Nylon is a strong stiff engineering plastic with outstanding bearing and wear properties. It is frequently used to replace metal bearings and bushings, often eliminating the need for external lubrication. The most common variant for engineering applications tends to be Nylon 6, as it can be extruded (melted and forced through a die) and is also a suitable plastic for both injection moulding and 3D printing. It also benefits from a high melting temperature, making it an excellent substitute for metals in high temperature environments.
Nylon’s downside is its relatively low-impact strength compared to the likes of ABS, Polystyrene & Polycarbonate. That being said, it is still one of the most commonly used materials in applications such as gears, bushings and plastic bearings due to its inherent low-friction properties. It isn’t the most slippery plastic available though, and if low friction is the only consideration then we would recommend Acetal. Its high performance in other mechanical, chemical and thermal properties make it a good choice for parts that could see a lot of wear.
Nylon can also be negatively impacted by UV exposure, primarily from direct sunlight. Due to this, a UV stabilizer is often added to the material before it is injection moulded.
The only grade of Nylon that is FDA approved is Cast Nylon 6 in the natural finish. This means that if you are looking for a material suitable for food contact then Cast 6 in natural is the most suitable grade of Nylon for any food processing application you have in mind.
Nylon is a robust polymer and lends itself well to recycling. Much Nylon resin is recycled directly in a closed loop at the injection moulding machine by grinding sprues and runners and mixing them with the virgin granules being consumed by the moulding machine. Nylon can be recycled, but only a few companies do this.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for speak with on of our team of experts.