Engineering Notebook: Nylon
In this Insight Blog we are transcribing handwritten notes taken over the years working with plastics, the notebook did not site all references so we cannot give credit to where it is due. Machinists took the time to write down knowledge gained and learned, we feel it should be put to use and hopefully help someone reading this to learn from it. All materials have inherent limitations that must be considered when designing parts. To make limitations clear, each material profiled in these engineering notes is dedicated to identifying these attributes. We hope these insights about material strengths and weakness simplifies your selection process.
Engineering Notes: Nylons
A go to or first choice in all general wear and structural material with a balance of strength, toughness, mechanical and electrical properties. Many grade options like FDA compliant internally lubricated or heat stabilized. Broadest size range availability and can be casted to as finished or near net shapes (Nylon 6). Nylons can absorb up to 7% (by weight) water under high humidity or submerged in water. This can result in dimensional changes up to 2% and a corresponding reduction of physical properties. Proper design techniques can frequently compensate for this factor.
Nylon is easily machined with standard metalworking equipment and can fabricated into precision components, Nylon 6/6 grade is extruded into plate, rod, and tubing. Nylon 6 is casted in plate, rod, and tubular bar and or custom shapes. Standard Nylon 6 is typically used in bearing applications, switching to a Nylatron® NSM can increase bearing life up to 10 times longer (great replacement over bronze). Nylon offers better wear resistance, compressive strength and fatigue resistance than other materials in a variety of wear applications like Steel, Aluminum, and UHMW–PE. Wear pads made of Nylatron® NSM nylon are light weight, able to support heavy loads, are non-abrasive to mating surfaces, a great replacement over Bronze and cast iron covered with UHMW-PE strips. Gears made of Nylatron® NSM nylon run quieter and wear longer without the need for lubrication on processing equipment, great replacement over Bronze and steel components. MC® 901 can be custom cast to size saving fabrication time and money in many applications. This material also weighs only 1/7 of stainless-steel parts making parts easier to handle and install.
Notes on some types of Nylon to consider:
Nylon 6/6 Natural: This extruded nylon 6/6 is used only for parts of a smaller size. Compared to cast nylon products it is harder and is more resistant to wear, however, it does have less impact resistance. It also has a higher melting point than cast nylon 6. Nylon 6/6 Natural stock shapes are used for fabricated parts that are FDA compliant. Also known as SUSTAMID 6/6, Quadrant Nylon 101 PA66, MECHETEC Nylon 6/6, TECAMID 66, ZL250.
Common Applications for extruded Nylon 6/6 Natural:
Food Contact Parts
Nylon 6/6 Black: This extruded nylon 6/6 with black pigment added is also used only for parts of a smaller size. It has the same mechanical and electrical properties of Nylon 6/6 Natural, but it is not FDA compliant.
Common Applications for extruded Nylon 6/6 Black:
Nylatron GF30 PA66: For improved load capacity or for improved frictional characteristics in small parts, this extruded type is for applications requiring higher compressive strength and rigidity, 30% glass reinforced Nylon 6/6 is also available. It is stocked in diameters ranging from 10mm to 150mm (or .394” to 5.910” in meter lengths). Also known as SUSTAMID 6/6 GF30, MECHETEC 6/6 30GF, and TECAMID 66 GF30.
Common Applications for Nylatron 6/6 (30% Glass-reinforced):
Brake Fluid Reservoirs
Nylon 6/6 MO: This extruded nylon 6/6 with molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) added to enhance wear and bearing properties. It offers improved strength, rigidity and a lower coefficient of linear thermal expansion than unmodified nylon 6/6. As a result, parts machined from Nylon 6/6 MO hold their tolerances better and are less likely to seize when used as bearings. Also known as SUSTAMID 6/6 MO, Nylatron GS PA66, MECHETEC Nylon 6/6 MoS2, TECAMID 66 MO, ZL250 MO.
Common Applications for Nylon 6/6 MO:
Nylon Type 6 Natural: This cast type is a heavy duty, high impact and chemical resistant material appropriate for larger nylon parts. It has high wear resistance at low to middle speeds and performs especially well under difficult conditions such as contact with sand or dust. It is FDA compliant and is frequently used in food contact applications.
