Nylon Bushing Differences:
Ever wonder what the difference is between Nylon 6 and Nylon 66? What about Nylon MDS? In this article, we are going to explore the difference between the types of nylon commonly used in bushings, and how that affects their potential applications.
Here are some additional articles on nylon bushings from the Advanced EMC Technologies Blog::
- Four Fast Facts about Molded Nylon Bushings
- Polymer Bushings Taking a Beating: Two Important Concepts behind the Wear and Tear
- Noted Plastic Flange Bushing Maker Presents Line of Polymer Products
Nylon is considered one of the first engineering polymers, and Nylon 6 is the foundation that other nylons build upon. It has good strength, abrasion resistance, and chemical resistance. It can be used for bushings, but is not well suited to more intense applications involving high speeds or pressures, exposure to water, or extreme heat.
Nylon 66 (aka polyamide 66, nylon 6/6, nylon 6-6 or nylon 6,6) is a special type of nylon that is commonly used in engineering applications. Compared to nylon 6, it has better strength, abrasion resistance, and thermal stability. It has a higher melting point than nylon 6, making its continuous operating temperature somewhat higher.
Nylon 66 is considered an excellent choice for replacing metal bearings. Because of how it can be processed, nylon 66 can be used to make cast or injection molded parts with thinner walls than is possible with nylon 6. Thin walled bushings are desirable because they weigh less and can fit into a smaller space, and dissipate heat much more quickly than a thick-walled bushing.
For self-lubrication, solid lubricant additives can be added to nylon 6 or nylon 66. The solid lubricant is dispersed throughout the plastic, releasing tiny microscopic lubricating particles during movement. This reduces the coefficient of friction and eliminates the need for maintenance or additional lubrication. Self-lubricating nylon provides better wear resistance, higher strength, better dimensional stability, a lower coefficient of friction, and a longer service life. It is perfect for situations where the use of conventional lubricant could be dangerous or ill advised.
Nylon MDS is such a nylon. It is filled with very fine Molybdenum Disulfide particles (hence the MDS) to increase wear properties and provide lubrication. When added to nylon 66, not only does the coefficient of friction go down but the resulting composite has improved toughness and durability. The result is one of the most wear resistant thermoplastics on the market. Its low friction and lubrication greatly extend its capabilities, making its suggested PV is 5x that of a standard nylon. It is ideal for applications that involve intense wear. Basically, self-lubricated nylon works where other nylon bearings fail.
Nylon Bushing Applications
Nylon bushings can be found just about anywhere. Self-lubricated nylon bushings can be found in applications as diverse as wind turbines, deep space telescopes, and nuclear reprocessing plants. Nylon is actually one of the most popular material choices when replacing existing metal bushings and bearings. Remember that if you are looking for a thin-walled bushing, you should consider nylon 66 because of its manufacturing properties. If you need low friction or are trying to avoid lubrication, try a self-lubricating nylon 6 or nylon 66.
For even more information in your research process download the free 7 Step Process in Polymer Bearing Design Considerations from Advanced EMC Technologies.