Nylon 6 Rod is definitely our most popular engineering plastic; it has been around for years and has been given many different trade names over the years by various companies. It has become a plastic that because of it's versatility is specified, it seems, for just about everything.
There are essentially two manufacturing processes for Nylon 6 Rod, extruded and cast. As the names suggests, extruded is manufactured by heating the polymer and forcing it through a circular die. Whereas cast Nylon 6 Rod is produced by melting the polymer and pouring into metal tubes that are capped at one end open at the top.
Different types of Nylon 6 rod
Both manufacturing processes have their advantages but the few more important ones for engineers are:
Extruded Nylon 6 Rod is slightly cheaper and available in diameters ranging from 6mm up to 300mm. Engineers report through that it seems softer and not as easy to machine as it seems more susceptible to melting during machining. Extruded Nylon 6 Rod though has the advantage in terms of it's size range and lack of any blow holes, but due to the extrusion process could possess more internal stress.
Cast Nylon 6 Rod is reportedly more easy to machine with less internal stress due to the manufacturing process, although rare it has the minute potential for blow holes. Cast Nylon 6 Rod seems to be more stable though with a lower internal stress.
Drilling Nylon 6 rod
Drilling of larger diameter cast Nylon 6 Rod presents some hazards, due to the potential of heat and vibration build-up, it most be drilled with caution. It must be drilled using very sharp drills and gradually working up using successively incremental drill sizes until the desired size is achieved. Coolant and a "pecking" action is also essential. Using large blunt drills with little attention to heat or vibration build-up has potential to cause the material to crack.
Water absorption of Nylon 6 rod
A feature of all Nylon 6 Rod is that it can absorb moisture which could mean that components could grow in size if in a damp environment. This is only a factor if the finished component are exposed to operate in extremely tight tolerances.
Different colours and grades of Nylon 6 rod
The majority of Nylon 6 Rod is manufactured in black or natural colours. The black not only looks better in industrial environments but often contains an additive called Molybdenumdisylphide. (MOS2) This is a graphite type self lubricant that helps black Nylon 6 Rod last longer in wear or abrasive conditions.
Uses for Nylon 6 rod
Nylon 6 Rod can often be found being used for pulleys, bearings, rollers and gears etc. This is because Nylon 6 Rod is exceptionally strong. It can withstand forces up to 1 tonne per square inch as well as being very impact resistant, hard wearing and low in friction.
If you are looking for an engineering plastic that is almost a jack of all trades then Nylon 6 Rod is probably the material for your project.