Nylon 6,6

By Heather Warner and Lauren Phillips

Nylon 6,6 is a synthetic fiber. Nylon is the broad name for the group of linear polyamides. Polyamides are polymers that contain multiple NH groupings (amide groups). They arrange in a line. The numbers given to Nylon 6,6 represent the number of carbons on each monomer. Both monomers contain six carbons each. Nylon is recyclable.

Structure and Creation
Nylon 6,6 is made from adipic acid and hexamethylene diamine, which are linked through dehydration synthesis. They link in a one to one ratio of acid to base. It forms what is called a nylon salt. The polymer is then formed through dehydration synthesis, which involves heating it under a vacuum to get rid of the water.
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PA66 repeat unit
PA66 repeat unit


In the second diagram, the first unit (nitrogen to nitrogen) is the hexamethylene diamine. The second unit (carbon to carbon) is the adipic acid.

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History of Nylon
In the 1930s, a group of researchers was working together with air, water, coal and petroleum and created many synthetic materials which they would be able to use with lots of different polymers. Nylon can be made into many different shapes, varieties and sizes which make it a synthetic material because people can create these different ways. Nylon was created to replace silk.

Characteristics of Nylon
Nylon has many characteristics that make it a strong and durable fiber. It is used in apparel because it is elastic and easy to wash. Because it is resistant to damage from oil and many other chemicals, it is used in ropes, nets, and otherr similar object. Some chemical properties of nylon is that it is water resistant. It melts when put under a flame or heat, rather than burning.. It does not change when oxygen is present, which allows it to be used in everyday situations.

Practical and Industrial Uses
Some uses for nylon include clothing like blouses, dresses, raincoats, swimwear and other apparel like this. Nylon can also be used in home accessories which include bedspreads, carpets, curtains and upholstery. Some more uses of nylon include parachutes, seat belts, ropes and nets, sleeping bags and tents. Nylon is also found in dental floss.

external image dlo-hipcase-nylon-1.jpgexternal image glide_floss.jpg

"Electronista". MNM Media, LLC. 15 May 2008.
"Glide Floss." Crest Oral-B. 16 May 2008.
http://www.dentalcare.com/soap/products/floss.htm<span style="color: #000000">>.
"Nylon". Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 15 May 2008.
“Nylon Fiber.” Fiber Source. 15 May 2008
"The Science of Nylon." Spinning the Elements: Wallace Carothers and the Nylon Legacy. Chemical Heritage Foundation. 15 May 2008.