What Is Nylon Material? in eHow Style

The price of nylon stockings rose dramatically on the black market during World War II.

October 30, 2011 -

by Paul Cartmell

According to the Chemical Heritage Foundation website nylon is a synthetic material created following research by the DuPont Company into the creation of a synthetic rubber material. The first nylon material was named Fiber 66 after its chemical make up, and later versions of nylon use names such as nylon 6 and nylon 4,6.

The history of nylon dates back to 1930 when DuPont researcher Wallace Hume Carothers began attempts to create a rubber substitute from polymers of various materials. Initial research by Carothers' team created the synthetic rubber material neoprene and polyester fibers, according to the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Following political and economic problems between the U.S. and its main silk supplier Japan Carothers resumed the research that had led to the discovery of polyesters in an attempt to create a silk substitute. The Lemelson-MIT Program reports nylon was developed in an attempt to create a fabric for the textiles industry that would not melt at a temperature below 383 F. In the first year of research nylon 66 was discovered by Carothers' team, a material that had similar but superior characteristics to wool, silk and cotton.

According to the Chemical Heritage Foundation nylon fabric is produced by combining glycols, dibasic acids and strong acids in a molecular still. The resulting string like substance is a polymer rather than the polyesters that Carothers' team first discovered. The Chemistry Explained website reports that when nylon stockings were first marketed by the DuPont Company nylon was claimed to have been made from coal, air and water...

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