If for example you were looking to make a wear block, jig or fixture, the first material you would look at is Nylon 6 Sheet. It's readily available in a huge range of sizes off the shelf even up to 100mm thick but can be made much thicker if needed. If you did choose Nylon 6 Sheet or block, you would find that it will machine pretty easily with the right tooling. This doesn't mean some dull cutter left in the machine from a previous metal job, but a nice sharp, well shaped smoothing type tool with coolant will help your Nylon 6 Sheet machine very nicely.
Remember that if you need to skim your Nylon 6 Sheet down in thickness, always take an equal skim off both faces or there is a good chance you could end up with your Nylon 6 Sheet not being flat due to stresses being unevenly released.
Drilling, tapping and boring of Nylon 6 Sheet is all fairly straight forward with those sharp tools we mentioned earlier, but remember to keep the heat down, Nylon 6 Sheet as with most engineering plastics can overheat during the machining process and result in a poor surface finish.
Nylon 6 Sheet can definitely be described as strong. Nylon items in our domestic environment prove to us that Nylon is a surprisingly strong material. It has the ability to flex a little and return back to it's original shape, it is also great for impact or shock resistance in comparison to metallic counterparts, Nylon 6 Sheet will absorb shock or vibration very well, reducing the transfer and usually surviving because of its ability to give when needed.
If your components need to have a high resistance to wear and friction, Nylon 6 Sheet provided it better than most. Nylon 6 Sheet will last for years in harsh conditions with very little maintenance providing a reliable and much more economical solution to materials such as Bronze or Brass.
What has also been commented in the past is that Nylon 6 Sheet will often be less noisy in operation; Nylon gears for example reduce noise dramatically and will outlast most other materials. In the event of a catastrophic, the Nylon gear can almost be there as a sacrificial component to prevent more serious and more expensive damage.
Extruded Nylon 6 Sheet :
Nylon 6 Sheet is manufactured in 2 different ways. Extruded Nylon 6 Sheet is as it sounds produced by forcing the material through a die. This creates a more accurate material in terms of thickness and is generally more economical and is the only way that thin Nylon 6 Sheet can be produced. The slight disadvantages is that it can have a bit more internal stress and engineers report that it seems to be a little more difficult to machine as it seems to melt more easily during machining.
Cast Nylon 6 Sheet:
The other process for the Nylon 6 Sheet is to cast it by pouring the polymer into a sheet mold. The thickness tolerance is greater and there is a very slight chance for blow holes if the process is not followed perfectly. But there is less stress due to the process itself which could result in a more stable component. It is reportedly better to machine and it is the only manufacturing option for the thicker Nylon 6 Sheets.'
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