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Nylon is basically a thermoplastic silky material. It was first used commercially in a nylon-bristled toothbrush followed by famously known women stockings after being introduced as a fabric. Nylon is processed by methods such as extrusion, injection moulding and casting.
2007 was considered to be a good year for the global nylon resins industry. This was because of the decline in the global economic recession in 2008 which saw the demand of the industry plummeting by about 5-10% bringing down profits to lower levels. However, the demand for the industry picked up at a good rate with the high demand for the products such as Nylon 6, nylon 66 and caprolactam. China, APAC and the US accounted for the highest shares of producing the types of nylon resins like Nylon 6, Nylon 66 and caprolactam respectively.
The demand for caprolactam in 2012 was worth $9 billion and is expected to reach $14 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 7% from 2014-2020. In terms of volume, the demand for caprolactam was around 3,580 kilo tons in 2012. Nylon 6 is one type of resin that can be reinforced with minerals or glass fibers to improve strength and resist warping from extreme temperatures. Nylon 612 and 12 may also infuse with glass or minerals to varying degrees depending on its application. In addition, some grades of nylon 12 that resist melt-processing methods are further reinforced with powdered or aqueous solutions of polytetrafluoroethylene.
The specific use of each type of nylon resin varies depending on the crystallization of polymer molecules, which determines its properties and the kind of end product it will go into. In the U.S., the majority of resin produced is nylon 66, which is most often used to produce extruded and molded parts. Some Western European countries, like Japan, lead in the world’s production of nylon 6, which is mainly used to make fibers and filaments.
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