• 1) "Nylon, which is also called Polyamide, is a synthetic (made by humans) fiber. It is a polymer. It is used to make clothing and other textiles. Its first uses were for toothbrush bristles, and for womens' stockings." Source: So, it is basically made of petroleum: 2) "Nylon is a generic designation for a family of synthetic polymers, which are linear polyamides, first produced on February 28, 1935 by Wallace Carothers at DuPont. Generally speaking, nylon is composed of very long chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms bonded together, with oxygen and nitrogen atoms bonded periodically throughout the chain." Source: 3) "Nylons are condensation copolymers formed by reacting equal parts of a diamine and a dicarboxylic acid, so that peptide bonds form at both ends of each monomer in a process analogous to polypeptide biopolymers. The numerical suffix specifies the numbers of carbons donated by the monomers; the diamine first and the diacid second. The most common variant is nylon 6-6 which refers to the fact that the diamine (hexamethylene diamine) and the diacid (adipic acid) each donate 6 carbons to the polymer chain. As with other regular copolymers like polyesters and polyurethanes, the "repeating unit" consists of one of each monomer, so that they alternate in the chain. Since each monomer in this copolymer has the same reactive group on both ends, the direction of the amide bond reverses between each monomer, unlike natural polyamide proteins which have overall directionality: C terminal → N terminal. In the laboratory, nylon 6,6 can also be made using adipoyl chloride instead of adipic It is difficult to get the proportions exactly correct, and deviations can lead to chain termination at molecular weights less than a desirable 10,000 daltons (u). To overcome this problem, a crystalline, solid "nylon salt" can be formed at room temperature, using an exact 1:1 ratio of the acid and the base to neutralize each other. Heated to 285 °C, the salt reacts to form nylon polymer. Above 20,000 daltons, it is impossible to spin the chains into yarn, so to combat this, some acetic acid is added to react with a free amine end group during polymer elongation to limit the molecular weight. In practice, and especially for 6,6, the monomers are often combined in a water solution. The water used to make the solution is evaporated under controlled conditions, and the increasing concentration of "salt" is polymerized to the final molecular weight." Source and further information: 4) Further information:
  • To put it a bit more simply than iwnit's description - it's made from Coal, Water, and air, or more fundamentally from Nitrogen, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Carbon.
  • ..its made of stuff...duh
  • polyamides

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