Is Increased Nylon Production A Smart Investment For U.S. Manufacturing?

Why are high-grade nylon polymers such an important global material and why are more of them about to start coming from the U.S.A.?

If you use nylon polymers to produce goods like nylon washers, protective packaging, and industrial strength fabrics, there’s a good chance the nylon 6 materials needed to do so will be coming from the U.S. That’s because Honeywell Resins and Chemicals just announced they will be expanding their nylon polymer production capacity in Chesterfield, Virginia.

New And Dynamic Production Capabilities
According to news releases, the increased production development comes in response to rising global demand for high-grade nylon polymers. Honeywell’s new production line will be capable of producing nylon 6 and copolymer nylon 6/6.6 resins, with flexible production capabilities that can be adjusted according to buyer demands for either or both types of nylon polymers.

A Means Of Meeting Growing Demand
The new production line will be able to produce 40,000 metric tons per year, which will expand the facility’s production capacity to 200,000 metric tons per year. The increased production capability is set to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015. As Honeywell Resins and Chemicals rises to meet the new demand for nylon polymers worldwide, it’s interesting to consider what this global demand means.

Beneficial For The Global Community?
Since nylon polymers are used to create such a wide variety of products, that include industrial components like washers and automotive parts, as well as durable packaging such as airtight food and pharmaceutical casing, the increase in demand speaks to increased global productivity.

As we see an improvement in global economies in the developing world, there will be growing demand by manufacturers who need materials and consumers that have more to spend on the products. Increased nylon production by a reputable supplier is also beneficial for the global community, as cases of counterfeit nylon have amounted to costly problems for major manufacturers and goods producers.

Eco-Minded Questions
For the eco-minded among us, this increased production and demand for nylon raises questions about sustainability. Plastics and polymers don’t have the best reputation for environmental friendly products, but is that infamous connotation justified?

Can Sustainability Be Improved?
Some post-consumer nylon can be recycled into reusable resins and even created into new fabrics, but the process isn’t always economical or easy. Additionally, some waste is created in the production of nylon, just as it is with most polymers and synthetic materials. Companies are working to improve the sustainability of both the initial production and the recycling of nylon. Successfully doing so will be fundamental to improving the viability of nylon as an optimal industrial and consumer product in a more ecofriendly future.

As we’ve seen already, nylon has a lot going for it in terms of usefulness and long term value. Just a few of its features include:

  • Strength and durability
  • Flexibility
  • Resistance to friction and corrosion
  • Shape, texture, and finishing capabilities

Improving The U.S. Economy And Manufacturing Recovery
Provided the U.S. continues its nylon production capabilities, that could also mean good things for an improving economy, specifically the recovering manufacturing sector. As Honeywell Resins and Chemicals announces their increased capabilities and continued plans to grow, it looks like a prospective manufacturing development so far.

Do you regularly use or work with products like nylon washers, fabric, disposable and reusable packaging and other goods made from nylon polymer? Do you think Honeywell Resins and Chemicals’ expanded nylon production capabilities is a smart and necessary investment?

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