How can you reduce moisture absorption in nylon?

Material Properties of Nylon:


  • Use a different nylon polymer
  • Use a “filler” to decrease the nylon content and decrease polarity of polymer

"The family of nylons consists of several different types. Nylon 6/6, nylon 6, nylon 6/10, nylon 6/12, nylon 11, nylon 12, and nylon 6-6/6 copolymer are the most common. Of these, nylon 6/6 and nylon 6 dominate the market. The numbers refer to how many methyl units (-CH2-) occur on each side of the nitrogen atoms (amide groups). The difference in number of methyl units influences the property profiles of the various nylons. Moisture absorbance is decreased due to reduced polarity with further separation and less regular location of the very polar amide roups. Resistance to thermal deformation is lowered due to more flexibility and mobility in these methyl unit sections of the main chain. As these units increase in length, making the molecules appear more like polyethylene, the properties of the nylon shift slightly toward those of polyethylene. Not considering the effects of moisture, Nylon 6/12 has lower modulus, higher elongation, lower strength, lower thermal distortion temperature, lower hardness and lower melting point than nylon 6/6. One relationship which does not conform is price. Nylon 6/12 is more expensive than nylon 6/6. The property which gives nylon 6/12 its utility is moisture absorption which is approximately half of that of nylon 6/6. This means the properties are much more consistent and experience less fluctuation due to ambient humidity levels in the end application…

The absorption of moisture by nylon is a completely reversible physical reaction. Drying in an oven will drive off all but a small percentage of the water molecules which can only be removed through dissolution of the nylon molecular matrix. The rate of absorption/desorption varies with type of nylon as well as temperature and relative humidity. Addition of fillers reduces the effect of moisture both due to volume reduction of the amount of nylon polymer in the mixture, and by sharing the attraction of the molecules somewhat reducing polarity and the available space for moisture molecules. Reinforcements reduce the effects more than fillers due to nylons strong affinity for reinforcement. In addition to the mechanisms which take place with fillers, the adhesion of the nylon molecular matrix to dimensionally stable reinforcements is stronger than than polar bonding of the water molecules and it dominates…"