Common Applications for Nylon Type 6 Natural:
Food Contact Parts
Nylon Type 6 Black: This is standard cast nylon 6 with black pigment added. It is also a heavy duty, high impact and chemical resistant material appropriate for larger size parts. It has the same mechanical and electrical properties of Cast Nylon 6 Natural, but it is not FDA compliant.
Nylon Type 6 Blue Heat Stabilized: This Nylon Type 6 Blue is standard cast nylon with a heat stabilizer added to improve long-term thermal stability to 260°F. It has high wear resistance at low to middle speeds and performs especially well under difficult conditions such as contact with sand or dust. Also known as SUSTAMID 6G Blue, Nylatron MC901 PA6, NYCAST XHA Blue.
NYCAST 6PA: This delivers successful performance with and without lubrication- in a wide variety of applications, particularly as a bearing material. This is light weight, offers extremely good wear resistance, high tensile strength and high module of elasticity. This material is an off-white unmodified type 6 nylon which is FDA, USDA, and 3A - dairy compliant and can be used in the food industry. The ability to cast nylon vs. extrusion allows custom Near Net Shapes with ease for special applications. Capable of being produced in 12 different colors and custom colors are available as well. Also known as SUSTAMID 6G, MC907 PA6, TECAST T, ZL100.
Common Applications for NYCAST 6PA:
Food Processing Components
NYCAST 6PA FG: This cast nylon is available in a wide array of food grade compliant colors and formulas to meet the demands of our customers. These distinctive colors are ideal for use in food processing equipment and fixtures. All colors and formulas can be provided in standard stock shapes such as, rod, tube, plate and can also be custom cast to meet customer requirements. Also known as Nylatron SLG-FDA PA6.
NYCAST Nymetal: This is a proprietary process to bond metal cores to cast nylon billets to produce components that offer significant performance advantages not obtainable from either material alone. NYMETAL products can be made with various NYCAST grades and a variety of metal cores to offer superior choices for manufacturing gears, rollers, and sprockets for the toughest applications, particularly for use in the power transmission environment. Nylon bonded to metal cores creates excellent nylon-metal interface for high torque loading.
Common Applications for NYCAST Nymetal:
NYCAST 6PA XHA Blue: This offers a heat stabilized cast nylon 6. The heat stabilizer retards the loss of physical properties as temperature increases, this allows the material to function at approximately 10% higher temperatures than standard grades; meaning NYCAST XHA operating at 200°F (93°C) will have approximately the same physical properties as a standard material at 185°F (85°C). Main advantages of working at higher operating temperatures, retains physical properties under high temperatures, light weight, excellent abrasion and wear resistance, and easy to machine. Its fatigue, noise damping ability and corrosion resistance makes this ideal for metal replacement applications, such as bearings, gears, sheaves, and sprockets. At 1/8 the weight of bronze, this is easier to handle and maintain than metals such as iron, aluminum, and brass which it typically replaced in industrial wear applications. Cast nylon often replaces laminated Phenolic, elastomers, and wood. Readily available in rod, plate, tube, and non-standard shapes, such as rings, discs and blocks can be produced in small quantities. Custom parts can be cast-to-size or near-net-shape with relatively inexpensive tooling, and is also available in natural, black and forest green. Also known as SUSTAMID 6G Blue, Nylatron MC901 PA6.
Common Applications for NYCAST 6PA XHA Blue:
Support and Guide Wheels
Sleeves for Wheels and Rollers
Pulleys and Pulley Linings
High Temperature Gears
NYCAST 6PA MP: Designed to address the problems associated with impact loads, NYCAST 6MP formulations provide performance advantages in applications that require improved impact properties over standard grades. NYCAST 6MP cushion pads protect the hammer from metal-to-metal damage in pile drivers and provide many performance advantages in certain gear, die block, valve seat and other applications. This formulation also provides superior performance in extreme cold temperature applications, where standard grades are prone to impact failure. Great for high impact resistance, high tensile elongation, resistance to brittleness and deterioration. Can work under low temperature circumstances, noise dampening and available in Blue (MPB) and yellow (MPY) in rod, sheet, heavy wall tube, disc, and near net casting.
