Polyamides – The Versatile Plastic
There are a huge number of uses for plastic, but one of the most versatile in the manufacturing sector is the group known collectively as polyamides. A sub-set of engineering plastics, which also includes materials like thermosetting plastics, polycarbonates and ABS plastics, polyamides are commonly put to use in things like textiles, carpets and sportswear. This is due to their high levels of strength as well as their durability even in tough environments. Let's look at the sheer variety of ways that polyamides are used in modern manufacturing processes.
The Transportation Sector
Many car makers use polyamides to create the seals of their vehicles. This is because they are often able to withstand repeated opening and closing of doors and windows yet still retain a watertight structure after years of use. Some airbags are also constructed from certain polyamide grades. Standing in for metal, polyamides can also be used for air intake parts which can vastly reduce costs for large-scale manufacturers.
The Window Manufacturing Industry
Engineers often use polyamides as thermal inserts in their window product designs. Some polyamides are especially good at trapping air between the internal and external parts of a hollow frame profile. If a double glazed window is manufactured from a heat-conducting material such as aluminium, for instance, then a simple strip of polyamide is often inserted inside. Placed carefully in the middle of a frame, it can prevent heat loss from the inside of a building to the outside by thermal conduction.
All sorts of clothes can be made from polyamides. The man-made polyamides that are best for clothing and textiles are made up of very long chains of polymers. A well-known commercially available polyamide which is used in shirts, hosiery and underwear is nylon. These days, nylon polyamides offer all sorts of special properties, such as the ability to wick away perspiration while remaining waterproof, so it is often found in outdoor jackets and over-trousers.
All sorts of sporting essentials are made from polyamides. As well as sports clothes, things like skis and sports shoes are made from it, either totally or in part. It is particularly useful for lightweight sports goggles and eyewear as well as being a lightweight way to make a bicycle saddle. Many cycling and hockey helmets also make use of the material's well-known high-strength to low-weight ratio, helping to keep sportspeople protected but allowing them to perform well.
For more information about the uses of polyamids and other engineering plastics, work with a company like E-Plas.