Nylon (polymide), is synthesized by Gariel and Maass in the lab in 1889, and commerializd by Dupont in 1930s. Dupont name the fiber Nylon. Commercially available the most popular nylons include nylon PA 6, nylon PA 66, nylon PA 11 and nylon PA 12. The numerical nomenclature for nylon is derived from the number of carbon atoms in the diamine and dibasic acid monomers used to manufacture it. The ratio of carbon atoms is what gives each nylon type its unique property characteristics.  For further information, the RTP-company provides good overviews of PA6PA66


  • Flexibility
  • Impact resistance
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Chemical resistance
  • Long lasting toughness & durability
  • Low moisture pickup
  • Excellent dimensional stability

What are PA6, Nylon PA66?

Nylon PA6 is a tough, abrasion-resistant material. It has improved surface appearance and processability compared to nylon 66. It also can be molded about 80 degrees F (27 degrees C) lower with less mold shrinkage because it is slightly less crystalline. Adversely, nylon 6 has a lower modulus and absorbs moisture more rapidly than nylon 66. Moisture acts as a plasticizer, reducing tensile strength and stiffness and increasing elongation. But, while absorbed moisture reduces many properties, nylon owes part of its toughness to the plasticizing effect of moisture. As moisture content rises, significant increases occur in impact strength and general energy absorbing characteristics. Properly recognized and accounted for, the effect of moisture on the processing and properties of nylon need not be of great concern.
Nylon PA66 is one of the most versatile engineering thermoplastics. It is popular in every major market using thermoplastic materials. Because of its excellent balance of strength, ductility and heat resistance, nylon 66 is an outstanding candidate for metal replacement applications. Nylon 66 is very easy to process with a very wide process window. This allows it to be used for everything from complex, thin walled components to large thick walled housings.
Nylon PA66 is very easy to modify with fillers, fibers, internal lubricants, and impact modifiers. With the use of fiber reinforcements, the physical strength of nylon 66 can be improved five times that of the base resin. The stiffness of nylon 66 can be improved up to 10 times. With impact modifiers, the ductility of nylon 66 is comparable to polycarbonate. The use of internal lubricants improves on the already excellent wear resistance and friction properties on nylon 66. Its versatility allows it to be used in almost any application that requires high physical strength, ductility, heat resistance and chemical resistance.

What is the difference between PA6 and PA66?

For further, please check Plasticprop

PA66 compared to PA6

  • absorbs slightly less moisture
  • higher modulus
  • better wear resistance
  • better short term heat resistance

PA6 compared to PA66

  • better ductility (due to higher toughness)
  • better long term heat resistance
  • better impact resistance in low temperatures
  • better surface quality
  • better creep resistance
  • better UV-resistance (depends on modification)
  • lower cost

What are PA11, Nylon PA12 ?

sculpteo provides details

Nylon PA11 is a fine bioplastic polyamide powder; The material is among the rare bio-based engineering plastics made out of renewable raw materials derived from vegetable oil, mainly castor oil. It is produced by Arkema, under the trade name Rilsan, from castor beans.
Unlike PA11, Nylon PA12 is a synthetic whitish fine powder derived mainly from petroleum sources. It is optimized as much as PA11 for the use as a laser sintering material. Nylon PA12 has many manufacturers which include Arkema and Evonik, whereas PA11 is only manufactured by Arkema.
PA11 has properties quite similar to Nylon PA12. However, PA11 has a lower environmental impact, consumes less non-renewable resources to be produced, and has superior thermal resistance. Indeed, PA11 is stable to light, UV, and weather. It is also characterized by good elasticity, high elongation at break and high impact resistance, unlike some of the other materials offered by Sculpteo. Moreover, black polyamide has an excellent resistance to chemicals, especially hydrocarbons, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, fuels, detergents, oils, fats, mineral bases, and salts.
Nylon PA12, on the other hand, is exceptionally strong even when temperatures dip below freezing. It is characterized by high strength, stiffness, strong resistance to cracking under stress, and an excellent long-term constant behavior. Furthermore, with a lower concentration of amides (nitrogen-containing organic compounds) than any other commercially available polyamide, Nylon PA12 absorbs very little moisture, has an excellent resistance to chemicals including hydraulic fluids, oil, fuels, grease, salt water, and solvents, dampens noise and vibration, and is highly processable.

What is the difference between PA11 and PA12?

Refer to AZOM

PA11 compared to PA12

  • Low water absorption for a Nylon (c. 2.5% at saturation)
  • Reasonable UV resistance (compared to other Nylons, not just PA 12)
  • Higher strength
  • Better heat resistance
  • Lower environmental impact
  • Consumes less renewable resources during production

PA12 compared to PA66

  • More expensive
  • Low impact strength.
  • Lower operating temperature
About PA6,  Some people also think PA6 is normally made of recycled material, which makes it the cheapest among theses three types. Nylon 6 fibres are very hard and tough, possessing high tensile strength, as well as elasticity and luster, even at low temperatures. PA6 is generally white but can be dyed.
All nylons can be reinforced with glass fibers, glass beads, and carbon fibers to improve their mechanical and thermal performance. Filled materials containing PTFE and molybdenum disulphide are available for bearing materials with appropriately low friction and improved wear.
XHnotion pneumatic provide PA12 and PA12 nylon tubing, braided DOT nylon tubing.
Mechanical PropertiesUnitNylon PA11Nylon PA12Nylon PA6Nylon PA66
Density of laser-sintered partg/cm30.99 min. 0.90 / max. 0.950.931.13
Water Absorption %1.68-9
Tensile strengthN/mm248 45 ± 36065
Melting point°C201 min. 172 / max. 180220300
This table refer BASF