Common Applications for NYCAST 6PA MP:
NYCAST CP 6/12 PA: Highly resilient, with higher tensile elongation and impact strength than standard grades, NYCAST CP has proven itself in many applications requiring an extra degree of toughness. A copolymer of Caprolactam and Laurinlactam, NYCAST CP was originally developed specifically for use in ball valve seats in the oil and gas industry. This durable material provides an economical, high-performance bridge between NYCAST 6 and NYCAST 12 formulations. Available in Yellow, Natural, and Black. Also known as ZL1115.
NYCAST 12: This cast nylon is extremely low moisture absorption; the mechanical properties remain virtually unaffected in a wide range of environments. NYCAST 12 offers superior performance in applications where dimensional stability, chemical resistance, dielectrics, abrasion resistance and impact strength are important factors. In wet or dry environments, indoor or outdoor, the low deformation and superior fatigue resistance properties. Much more impact resistant than NYCAST CP or NYCAST 6PA, also known as ZL1120.
Common Applications for NYCAST 12:
High speed Wheel and Rollers
Power Transmission Components
Structural Enclosures in Sensitive Electronics Equipment
NYCAST NYLOIL: This nylon grade was the very first oil-filled cast nylon, introduced to North America 35 years ago. Often copied, never equaled, this is carefully dispersed with an oil-based lubricant during the manufacturing process. The result is a highly crystalline, internally lubricated, high-strength polymer with enhanced wear and reduced friction properties. NYLOIL is green in color. It is also available in Natural FG, Blue, Black, Orange, MDX Gray, MDX Blue, Yellow, and Red. Also known as SUSTAMID 6G OL, Nylatron LIG PA6, TECAST L.
NYCAST NYLOIL FG: This grade of self-lubricating Nylon bearing material is tailored to meet your specific direct contact with food applications. A cast nylon with built-in oil lubrication, NYLOIL provides superior machinability, performance, and durability compared to other plastic and traditional bearing materials. This is food-grade and for direct contact with food. The incorporation of an oil lubricant package into the nylon matrix provides significant advantages over other bearing materials: Lubrication results in 25% lower coefficient of friction than other grades of nylon. Performs in harsh environments where lubrication is difficult, impossible or not desirable (food contact) (Natural, Red) - Specified for direct contact with food - FDA and USDA 3A compliant. Also known as Nylatron SLG-FDA PA6.
NYCAST NYLOIL MDX: This nylon has slightly higher compressive load capabilities than original NYLOIL. The incorporation of an oil lubricant package into the nylon matrix provides significant advantages over other bearing materials: Lubrication results in 25% lower coefficient of friction than other grades of nylon. Works successfully in marine applications, reduced water absorption to promote higher dimensional stability. Works and machines as easily as brass, oil will not spin out; dry out, even under the harsh operating conditions. Gray NYLOIL-MDX is formulated with Molybdenum Disulfide filler, which promotes higher crystallinity in the cast polymer, in addition to the oil lubricant package. This yields a bearing material with more consistent intermolecular structure and generally a narrower distribution within the range of physical property values, while retaining the advanced friction properties of unfilled NYLOIL. Gray or NYLOIL MDX Blue, MoS2-filled (Gray or Blue) - Designed for slightly higher load capabilities.
NYCAST RX/GX/BX: NYCAST RX (Red), NYCAST GX (Gray), and NYCAST BX (Black) are solid lubricant filled cast nylons designed to provide low coefficient of friction and superior wear resistance, making them an excellent choice in high-load, low-speed applications. Nycast BX for wear pads, bearings, thrust washers, bushings, and gears. Available in plates up to 1/4" thick, rods from 1" to 12" diameters, discs from 12" OD to 60" OD at a minimum thickness of 2", and tubular bar from 2" OD to 40" OD. Also known as Nylatron NSM PA6, TECAGLIDE, ZL1100 T.
Common Applications for NYCAST RX or GX:
Pulp and Paper Processing
NYCAST SLX: SLX (Purple) joins the NYCAST family of premium bearing grades as an engineering and design solution for bearing and wear applications. NYCAST SLX closes the gap between static and dynamic coefficients of friction with superior performance where customers require the best material for overcoming “stick - slip” tendencies. Manufactured with a proprietary lubrication package, NYCAST SLX is available as plate up to 4” thick, rod up to 12” diameter, and tubular bar up to 40” diameter.
