Nylon Nylon 6,6 Nylon 6,6 unit
Density 1.15 g/cm3
Electrical conductivity (σ) 10−12 S/m
Thermal conductivity 0.25 W/(m·K)
Melting point 463–624 K
190–350 °C
374–663 °F

Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers composed of polyamides (repeating units linked by amide links).[a][1][2] Nylon is a thermoplastic silky material,[3] generally made from petroleum,[4] that can be melt-processed into fibers, films, or shapes.[5]:2 Nylon polymers can be mixed with a wide variety of additives to achieve many different property variations. Nylon polymers have found significant commercial applications in fabric and fibers (apparel, flooring and rubber reinforcement), in shapes (molded parts for cars, electrical equipment, etc.), and in films (mostly for food packaging).[6]

Nylon was the first commercially successful synthetic thermoplastic polymer.[7] DuPont began its research project in 1927.[8] The first example of nylon, (nylon 66), was synthesized using diamines on February 28, 1935 by Wallace Hume Carothers at DuPont's research facility at the DuPont Experimental Station.[9][10] In response to Carothers' work, Paul Schlack at IG Farben developed nylon 6, a different molecule based on caprolactam, on January 29, 1938.[11]:10[12]

Nylon was first used commercially in a nylon-bristled toothbrush in 1938,[4][13] followed more famously in women's stockings or "nylons" which were shown at the 1939 New York World's Fair and first sold commercially in 1940,[14] whereupon they became an instant commercial success with 64 million pairs sold during their first year on the market. During World War II, almost all nylon production was diverted to the military for use in parachutes and parachute cord. Wartime uses of nylon and other plastics greatly increased the market for the new materials.[15]
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  1. ^ Clark, Jim. "Polyamides". Chemguide. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Nylon". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-12-30.
  3. ^ Vogler, H. (2013). "Wettstreit um die Polyamidfasern". Chemie in Unserer Zeit. 47: 62–63. doi:10.1002/ciuz.201390006.
  4. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference AOGHS was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ Kohan, Melvin (1995). Nylon Plastics Handbook. Munich: Carl Hanser Verlag. ISBN 1569901899.
  6. ^ "Nylons (Polyamide)". British Plastics Federation. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Science of Plastics". Science History Institute. 2016-07-18. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference :1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ American Chemical Society National Historic Chemical Landmarks. "Foundations of Polymer Science: Wallace Hume Carothers and the Development of Nylon". ACS Chemistry for Life. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Wallace Hume Carothers". Science History Institute. June 2016. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  11. ^ McIntyre, J. E. (2005). Synthetic fibres : nylon, polyester, acrylic, polyolefin (1st ed.). Cambridge: Woodhead. p. 10. ISBN 9780849325922. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  12. ^ Travis, Anthony S. (1998). Determinants in the evolution of the European chemical industry : 1900-1939 : new technologies, political frameworks, markets and companies. Dordrecht: Kluwer Acad. Publ. p. 115. ISBN 9780792348900. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  13. ^ Nicholson, Joseph L.; Leighton, George R. (August 1942). "Plastics Come of Age". Harper's Magazine. pp. 300–307. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  14. ^ Wolfe, Audra J. (2008). "Nylon: A Revolution in Textiles". Chemical Heritage Magazine. 26 (3). Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  15. ^ "The History and Future of Plastics". Conflicts in Chemistry: The Case of Plastics. 2016-07-18. Retrieved 20 March 2018.