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Synthetic (nylon) and natural (protein) polyamides are made by polymerizing amino acids and lactams. Nylon 6,6 was first made in the early 1930s by W. H.Carothers as a textile fiber called fiber #66; the name nylon was coined in 1938 by DuPont. Nylons are thermoplastic resins that are characterized by their high degree of toughness, strength and durability along with their resistance to chemicals and heat. They are manufactured as bristles, fibers, molding powders, sutures, adhesives, and coatings. The most important examples of polyamides are the various kinds of nylon. See also aramid.

Synonyms and Related Terms

PA; nylon; protein; aramid; poliamida (Esp.); polyamide (Fr.); poliammide (It.); poliamida (Port.)

Examples: Nylon® [Du Pont]; Technyl® [Rhodia]; Ultramid® [BASF]; Amilan® [Toray]; Durethan® [Lanxess];

Other Properties

Soluble in formic acid, dimethylformamide, m-cresol.

Insoluble in methanol, diethyl ether, hydrocarbons.

Burns with orange-yellow flame, blue smoke and smells like burnt horn.


Properties of Synthetic Fibers

General Characteristics of Polymers

Physical Properties for Selected Thermoplastic Resins

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971
  • Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology (older version called Man-made Fiber and Textile Dictionary, 1965), Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Charlotte NC, 1990
  • Rosalie Rosso King, Textile Identification, Conservation, and Preservation, Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, NJ, 1985
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002
  • Thomas C. Jester (ed.), Twentieth-Century Building Materials, McGraw-Hill Companies, Washington DC, 1995
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com Comment: Nylon. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved May 25, 2003, from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service.
  • Website address 1 Comment: www.nswpmith.com.au/historyofplastics.html

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