Nylon Type 6 MO: This cast type Nylon Type 6 MO has molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) added to improve its load carrying capabilities. It offers improved UV-resistance and good sliding characteristics. The impact and fatigue resistance inherent to unmodified cast nylon is unchanged. Also known as SUSTAMID 6G MO, Nylatron GSM PA6, NYCAST 6PA MoS2, TECAST T MO, ZL1100 MO.
Nylon 101: For small general-purpose wear and structural parts, this extruded type unmodified nylon is the strongest, most rigid and has one of the highest melting points. It is commonly specified for screw machined electrical insulators and food contact parts. It is stocked in both natural and black. Other colors are available on a custom basis. Nylon 101 natural is FDA, USDA, NSF, and 3A-Dairy compliant. Also known as SUSTAMID 6/6, MECHETEC 6/6, TECAMID 66, and ZL250.
Common Applications for Nylon 101:
Food Contact Parts (Natural Only)
MC® 901 Nylon: For large general-purpose wear and structural parts, this cast type heat stabilized nylon offers long-term thermal stability to 260°F. It is blue in color and used in a variety of bearing and structural applications such as wheels, gears, and custom parts. Also known as SUSTAMID 6G Blue and NYCAST XHA Blue.
Common Applications for MC® 901 Nylon:
MC® 907 Nylon: For large general-purpose wear and structural parts, this cast type unmodified type 6 nylon offering the highest strength and hardness of the nylon 6 grades. MC 907 natural is FDA, USDA and 3A-Dairy compliant. It is off-white in color and primarily used for food contact parts. Also known as SUSTAMID 6G, NYCAST 6PA, TECAST T, and ZL1100.
Common Applications for MC® 907 Nylon:
Food Contact Parts
Nylatron® GS Nylon: For improved load bearing capability in small parts, this extruded type Molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) filled nylon offering improved strength and rigidity. With a lower coefficient of linear thermal expansion than Nylon 101, Nylatron® GS parts maintain better fit and clearances, and have less tendency to seize as bearings. Also known as STUSTAMID 6/6 MO, MECHETEC 6/6 MoS2, TECAMID 66 MO, and ZL250 MO.
Common Applications for Nylatron® GS Nylon:
Nylatron® GSM Nylon: For improved load bearing capability in large parts, this cast type contains finely divided particles of molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) to enhance its load bearing capabilities while maintaining the impact resistance inherent to nylon. It is the most commonly used grade for gears, sheaves, sprockets and custom parts. It is grey black in color. Also known as SUSTAMID 6G MO, NYCAST 6PA MoS2, TECAST T MO, and ZL1000 MO.
Common Applications for Nylatron® GSM Nylon:
Nylatron® LIG PA6: This internally lubricated cast nylon 6 is self-lubricating, especially developed for unlubricated, highly loaded and slow-moving part applications. It offers a reduced coefficient of friction (up to 50% lower), considerably increasing the pressure-velocity capabilities, and vastly improved wear resistance (up to 10 times better). Also known as SUSTAMID 6G OL, NYCAST NYOIL, Ertalon LFX, and TECAST L.
Nylatron® NSM Nylon: For best wear resistance and coefficient of friction in large parts, this cast type proprietary type 6 nylon formulations produced using a Monocast® process. Solid lubricant additives impart self-lubricating, high pressure/velocity and superior wear resistance characteristics. Nylatron NSM was developed specifically for demanding applications where larger size parts are required. In wear applications, Nylatron NSM lasts up to 10 times longer than standard Type 6 nylon. Also known as NYCAST RX/GX/BX, TECAGLIDE, and ZL1100 T.
Common Applications for Nylatron® NSM Nylon:
Nylatron® GSM Blue Nylon: For improved load capacity or for improved frictional characteristics in large parts, this cast type is the first cast nylon to combine both molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) and oil for the load capability of Nylatron GSM nylon, plus improved frictional characteristics. It excels in higher pressures, and at low speeds–up to 40 fpm. It offers 20% lower coefficient of friction, 50% greater limiting PV, and a lower “k” factor than Nylatron GSM, and the lowest “slip-stick” of any nylon product. Nylatron GSM Blue should be considered for any oil-filled nylon application. It is dark blue in color and available in sheet/plate, rod, tube, and near net shapes. Also known as SUSTAMID 6G MO, NYCAST 6PA MoS2, TECAST T MO, ZL1100 MO.
