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Nylon: The Miracle Plastic

The creation of nylon in 1935 brought with it the advancement of many traditional products. From toothbrushes and stockings, to tires and rope, nylon has long been referred to as the “miracle fiber” because of its amazing multi-purpose fibrous form. However, there’s more to nylon than the synthetically manufactured fibers produced in a lab. This plastic can be morphed into a variety of other shapes, including general-purpose cast and extruded nylon.

With that being said, recognizing nylon solely for its fibrous versatility would be doing it a disservice. Instead, nylon should be referred to as the “miracle plastic” because of its capabilities in almost every industry. In this article, we will focus on why cast and extruded nylon should be considered for your projects and how analyzing the differences between the two could help improve your production.

Understanding Cast and Extruded Nylon

As one of the most widely used engineered thermoplastics in the world, nylon is an extremely versatile material and can be found in countless applications. Cast nylon and extruded nylon are very similar, and in some instances the materials can be used interchangeably. However, the differences between the two thermoplastics are quite distinct. Once you begin to understand these basic differences, you will then be able to decide which nylon product is best for you.

Let’s start by understanding the two materials. It is well known that nylon can be the perfect plastic for engineered machines and instruments, but what makes it so special? Well, its mechanical performance alone explains why it’s so highly regarded. Its toughness, strength, and low coefficient of friction are all great reasons why nylon should be used as opposed to alternative materials. Additionally, the cost of nylon is significantly lower than that of other mechanical parts, such as metal and rubber, which certainly helps those seeking budget-friendly parts.

Advantages of Cast Nylon

Although cast and extruded nylon are very similar, cast nylon does hold a few advantages over its extruded counterpart. One difference is found in price, as cast nylon is typically cheaper to produce. This is especially true when it comes to producing larger and more complex parts. Another difference is how cast nylon materials have inherently lower stress levels than extruded nylon materials. This allows cast nylon to have better dimensional stability, easier machining, and higher compressive and tensile strength.

Lastly, when a project requires parts that can withstand high amounts of heat, it's important to take temperature capabilities into consideration. Both cast and extruded nylon are capable of withstanding high levels of heat, but traditional cast nylon has a slightly higher operating temperature than extruded nylon.

To learn more about the advantages of using cast nylon in your projects, check out the General Capabilities Brochure from one of our suppliers, Cast Nylons Limited.

Availability and Industry Applications

At Piedmont Plastics, cast nylon is available in a variety of customizable options and colors, while extruded nylon is available in nylon 6/6 rod and sheet in a natural light tan color. Both nylons are used in similar industries, but their applications may differ. Some of their applications include:

  • Boom Trucks and Outrigger Pads
  • Bearings and Bushings
  • Seals and Gaskets
  • Star Wheels
  • Thrust Washers
  • Valve Seats

To learn more about how cast nylon or extruded nylon can be used to help aid your machines and products, visit our website and contact us today!