, it has an excellent resistance to chemicals, especially hydrocarbons, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, fuels, detergents, oils, fats, mineral bases, and salts.
What about Nylon PA12?
Nylon PA12, on the other hand, is exceptionally strong even when temperatures dip below freezing. It is characterized by high strength, stiffness, strong resistance to cracking under stress, and an excellent long-term constant behavior. Furthermore, with a lower concentration of amides (nitrogen-containing organic compounds) than any other commercially available polyamide, Nylon PA12 absorbs very little moisture, has an excellent resistance to chemicals including hydraulic fluids, oil, fuels, grease, salt water, and solvents, dampens noise and vibration, and is highly processable.
What are their typical applications?
Nylon is the material of choice for the most demanding applications due largely to its unique combination of thermal, physical, chemical and mechanical properties. The result is an outstanding cost to performance ratio. Another unique quality of Nylon is that it meets autoclave requirements, making it ideal for the medical industry.
As mentioned earlier, it can be applied via electrostatic and fluid bed methods. Latem uses both methods.
When we apply our Nylon coating electrostatically we spray the part with a dry powder that is fluidized with air and then is post cured. Electrostatic Spray is generally applied at a thickness ranging from 1.5 – 15 mils (thousandths of an inch).
The Fluid Bed Nylon coating is applied through a dip process where the part is preheated and dipped into a dry powder that is fluidized with air and then post cured. Fluid Bed vinyl is generally applied at a thickness ranging from 5 to 40 mils (thousandths of an inch). Typical coating application temperatures are usually in the range of 180°C to 250 °C (360 to 480 °F).
Nylon based powders are recommended for both interior and exterior applications.
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