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Nylon 6—Current Developments

Nesty, G.A.
Textile research journal 1959 v.29 no.10 pp. 763-776
antioxidants, chemical structure, entropy, fabrics, heat treatment, melting point, nylon, synthetic fibers, textile fibers, thermal properties, washing, yarns
Epsilon polycaproamide (nylon 6), with more than twenty years' effort behind it in Europe, is now established as a commercial fiber in the U.S. Historically, its de velopment goes back at least sixty years, when it narrowly missed becoming the first truly man-made fiber. Although the molecular structure of nylon 6 is almost identical to that of nylon 6,6, its melting point is lower, probably due to special entropy con siderations. Thus nylon 6 permits easier and more economical thermal processing. Thermal properties of the two nylons, even when both are modified with antioxidants, are seen to be similar in many respects, but the 6 type has more resistance to thermal creep at high loads and is more stable with respect to end-group changes. A major domestic producer has developed technology solving the old problem of excessive monomer content without resorting to washing of yarn. Properties, applications, and current developments of various forms of nylon 6 fibers are described. A large potential is shown to exist for expanded use of this versatile fiber.