Polyamides are long chain polymers containing amide units (N-H- C=O). These polymers are obtained by polymerization of an acid with an amide e.g. polyamide 6.6 (PA 66) is obtained by reaction of adipic acid with hexamethylenediamine.
Polyamide 6 or nylon 6 (PA 6) was first developed in 1952 while polyamide 66 or nylon 66 (PA 66) was first produced already in 1935 by DuPont.
Polyamides are amongst the most widely used polymer families within engineering polymers due to it’s excellent balance of performance and cost.
Polyamide typical chemical structure.
The 2 main types of polyamide are:
- Polyamide 6 (PA 6)
- Polyamide 6.6 (PA 66)
But by modification of chemical structures (length of chains and chemical organization), several others families of polyamide are obtained such as:
- Polyamide 11 (PA 11) and polyamide 12 (PA 12)
- Polyamide 4.6
- Polyamide 6.10, 6.12, 10.10
Polyamide 11 (PA 11) is the unique high-performance polyamide produced from renewable source – castor oil. It is used for a wide range of applications thanks to its outstanding properties that are similar to those of polyamide 12 (PA 12): excellent chemical and thermal resistance, high dimensional stability and low density.
Polyamides (PA 6, PA 6.6 and others) are commonly used in many applications due to their extreme durability and strength.
Main characteristics of polyamides are:
- Resistance to aging at high temperatures and over long time periods.
- High strength and high stiffness.
- Functional toughness even at low temperatures.
- High flow for easy mould filling.
- Inherent ignition resistance.
- Excellent di-electrical properties.
- Good abrasion resistance.
- Outstanding chemical resistance.
- High barrier/resistance to chemical gasoline, fat or aroma materials.
- High oxygen barrier.
- Water absorption.
- Excellent cost/performance balance.
Main applications of PA 6, PA 66 and other types of polyamides are:
- Air Fuel: Air Inlet Manifolds
- Power Train: Gears, Clutches, Chain Tensioners
- Covers: Engine Covers
- Blow Moulded Air Ducts
- Interior: Airbag canisters
- Exterior: Grills, Door Handles, Wheels covers, Mirror
- Electrical & Electronics
- Power Distribution: Low Voltage Switch Gears
- Connectors: Industrial CEE Connectors, Terminal Blocks
- Electrical Components: Switches
- General Industries
- Power Tools: Housings and Internal Parts
- Sports: Ski Fixations, In-Line Skates
- Railways: Railway Pads
- Castors Wheels
- Furniture: Various Applications
- Off Shore tubing
- Packaging films