Nylon Plastic Machining

Your guide to Nylon Plastic Machining



One of the most common engineering plastics in the world

Outstanding bearing and wear properties

Excellent wear resistance

Nylon refers to the group of plastics known as Polyamides and is known for its outstanding bearing and wear properties It is available as a homopolymer, copolymer or reinforced. It can be challenging to machine.

This guide will take you through the main attributes, common applications, notes for designers and suitable finishing and treatments, as well as UK stock sizes and property tables. Don't forget to bookmark the page so you can refer back later.

If you are interested in Nylon machined parts, please scroll to the bottom of the page for more information about our service and to request a quote.

Nylon Guide: Properties, Applications and Design Considerations


What is Nylon?

Nylon refers to the group of plastics known as Polyamides. One of the most common engineering plastics in the world, it has outstanding bearing and wear properties.

Brand names include Nylatron®, Tecamid® and Nylacast®.

It is available as a homopolymer, copolymer or reinforced. It can also be pre-conditioned to reduce moisture absorption during its lifetime. Oil filled and glass filled grades are available.

Nylon can be difficult to machine due to the nature of the chips/swarf produced during the manufacturing process. We use high speed steel cutting tools over carbide as they have a sharper cutting edge. We also use the highest cutting speed and are aware of how clamping/fixturing can affect the part.

The two most common grades of Nylon are Nylon 6 and Nylon 66. The number relates to the number of methyl groups which are located on each side of the nitrogen atoms (amide groups), the difference in which subtly influences the properties of the nylon. The information on this page refers largely to Nylon 6 and 66.

You may also see Nylon referred to as:

  • Nylons have many variants including: 6, 66, 6/6-6, 6/9, 6/10, 6/12, 11 and 12 to name just a few
  • PA6, PA66, PA12
  • Polyamide
  • Ertalon 6, Ertalon 6SA, Ertalon 66 SA, Ertalon 6PLA
  • Centromid 6 E
  • Centromid 12 PA
  • Omniamid
  • Akulon
  • Nylube
Industry Examples:
Electronics | Automotive and mechanical engineering | Aerospace | Food technology | Packaging | Construction
Typical Components & Applications:
Food processing machinery components | Bearings | Bushings | Wheels | Rollers | Seals | Housings | Gears | Nuts | Washers | Food packaging

Main Attributes:

The various grades of Nylon plastics offer slightly different attributes. The following attributes are representative of grades 6 and 66:

  • Provides good resistance to most chemicals – but can be attacked by powerful acids, alkalis and alcohol
  • Good thermal resistance
  • Low coefficient of friction
  • Self-lubricating
  • Highly moisture absorbent (up to 7% of weight) which can have a negative impact on dimensional stability
  • Good electrical insulating properties
  • High mechanical strength
  • Good fatigue resistance
  • Excellent wear resistance
  • FDA grades available

Note For Designers:

Nylon is a moisture absorbant material and will expand as a result. Designers need to allow for this when designing nylon components that will need to fit with other components.

Nylon is available in a range of colours including natural, black, white, blue, grey, ivory, red, silver and yellow.

Can we meet your nylon machining needs? Contact us now
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Further Reading & Resources

British Plastics Federation


Nylon Plastic Machined Parts


Penta Precision provides the following plastic nylon machining services: 
  • CNC milling
  • CNC turning
  • Prototypes and batch runs
  • Insert installation
  • Part marking
  • Manual milling
  • Manual turning
  • Machining design advice
  • Design for manufacture service

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