Nylons Original Form
It is made from organic chemicals like coals or petroleum (carbon-based). Though, it is possible to make nylon from Zytel which is a type of nylon made by DuPont. It is made from caster oil so basically vegetables.
Nylon 6,6 is the most common nylon made because the two starting molecules it is made from both have 6 carbon atoms. Other nylons that are made have different starting molecules .
The Chemical Change
Nylon polymer is made by reacting together two molecules with heat (285 degrees Celsius or 545 degrees Fahrenheit), then with pressure in an autoclave. The two starting chemicals that make nylon 6,6 are hexane-1, 6-dicarboxylic acid (adipic acid) and 1,6 diaminohexane (hexamethylenediamine)
When the two chemicals meet, they fuse together and make an even larger molecule and give off water ( Chemical reaction is called Condensation polymerization)
Physical and Chemical Properties
Some physical properties are...
- Silky and smooth
- Resiliency - ability to go back into original shape
- Resistant to damage/ durable
- fast drying
Some chemical properties are...
- Flammable - burns slowly
- Electrical - static charges
Affecting the Environment
When nylon is in the process of being manufactured, it releases nitrous oxide and other powerful green house gases into the atmosphere as waste. Those green house gases are destructive to the ozone.
If a person is exposed to the fumes or dust of nylon, it can lead to irritation of mucous membranes (lines/surrounds many cavities in the body and internal organs) in the nose or throat. It can also lead to mechanical irritation (scratch, impale) to the eyes and skin.
Nylon has a very low decay rate. It takes 30-40 years for nylon clothing to decay which isn't a lot compared to glass bottles which takes 1,000,000 years. This makes build ups in landfills.
Landfill with nylon in it
Because nylon takes a long time to decay, some people have it incinerated. By doing this, different products are getting into the air. One of the products, hydrogen cyanide (prevents cells from using oxygen and kills them, also harms heart and nervous system), is highly poisonous.
What and Why
Nylons first uses were woman's stockings and toothbrushes.
Nylons other uses are...
- bulletproof vests
- ladies gloves
- swimming wear
Bullet proof vest includes nylon
- home furnishing
- fishing nets
- tire cords
- filtering cloths
- sewing threads
Nylon has impacted society in a lot a different ways. Two ways it has impacted society are...
Companies benefit from it because it is less expensive to produce clothing and is much better quality than other materials.
It is also in a lot of houses, whether in clothes or furniture or things like sewing threads.