What are high-performance nylons?
Natural nylons do not contain any additives. Part of the high-performance polymer family, these nylons have particularly good mechanical properties, including an exceptionally high resistance to compression and impact. They also have a low coefficient of friction.
The term "high-performance nylon" refers to specialized nylons with a resin that is charged with plastic additives, modulating their basic properties or adding new ones. Plastic additives allow manufacturers to design materials with properties that are adapted to specific applications.
Some examples of high-performance nylons
NYLON NYCAST® NYLOIL® is an easy-to-recognize, bright green polymer. It has all the basic properties of natural nylon but also contains a lubricating additive in the form of vegetable oil added directly to its resin, thus lowering its coefficient of friction. Natural nylon has a dynamic coefficient of friction of 0.26, compared to NYCAST® NYLOIL®, which is of 0.12.
This makes it ideal to reduce high levels of friction without adding grease or other types of lubricants. NYLOIL® facilitates sliding, as its resin already contains oil that gives it self-lubricating properties. It is ideal for high-speed applications that carry important loads.
NYCAST® NYLOIL® is also available in food grade. For more information on food grade plastics, click here.
Although its coefficient of friction of 0.22 is higher than that of NYCAST® NYLOIL, NYCAST® MOS2 is also designed to reduce friction. It contains a dry additive that allows it to lubricate itself through its own movement. The MOS2 was developed to offer superior resistance to wear and compression.
Perfectly adapted to high-heat applications, NYCAST® XHA can withstand temperatures of up to 250 °F (121 °C). In comparison, standard nylons cannot tolerate continuous temperatures above 230 °F (110 °C) without losing their properties. XHA is also more resistant to UV rays.
6MPY is a nylon grade with superior impact, shock and compression resistance. It is frequently used to limit noise levels and metal-to-metal impacts. In addition to these beneficial properties, 6MPY can also be used at low temperatures.
To learn more about the impact of noise in industrial environments, click here.
Designed for high-load, low-speed applications, NYLON NYCAST® RX/GX contains an additive in the form of a dry lubricant cast into its resin, which allows it to self-lubricate and thus prevent premature wear. Its dynamic friction coefficient is as low as that of NYCAST® NYLOIL® (i.e., 0.12).
Concrete applications of nylons for various industries
In this type of industry, production conditions can be demanding. The equipment is often exposed to important mechanical constraints, such as constant friction as well as frequent shocks and impacts. Self-lubricating nylons are therefore an ideal solution for these types of applications.
Nylons such as NYCAST® NYLOIL® are frequently used in the design of chain guides, wear strips, liners and mechanical parts. NYCAST® nylons are the most used in the industry.
Self-lubricating plastics offer several advantages to sawmills:
- They reduce wear: Thanks to their low coefficient of friction, self-lubricating nylons reduce friction, consequently limiting the premature wear of conveyor parts and components..
- They reduced the need for external lubrication:Parts and components are generally lubricated by adding grease or oil directly at the source. Unfortunately, these lubricants must be added periodically to lower damaging friction. Self-lubricating nylons require no external lubrication, thus reducing downtime.
- They reduce noise levels:Nylons limit metal-to-metal contacts that contribute to high decibel levels. They are an ideal solution for the design of mechanical parts and system components that reduce noise caused by shocks, impacts or friction.
In addition to mechanical part design, nylons can be used to manufacture liners.
To learn more about high-performance plastics for sawmills, see our article: High-Performance Polymers: 4 Advantages for Sawmills.
Many nylons are available in food grade and are therefore used to design mechanical parts for the food industry. Their low coefficient of friction reduces friction and wear without the need for additional lubricating agents, which can represent an increased risk of contamination.
NYCAST® 6PA FG is a standard nylon that can be used to replace stainless steel parts. It is FDA compliant and can therefore come into direct contact with food. It has a good resistance to vibration and abrasion and is easily machinable. NYCAST® NYLOIL FG is designed for applications that require less friction, as it contains vegetable oil, a lubricating additive that significantly reduces friction.
Although high-performance nylons are able to withstand significant mechanical stress, it is essential to evaluate all requirements to select the right one for the application. For example, their water absorption rate is between 3 and 6% at saturation, which is relatively high compared to other plastics. This factor should be taken into account when dealing with wet or humid environments. On the other hand, nylons also have the advantage of being more machinable than metals.