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What is polyamide 12?

also called Nylon 12

PHYSICAL & MECHANICAL PROPERTIES

Polyamide 12, or also called Nylon 12, is an amorphous and transparent thermoplastic made from amino-lauric acid or laurolactam monomers that each have 12 carbons. It is manufactured and sold, among other, by the company EMS-Grivory under the name Grilamid TR. The main physical characteristics of PA-12 are as follows:

Having a transmission equivalent to the one of PMMA and COP (Zeonex), PA-12 is a good high temperature alternative to these latter. Optically, the other link with these more classical optical plastics is the refraction index, which is around 1.50, sensitively equivalent to the one of PMMA and COP.

CHEMICAL PROPERTIES

Low water absorption and density, 1.01 g/mL, result from its relatively long hydrocarbon chain length, which also confers it dimensional stability and an almost paraffin-like structure. PA 12 is also chemical resistant and insensitive to stress cracking. However, as a polyester, it must not be used with the following materials at ambient temperature:

ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES

In the electronics field, Polyamide 12 is used for covering cables and insulating material, while in the automobile industry it is used to prepare oil and gasoline resistant tubes.

THERMAL PROPERTIES

The main and big advantage of Polyamide 12 is its high resistance in temperature. Indeed, thanks to its high glass transition temperature (155-160 °C), relatively to PMMA and even Zeonex and OKP-4, it possesses a heat deflection temperature under 0.45 MPa that can go up to 145 °C, for the TR 55 grade. PA-12 is combustible and burns without producing an excessive amount of smoke (UL 94 HB).

PRINTING & MARKING PROPERTIES

PA-12 is suitable for both vacuum-applied metallization and silk-screening. It is for instance prepared as sheets and sintered powder for coating metals.

IMPLEMENTATION PROPERTIES

Injection

Due to its low and mainly isotropic shrinkage, PA-12 is an easy processing material.

Machining

As OKP-4 very well resist to high temperature, machining is feasible on this material (diamond turning for instance). Gluing: Adhesion to PA-12 is theoretically possible, in a way depending on the substrate. Ask Gaggione for more information if needed.

Welding

Ultrasonic welding, for example, can easily weld PA-12. However, as it is hygroscopic, injected parts require drying in an oven at 60°C overnight prior to welding.

GAGGIONE, optical solutions manufacturer

We are a plastic lens injection company based in France. With more than 70 years of experience, we cover a wide range of activities. We use the Polyamide 12 for custom projects.