Nylon CNC Machining: A Basic Overview

CNC machining nylon
Jack Lie CNC machining expert

Specialize in CNC Milling, CNC Turning, 3D Printing, Urethane Casting, and Sheet Metal Fabrication Services.

Nylon has become one of the most highly sought-after engineering plastics because of its exceptional mechanical properties. In fact, it’s an alternative to traditional CNC machining materials like copper, iron, and steel in several industrial applications. Nylon is a more robust substance, capable of withstanding temperature extremes, and is typically more cost-effective than many alternative plastic varieties.

In this article, we’ll discuss additional details about nylon CNC machining, such as the properties of various nylon grades, the advantages of nylon, and more. Let’s move forward and explore more information.

Properties of Different Nylon Grades

Nylon is a thermoplastic that has the ability to resist changes in pH levels caused by different temperature conditions and also has strong solvent resistance. This makes it advantageous in petrochemical industries where parts made of fluoropolymer come into contact with or are exposed to sudden bursts of oil, gases, or detergents.

Note that nylon (PA) is recognized for its high level of crystallization, which leads to the creation of a more durable and resistant component. In addition, using nylon lessens the requirement for heavy lubrication and reduces sound, while also preventing issues such as corrosion, galling, and pilferage.

When it comes to nylon grades, Nylon 6 and Nylon 6/6 are two frequently used types due to their unique properties and applications. Although they can often be used interchangeably for certain purposes, it’s necessary to recognize the slight differences in their properties.

CNC machined nylon parts

Nylon 6 or PA 6

Nylon 6 is typically manufactured in two variations, one intended for textile purposes and another designed for industrial applications requiring high levels of strength. Nylon 6 features low mold shrinkage and low heat deflection temperatures, while retaining the ability to withstand high levels of stress and impact. It’s simple to color and possesses a striking lustrous appearance.

The most notable aspect of this polymer is its capacity for processing at lower temperatures with minimal defects. This type of nylon is frequently produced in the form of filament yarns and staple fibers, and is commonly utilized in the fabrication of ropes, tire cords, parachutes, and industrial cords. Notably, Nylon 6 presents distinct advantages over Nylon 66 in:

  • Better toughness
  • Better surface finish
  • Lower density
  • Lower processing temperature

Nylon 6/6 or PA 66

Nylon 6/6 is known by different names such as nylon 6-6, nylon 6/6, and nylon 6, 6 due to its composition of two monomers that have 6 carbon atoms each. Its unique structure makes it strong in varying temperatures and highly resistant to abrasion. Additionally, it has very low permeability to gasoline, mineral oils, and fluorocarbon refrigerants.

Similar to Nylon 6, this polymer finds extensive use in industries, ranging from thin-walled parts to thick-walled bearings, and serves as an excellent alternative to metal. Nylon 6/6 offers certain benefits over Nylon 6 including:

  • Higher stiffness
  • Higher strength
  • Better abrasion resistance
  • Lower moisture absorption
  • Higher temperature resistance

Nylon 12 or PA 12

Nylon 12 is also referred to as PA 12, which contains both laurolactam and ω-aminolauric acid monomers with 12 carbon atoms. This type of material possesses similar properties to nylon 6 and nylon 66, such as high tensile strength, hardness, and resistance to abrasion. Moreover, it is highly resistant to chemicals and stress cracking.

Glass-filled Nylon

Glass-filled nylon, a synthetic polyamide thermoplastic, is a crucial engineering material that is highly regarded for its strength and thermal endurance. It is produced by blending powdered glass with nylon resin or extruding plastic with glass fibers. The inclusion of glass significantly enhances the strength, rigidity, and hardness of the nylon, as well as providing it with superior dimensional stability, creep resistance, and wear resistance compared to the unfilled version. Furthermore, the use of glass-filling on nylon allows for higher maximum service temperatures.

These are the key advantages of glass-filled nylon over standard nylon grades:

  • Greater stiffness
  • Considerably harder
  • Excellent tensile strength
  • Higher creep resistance
  • Better stability at high temperatures
CNC machined nylon

Properties of Nylon

Nylon 6Nylon 6/630% Glass-Filled
Tensile Strength at Yield10,000 psi10,000 psi12,000 psi
Impact Strength0.6 ft-lbs/in1.1 ft-lbs/in1.0 ft-lbs/in
Heat Deflection200-370° F194-455° F482-490° F
Nylon pipes

Benefits of Nylon

Nylon is a collection of synthetic polymers known for its robustness, resilience, pliability, and ability to maintain their shape and size. As a result, they are applied in a wide range of industries, including packaging, transportation, medicine, and construction.

