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Preparation of Nylon-6 from petroleum - Essay Example

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The invention of nylons dates back to 1929 when polycondensation, a basic principle employed in the production of nylon was first published (Brown, Foote, and Iverson 2011, p.6). Since…
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Preparation of Nylon-6 from petroleum
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Download file to see previous pages DuPont continued with his research and in 1941 pioneered the first moldable polyamide grade. However, in 1938 a German P. Schlack at IG Farbenindustrie produced another commercially important nylon 6 through caprolactam and its subsequent patenting being done in 1941 (Brown, Foote, and Iverson 2011, p.6). The market for nylon-6 has since then grown and is used for various purposes worldwide.
Nylon 6 is the most popular type of nylon in use and accounts for more than 50% of the global market (Brown, Foote, and Iverson 2011, p.9). The nylon falls under the thermoplastic family and has several properties that make it different from other types of polyamide. The properties of nylon 6 include the fact that it is tough, with high tensile strength. This implies that it does not break easily due to the bonding between each molecule resulting from the polymerization process. Secondly, nylon 6 does not wrinkle. It is also highly resistant to abrasive effects, such as alkalis and chemicals. This implies that it does not tear easily when such chemicals get into contact with the material. The product is also capable of absorbing water of up to 2.4%, which in most cases reduces its tensile strength (Brown, Foote, and Iverson 2011, p.9). In addition, nylon 6 is highly elastic and has the capacity of being used as a technical nutrient. Moreover, it is a semicrystalline polyamide.
Nexant (2009, p.1) notes that nylon 6 is used extensively particularly in the automotive, industrial, consumer, as well as in electrical and electronic industries. However, its use has grown particularly in the automotive industry. This is attributed to the fact that there has been a trend towards preference of plastic material to metals as weight and cost reduction strategies. In addition, the use of nylon in the automotive industry has been seen as a means of reducing vehicle emissions that pollute that environment.
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