How to Make Nylon

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The process of making nylon
The process of making nylon (Image: www.dkimages.com/.../Unassigned/General-077.html)

Nylon is one the first man-made chemicals, and dates back to World War II. The synthetic has extensive applications, with specific uses in clothing and other protective material. Making nylon is as a simple process you can undertake yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Large glass container (bowl, large glass, etc.)
  • Spool (paint roller, old spool of thread or kite spool)
  • Spoon
  • Tweezers
  • Hexanedioxyl dichloride
  • Diaminohexane

The chemicals we will use in this project are hexanedioxyl dichloride and diaminohexane. The two chemicals need to be in a 2:5 ratio. For every 5ml of hexanedioxyl dichloride, you will need 2ml of diaminohexane. The resulting solution will make about 1/2 to 1 meter of nylon.

Pour the hexanedioxyl dichloride into a large glass container.

Hold a spoon upside down (with the large beveled part up) over the glass container. Slowly pour the diaminohexane over the spoon into the hexanedioxyl dichloride. The spoon prevents the two chemicals from mixing fullt. Let this solution sit for a minute.

You will notice a small layer forming as the two chemicals meet. With your tweezers, pinch a small amount of the substance. Pull it away from the glass container, and it will come out in a thread. This is a thread of nylon.

Pull up the single thread to eye level. Place the tweezed end of the thread of nylon onto a spool. Slowly turn the spool and the nylon will pull out of the solution in a long, thin string. The thread will continue until the chemicals are used up.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can get both of these chemicals through most chemical suppliers.
  • Other chemicals you can use (which are merely variations of the first) are, respectively, hexamethylenediamine and sebacoyl chloride.
  • Because you are using corrosive chemicals, you should wear safety glasses and gloves.
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