Nylon fibre was the first synthetic fibre invented in the United States Chemically, nylon is made up of polyamides and the two most commonly used types are Nylon 6 and Nylon 6,6. Nylon is one of the strongest Fibre.
For this reason, it’s used in garments that take a great deal of hard wear, like pantyhose and swimwear.
Manufacturing of Nylon Fibres
The term nylon refers to a family of polymers called linear polyamides. There are two common methods of making nylon for Fibre applications.
In one approach, molecules with an acid (COOH) group on each end are reacted with molecules containing amine (NH2) groups on each end.
The resulting nylon is named on the basis of the number of carbon atoms separating the two acid groups and the two amines.
Thus nylon 6.6 which is widely used for fibres is made from adipic acid and hexamethylene diamine. The two compounds form a salt, known as nylon salt, an exact 1:1 ratio of acid to base.
This salt is then dried and heated under vacuum to eliminate water and form the polymer
In another approach, a compound containing an amine at one end and an acid at the other are polymerized to form a chain with repeating units of (NH-[CH2 n-CO-)x.
If n-5, the nylon is referred to as nylon 6, another common form of this polymer. The commercial production of nylon 6 begins with caprolactam uses a ring-opening polymerization.
Nylon Fibre Properties
- Nylon filaments are smooth and shiny. Their diameter and length can be determined by the manufacturer, and very fine or coarse Fibres can be produced according to the end-uses.
- The addition of titanium dioxide during manufacturing can control the luster of the nylon which may vary from dull to very bright when untreated.
- Nylon is an extremely strong Fibre and its strength does not vary when wet.
- Nylon is highly elastic. It also has a very good recovery from creasing, wrinkling or crushing. Nylon fabrics do not crease.
- Nylon is a good conductor of heat.
- Nylon has low moisture regain about 4%.
- The smooth surface of nylon yarn makes it resistant to soiling and easy to clean. However, nylon becomes electrically charged when rubbing and attracts soil particles.
- Nylon can be dyed with a variety of dyes although some darker shades are not very resistant to washing
- Nylon is thermoplastic or heat-sensitive, the safe ironing temperatures for nylon 6,6 are considered to be between 150° C and 175°C, and nylon 6 should be ironed at 150°C or lower. Nylon can be heat-set. Nylon fabrics are relatively flame- resistant as they stop burning after the source of flame is removed.
- Nylon is weakened by mineral acids and hypochlorite bleaches should be used carefully
- It is resistant to bacteria, mildew, or moths.
- Nylon is attacked by sunlight and is weakened by prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Applications of Nylon Fibre
- Nylon is widely used in apparel, home furnishings, industrial applications, and geotextiles.
- It is the leading fibre in the manufacture of women’s hosiery and lingerie. Nylon is also blended with a variety of other Fibres
- Nylon is an easy-care fibre, easy to launder and can be drip-dried or tumble-dried; nylon fabrics do not require ironing
- Its thermoplastic properties make it possible to heat-set nylon fabric to create various surface designs such as embossed effects; puckered or crinkled nylon can be made by means of chemical finishing.
Care Required for Nylon Fibre
Most items made from nylon can be machined washed and tumbled dried at low temperatures.
- Use warm water and add a fabric softener to the final rinse cycle.
- To minimize static electricity use a dryer sheet when machine dyeing.
- If ironing is required, use a warm iron.