Common Applications for Nylatron® GSM Blue Nylon:
Nylatron LFG: Nylatron LFG (lubricated food grade) is self-lubricating in the real meaning of the word and has an FDA food contact compliant composition. The Nylatron LFG has been specifically developed for non-lubricated, highly loaded and slowly moving parts in food contact applications. Compared to standard cast nylons, it offers lower maintenance costs and longer service life.
Nylatron MD: This polyamide 6 grade, containing a metal detectable additive, has been specifically tailored for use in the food processing and packaging industries where it can be easily traced by the conventional metal detection systems installed to detect contamination of the foodstuffs. Nylatron MD presents good mechanical strength, stiffness, impact strength and wear resistance, and it also features a food contact compliant composition.
Nylatron 703XL: This high-performance cast nylon 6 bearing grade provides an even better wear resistance than Nylatron NSM, combined with superior pressure-velocity capabilities and an industry first: a near net zero level of "stick-slip". The elimination of stick-slip, mostly associated with chatter and/or squeaking, provides and extraordinary amount of motion control for high-precision applications.
Nylatron WP PA6: Developed specifically for wear pads, Nylatron WP outperforms its competition across a wide range of applications and in multiple industries. Nylatron WP offers an economical solution to provide superior performance, weight and noise reduction, corrosion resistance, and easy machining. This self-lubricating Nylon reduces maintenance and the associated downtime and cost.
Common Applications for Nylatron® WP PA6:
Oilamid®: This cast type Nylon Type 6 with oil added. A standard black grade and a natural FDA compliant grade are available. Oilamid has high wear-resistance, extraordinary sliding properties, and self-lubrication. The coefficient of friction is 50% less than that of standard cast nylon, making it ideal for highly loaded, slow moving, dry running sliding elements. It offers up to 10 times more wear resistance than unfilled grades and can work under higher loads and speeds. Also known as SUSTAMID 6G OL, Nylatron LIG PA6, NYCAST NYLOIL, TECAST L.
Common Applications for Oilamid® Nylon:
Sliding and Guide Panels
Lubramid® 600 T: This cast type is an internally lubricated cast nylon 6 formulation machined into parts. It provides a continuously lubricated surface ideal for applications where maintenance greasing is difficult or impossible. It is manufactured with proprietary solid lubricant additives that improve the nylon’s wear resistance and provide a coefficient of friction of only 0.15. In addition, improved sliding and self-lubrication properties make it well suited for parts requiring the slipperiness of UHMW but with higher load requirements. Switching to Lubramid 600 T will make machined parts last longer and eliminate the need for lubrication. You can use Lubramid 600 T parts in any application where ordinary cast nylon is used today.
Common Applications for Lubramid® 600 T:
Lubramid® 600 T-FG: This cast type is FDA compliant premium wear cast nylon 6 formulation. In the past, OEM equipment builders or maintenance engineers would have to sacrifice part life for FDA compliance. Now engineers can offer the best of both worlds. Switching to Lubramid® 600 T - FG will make FDA compliant machined parts last longer, reduce slipstick and eliminate the need for lubrication. It is manufactured with proprietary solid lubricant additives that improve the nylon’s wear resistance and provide a low coefficient of friction. It also offers improved sliding properties and can be used in any application where ordinary cast nylon is in use today.
Common Applications for Lubramid® 600 T-FG:
Food Contact Parts
Calaumid® Cast Nylon: This is a 6/12 co-polyamide manufactured by static casting from the raw materials Caprolactam and Laurinlactam. Compared to standard cast nylon, shock and impact resistance are higher in Calaumid® cast nylon, moisture absorption is lower, creep resistance is better, and elasticity is improved. It is especially suitable for use in areas where increased shock loads and vibration are expected or where higher fatigue resistance and elasticity are required.
TECAMID 66 HI: Good slide and wear properties, high strength, high toughness, and high stiffness heat stabilized for permanently improved thermal stability. Resistant to many oils, greases and fuels, good wear properties, good Weldable and bondable. Available in Natural opaque or Brown opaque, rods, plates and tubes.
Common Applications for TECAMID 66 HI:
Heavy Duty Industry
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