Nylon 6,6 (also known as polyamide 66, or PA66) is the resulting combination of two starting materials that, under pressure and heat, join to form a chain called a polymer that INVISTA's customers use to manufacture goods.
At INVISTA, we make nylon 6,6, from these two starting materials: adipic acid (AA) and hexamethylene diamine (HMD), which INVISTA specializes in making.
In order to make HMD, we first need to make a critical ingredient called adiponitrile (ADN). Our proprietary ADN process creates better product yields utilizing less energy than today's competing technologies.
Next, we have a process for creating HMD by utilizing catalysts to hydrogenate ADN into HMD - the first six-carbon molecule in nylon 6,6.
We then take our HMD and mix it with adipic acid, or the next six-carbon molecule in nylon 6,6. This creates a salt solution in water.
The salt is then subjected to high heat and pressure, and we vent the water, which allows the molten polyamide chains to lengthen and strengthen.
Finally, we extrude these molten polyamides into a cool water trough, where they solidify and are then sent to a cutter to be processed into nylon 6,6 pellets.
These nylon 6,6 pellets are then re-melted and spun into fiber or molded into durable plastic parts that can handle high temperatures and chemical exposure.
In addition to the HMD and adipic acid we sell our global customers, we also sell our nylon 6,6 pellets directly to downstream manufacturers.
In molded thermoplastic applications, nylon 6,6 makes its way into many of the products you rely on every day - like car parts, electrical connectors and appliances.