Why Use Nylon Over Metal?
Nylon is a highly versatile material used in the manufacture of a wide range of industrial parts and products, including gears, spacers, washers and provides various benefits and applications. It is available in several variations (e.g., Nylon 6 and its derivatives, Nylon 6/6 and Nylon MDS), each of which demonstrates unique characteristics that make it suitable for different use cases. Similar to all washers, nylon washers facilitate even pressure distribution, protect against surface damage, and prevent fastener loosening over time. However, compared to metal washers, they offer a number of advantages, such as greater durability and longevity, better shock and noise absorption properties, and lower production costs.
The following blog post discusses why it is better to use nylon over metal for industrial components such as washers. It provides an overview of the types of nylon available, the benefits of using nylon over metal, and typical applications of nylon materials and nylon washers.
Types of Nylon
Nylon is a synthetic thermoplastic characterized by its exceptional strength, elasticity, temperature resistance, and chemical compatibility. These qualities, combined with its low-friction properties, make it ideal for use in the construction of washers. While each nylon variation exhibits these characteristics, the degree to which they do varies depending on the exact formulation.
- Nylon 6 is the non-toxic base formulation on which other variations (e.g., Nylon 6/6 and Nylon MDS) are based. It demonstrates high tensile and impact strength, elasticity, abrasion resistance, and machinability. Additionally, it can be combined with carbon or glass fibers to enhances its performance characteristics. As a washer, it is often used in food processing equipment.
- Nylon 6/6 is a variation of Nylon 6 that offers better tensile strength, material stiffness, dimensional stability, and temperature resistance. Similar to Nylon 6, adding fillers and fibers to the formulation can improve its functional qualities. As a washer, it is generally used in household appliances.
- Nylon MDS is a variation of Nylon 6/6 containing small particles of molybdenum disulfide (MDS). The presence of these particles enhances the material’s loading bearing properties without sacrificing impact resistance. As a washer, it is typically employed in machinery.
Benefits of Nylon Over Metallic Counterparts
As indicated above, nylon washers have many advantages over metal washers. For example:
- Nylon washers are lighter and cheaper to manufacture than metal washers, resulting in cost savings for the manufacturer and, consequently, the end consumer.
- Nylon washers are less susceptible to corrosion and surface wear than metal washers, meaning they will last longer than their metal counterparts.
- Nylon washers are better at absorbing noise and shock than metal washers, which leads to smoother and quieter machine operations.
Applications of Nylon and Nylon Washers
Due to its numerous advantageous qualities, nylon is used to produce non-metallic components—such as bearings, bushings, gears, spacers, and washers—for a wide range of industries, including aerospace, construction, defense, manufacturing, medical and life sciences, and power generation and distribution. For example:
- Its ability to withstand high voltages makes it suitable for washers used in electrical and electronic devices, equipment, and systems.
- Its non-sparking and anti-magnetic qualities make it ideal for washers integrated into consumer and electronic appliances.
- Its ability to increase its energy absorption capabilities and impact strength by absorbing more moisture makes it beneficial for washers installed in faucets, shower heads, and other plumbing elements.
High-Quality Nylon Washers From New Process Fibre
Nylon washers are quickly becoming an acceptable alternative to metal washers. In addition to their lighter weight, greater durability, and better insulating properties, they serve as a much more cost-effective option for washer applications.
For all your nylon washer needs, turn to the experts at New Process Fibre. Equipped with extensive non-metallic fabrication experience and state-of-the-art fabrication equipment, we can produce nylon washers to suit any customer application. For more information about our nylon washer offerings, contact us today.