Nylon 6 fiber is produced in two general types of products: the regular type for textile uses and the high-strength type for industrial uses. Most nylon 6 is produced in the form of filament yarns and staple fiber yarns.
Nylon 6 is synthesized by ring-opening polymerization of caprolactam in the presence of water vapor and an acid catalyst at the melt. After removal of water and acid, the nylon 6 is melt spun through spinnerets at 250° –260 °C into fibers of nylon 6. The degree of polymerization of nylon 6 molecules varies from 100 to 250 units. The polyamide molecular chains are parallel to one another in a pleated sheet structure with strong hydrogen bonding between amide linkages on adjacent molecular chains. The degree of crystallinity of the nylon will depend on the degree of orientation given to the fiber during drawing.
Nylon 6 is used for knitting, weaving, sportswear, and warp knitting. It is also used for the manufacture of carpets, tire cords, apparel, home textiles, upholstery, seat belts, parachutes, ropes and industrial cords.