1. High strength

Nylon substances are known for their considerable tensile strength, which grants them robustness and long-lasting durability.

2. Toughness

One of the most valuable properties of nylon is its resilience, causing them to be flexible and capable of supporting substantial loads without being easily broken.

3. Elasticity

Nylon possesses extraordinary elastic recovery characteristics, which enable them to revert to their original form after being stretched or compressed.

4. Dimensional stability

Due to its high molecular weight, nylon has excellent dimensional stability, permitting them to sustain its shape and size over a prolonged period, even in harsh situations like high temperatures and pressure.

FAQS of Nylon CNC Machining

Yes. Nylon 6/6 is the most frequently employed out of all the plastics within the Nylon family. This material exhibits relatively strong resistance to heat and chemicals and is sufficiently rigid to maintain its form while also enduring heavy loads without undergoing permanent deformation.

Machining nylon parts can be accomplished by utilizing double-sided tools or employing one of the techniques listed below:

  • CNC milling: It involves using computer-controlled machinery to execute complex cutting maneuvers at high speeds across substantial components. CNC milling machines are typically equipped with multiple axes, giving them the capability to navigate in three dimensions while executing intricate cuts across numerous surfaces at the same time.
  • Manual milling: It is a method requiring the operator manually position the cutting implement in relation to the workpiece using handheld controls and moving the piece along a straight or circular path. This technique is often used to fashion simple shapes or flat surfaces that do not require intricate tool paths.

Nylon is a synthetic thermoplastic linear polyamide that lacks metal content. It is an exceptionally sturdy and rigid engineering material that serves as an alternative to metals with low strength.

Nylon 6/6 has a PSI rating of 11,200, making it the most prevalent type of nylon used in the plastic family. However, various other types of nylon, such as glass-filled nylon, possess even more strength, with a PSI of 13,500. Nylon is a highly valued substance that offers multiple benefits, including high rigidity, strength, toughness, hardness, and dimensional stability, making it ideal for use in assemblies requiring mechanical electrical insulation or damping. Typical uses for nylon cover everything from electrical housings to washers, medical devices, and aerospace components.

Surface finishes for CNC machined nylon parts usually come in one of two forms:

  • Anodizing entails depositing an oxide layer onto a metal component in order to provide a shield against abrasion, wear, and corrosion. Additionally, this process can be used to alter the color of the surface. Anodized finishes often appear matte, but they can be polished to a high shine as well.
  • Heat treatment is another technique used to enhance the strength and hardness of a material, such as nylon. Various heat treatments are available, including case hardening and flame hardening. Flame hardening requires that the nylon part be subjected to high temperatures using an open flame, such as an acetylene or oxyacetylene torch until it reaches a peak temperature range of approximately 300-500 degrees Celsius (572-932 degrees Fahrenheit). Case hardening entails exposing the nylon part to extreme temperatures in a closed furnace at about 1000 degrees Celsius (1832 degrees Fahrenheit) for around two hours, followed by quenching it in water or oil within 2 minutes of removing it from the heat.

Nylon CNC machining is frequently utilized in making parts for medical equipment and electronics insulation, specifically screws and spacers for circuit boards mounted on panels.

Glass-filled nylon has numerous excellent characteristics, including high dimensional stability, rigidity, toughness, durability, and hardness. As such, it works well in assemblages requiring mechanical damping or electrical insulation. It is frequently employed in electrical housings, washers, medical equipment, and aerospace components.

Custom CNC Machined Nylon Parts – Rely On Runsom Precision

Runsom Precision is a prominent manufacturer situated in China with rich experience in creating custom nylon parts for industrial utilization. Our technical expertise and manufacturing experience of more than a decade enables us to produce precision custom nylon parts that align with or surpass your requirements. Furthermore, we are an expert in offering CNC machining services like sample making and production planning. Request an instant quote today to get started on your nylon machining projects!

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