Nylon

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Nylon

Nylon or PA2200 is a polyamide 12 compound. Nylon is white in color and comes with an inherent grainy surface finish. Since Nylon parts are fabricated in Selective Laser Sintering technology, there is no support structure generation, making it suitable for parts which are complex and which have intricate geometries and moving part assemblies. Due to excellent mechanical properties and good elongation at break, Nylon is often used in applications that require fully functional parts of highest quality.

Flexural ability of Nylon makes it a good candidate for snap-fit assemblies and live-hinges.

Functional Assembly

Nylon has a lower value of flexural modulus which means that Nylon is easily bendable. This flexural ability of Nylon makes it a good candidate for snap-fit assemblies and live-hinges.

Snap-fit assembly fabricated in a one go

Nylon is also approved for food contact in compliance with the EU Plastics Directive 2002/72/EC (exception: high alcoholic foodstuff)

Since the material is in powder form, Nylon parts are porous. Thus, if they are to be used in applications wherein liquid is to be contained within the part geometry, chances are that the outer walls of the part containing the liquid may get damp over a period of time. To avert this, Nylon parts can be coated with an epoxy-like coat to make them leak-proof. Such a coat gives Nylon a glossy finish.

An intake manifold coated with epoxy-like coat

We do not recommend painting on functional parts subjected to assembly, unless a suitable allowance is given in the design.

Nylon part dyed in Red color

Nylon parts can be post-processed. They can be vibratory polished to give it a smooth surface finish. They can also be painted and dyed. The porous nature of Nylon facilitates dyeing due to capillary action. During dyeing the color gets absorbed into the pores. Thus dyeing doesn’t add any extra thickness on top of the parts. But since painting is done on the surface, it usually adds a thickness of around 100–200µm. Thus, we do not recommend painting on functional parts subjected to assembly, unless a suitable allowance is given in the design.

Vibratory polishing of Nylon parts

Nylon is a bio-compatible material according to EN ISO 10993–1 and it is FDA approved according to USP Biological Test (classification VI/121˚C). Hence, Nylon is mostly used in medical devices which are bound to come in contact with skin. It is also approved for food contact in compliance with the EU Plastics Directive 2002/72/EC (exception: high alcoholic foodstuff)

Highlights:

Strong and flexible
Good mechanical and chemical properties
No support structures
FDA approved

Shortcomings:

Inherent grainy surface finish
Natural white color may dull after repeated use.

Applications:

Fully functional parts
Best suited for snap-fit Assemblies and Moving parts
Complex and intricate geometries
Automotive, medical, packaging industries

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