Nylon is one of the few market space potential is still huge, China’s future market space growth rate is expected to be above double-digit materials. According to estimates, only nylon 66 to 2025 national demand is expected to reach 1.32 million tons, 2021-2025 annual compound growth rate of 25%; to 2030 national demand will be in 2.88 million tons, 2026-2030 annual compound growth rate of 17%. In addition, the market for special nylons, such as nylon 12, nylon 5X and aromatic nylons, is expected to double, or achieve a breakthrough from 0 to 1.
The earliest large-scale application of nylon was nylon silk stockings. 75,000 pairs of stockings were snapped up in one day when the first batch of mass-produced nylon stockings were launched on May 15, 1940. Selling for $1.50 a pair, the equivalent of $20 a pair today. Some believe that the advent of nylon hosiery led to a heavy hit on Japanese silk exports to the United States and was one of the triggers for Japan’s war against the United States in World War II. Since then nylon products have been popular with consumers for their classic durability and good value for money. Today, the standard of living is rising, but nylon still occupies a large space in the clothing industry. The luxury brand PRADA is particularly fond of nylon, the first nylon product was born in 1984, after more than 30 years of exploration, with its own strong brand effect, nylon series products have become its iconic fashion label, widely admired by the fashion industry. At present, PRADA’s nylon products cover the whole range of shoes, bags and clothing, and four design collections have been launched, which are widely loved by fashionistas and consumers. This fashion trend brings lucrative profits, which often leads to many high and middle-end brands to improve and imitate, which will bring a new wave of nylon in the apparel field. Traditional nylon as apparel, despite its hard-wearing aesthetics, has had its share of criticism. At one time nylon socks were also known as “stinky socks”, mainly because of the poor water absorption of nylon. The current solution is to blend nylon with other chemical fibres to improve absorbency and comfort. The new nylon PA56 is more absorbent and has a better wearing experience as a garment.
In today’s world of carbon reduction and emission reduction, more and more car manufacturers are making weight reduction a basic requirement of car design. At present, the average amount of plastic used in each car in developed countries is 140-160kg, and nylon is the most important automotive plastic, mainly used for power, chassis components and structural parts, accounting for about 20% of the whole car plastic. Take the engine for example, the temperature difference around the traditional car engine range to -40 to 140 ℃, the choice of long-term temperature resistance of nylon, but also can play a lightweight, cost reduction, noise and vibration reduction and other effects.
In 2017, the average amount of nylon used per vehicle in China was about 8kg, with the amount lagging far behind the global average of 28-32kg; it is expected that by 2025, the average amount of nylon material used per vehicle in China is expected to increase to about 15kg, and according to the Automotive Industry Association, it is expected that in 2025, China will produce 30 million vehicles, and the amount of nylon material used for vehicles will reach about 500,000 tons. Compared to traditional cars, the demand for plastics in electric cars is even greater. According to the Electric Vehicle Network study, for every 100kg of weight reduction in a car, the electric vehicle range can be increased by 6%-11%. The weight of the battery is also contradictory to the range, and is limited by the battery technology. Therefore, electric car and battery manufacturers are extremely strong demand for weight reduction. Take Tesla for example, the Tesla ModelS battery pack is made up of 7104 18650 lithium batteries, the weight of the battery pack is nearly 700 kg, accounting for nearly half of the weight of the whole car, of which the protective case of the battery pack weighs 125 kg. The Model 3, however, reduces the weight of the car by more than 67 kg by using plastic products for the electrical parts and structure. In addition, traditional car engines require plastics to be heat resistant, while electric cars are more concerned with flame resistance. With these factors in mind, nylon is undoubtedly an excellent plastic for electric vehicles. 2019 saw LANXESS develop a range of PA (Durethan) and PBT (Pocan) materials specifically for lithium-ion batteries, electric powertrains and charging setups.
Based on the fact that each new energy vehicle battery pack requires approximately 30 kg of engineering plastics, it is expected that 360,000 tonnes of plastics will be required for battery packs alone in 2025. Nylon, which is widely used in conventional vehicles, can continue to shine in new energy vehicles after being modified with flame retardants.
3D printing is a rapid prototyping technology, similar to the principle of ordinary printing, by reading cross-sectional information from a file and printing and gluing these sections together layer by layer with various materials to create a solid, which can be built in almost any shape. The futuristic 3D printing has maintained a high growth rate since its commercialisation. At the heart of 3D printing are materials. Nylon is ideal for 3D printing applications due to its abrasion resistance, toughness, high strength and durability. In 3D printing, nylon is well suited for prototypes and functional parts such as gears and tools. Nylon has a high degree of rigidity and flexibility. Parts are flexible when printed with thin walls and rigid when printed with thicker walls. Ideal for producing parts such as moving hinges with rigid parts and flexible joints. As nylon is hygroscopic, parts can be easily coloured in the dye bath.
In January 2019, Evonik developed a nylon material (TrogamidmyCX) containing special aliphatic and alicyclic monomers. It is amorphously transparent, UV-resistant, and has good processing properties with a transparency of over 90% and a density as low as 1.03 g/cm3, as well as abrasion resistance and durability. When it comes to transparent materials, PC, PS and PMMA originally come to mind, but now amorphous PA can do the same, and with better chemical resistance and toughness, it can be used for advanced lenses, ski visors, goggles, etc.
Post time: Feb-28-2023