How is Nylon Made?

Nylon is considered to be the first synthetic fiber that was devised in the 1920s. It has become an effective substitute when silk became extremely rare. Nylon was then used to make clothes, military uniform, parachutes and other important items. It was not popular with the public until in the year 1940 when the nylon stockings have become available in the commercial market. Since then, many people discovered a thousand of ways to use nylon and it has become as essential part of life even today.

Nylon is made through complex chemical reaction that was known as the ring opening polymerization. In this case, the molecule with ring shape like those found in petroleum is sent to different types of acids and bases. The resulting chemical reactions lead to the flattening and lengthening of the ring shape structure of the molecule.

The molecules are meant to connect with one another as a way of forming the molecular chains by heating them well above 6000 degrees Fahrenheit. In doing this, the end result is a liquid with high surface tension. Once it cools down, it will solidify into useless mass. So while it is still in the form of liquid, it is squeezed out through a hole with diameter that is a little bit greater than the human hair. Once it cools down, it forms a single length of a continuous thread that is very strong despite its being thin. Then the thread is twined around the spindles to be used in weaving textile in the same way as wool thread or cotton.

Normally, nylon is the result of the derivatives of petroleum and like plastics, it is lasts long and are very strong. The only problem with the process is hydrolysis which is a chemical reaction wherein the oxygen and hydrogen molecules in the molecular chain of nylon can be broken away from its chain to release water. This is the main reason why nylon decays. Though it does not take place over time, instead a reaction to contact with various caustic materials like hydrochloric or sulfuric acid. This implies that while the nylon is durable, it is totally not suitable to any task that would draw it closer in contact with any acid that is typically strong.

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