Effect of water on the mechanism of deformation of nylon 6



Lattice spacings perpendicular to the molecular chain axes and crystallite orientation of dried and moist (boiled in water) bulk nylon 6 were determined by x-ray diffraction under tension of 30–300 kg./cm.2. The deformation of the specimen was also measured. The lattice spacings are changed reversibly by the presence of water in nylon 6, but the elastic moduli of the lattice are not affected. The lattice elastic modulus in the direction of the hydrogen bonds is approximately double its value in the direction normal to the hydrogen bonds. The elastic modulus of the dried nylon 6 approaches the value of the lattice elastic modulus in the direction normal to the molecular axes, while the modulus of the moist nylon 6 is several times lower. From these facts, and especially from the relations between the lattice deformation, crystallite orientation, and specimen deformation, the principal differences in the deformation mechanism of dried and moist nylon 6 were deduced. The results obtained have also made possible some general conclusions about the crystalline structure of nylon 6 and the deformation mechanism of linear polymers.