Effect of molecular weight on high-speed melt spinning of nylon 6



An extensive experimental study of the structure and properties developed in as-spun nylon 6 filaments is reported. Five polymers representing different molecular weights in the range 25,000–73,000 g/mol (viscosity average) were studied. These polymers were melt spun over a range of spinning speeds using an air drag type of drawdown device. Maximum take-up velocities achieved were in the neighborhood of 4000 m/min. The structure and properties of the as-spun filaments were characterized using density, DSC, WAXS, SAXS, birefringence, and tensile tests. The structural characteristics and properties of the filaments are strongly dependent on molecular weight. Generally, higher molecular weight leads to higher modulus and filament tenacity and lower elongation to break in the as-spun filaments. The structural changes with molecular weight are rather complicated; the complications are explained in terms of changes of crystallization rate and attainable crystallinity.