In 1938 the E.I. DuPont de Nemours Company, known at the time mainly as a maker of explosives, announced what was arguably the single most important invention in the history of legwear: nylon.
Nylon wasn´t discovered by accident or extracted from a natural source. It was one of the first materials engineered from scratch, based on an understanding of polymer chemistry and a desire to plug what was, apparently, a serious hole in the hosiery department. The company promised that this magical product would finally free the modern woman from the yoke of expensive, run-prone silk stockings. And it worked! There were widespread reports of mobs becoming restless, if not violent, in the minutes before the opening of a store rumored to have some of the new â€nylonsâ€ in stock.
Fortunately, nylon is now abundant, and if you have a chemicals catalogue handy, it´s not that difficult to make yourself. When molecules of hexamethylenediamine and sebacoyl chloride link together in an alternating pattern to create chains thousands of atoms long-which happens spontaneously anytime these chemicals come in contact with each other-you get nylon.
The recipe I used is based on the Tequila Sunrise principle: two solutions with different densities layered in the same glass. The heavier, aqueous (water-based) hexamethylenediamine solution is on the bottom [here dyed with food coloring], and the lighter sebacoyl chloride is on top. A film of nylon appears instantly where the two layers meet. Gently pull the film with tweezers, and new nylon forms in its place, allowing you to produce a continuous thread dozens of yards long from an average-size glass.
Commercial nylon is made with the same chemical bonds through a slightly different reaction, and the resulting product is purified and melted down before being pulled into fibers. My homemade thread, on the other hand, is too thick and brittle for knitting. Oh well, I prefer my hose in French silk anyway.
ACHTUNG! Theodore Gray is trained in lab safety procedures. Don´t try this at home unless you are too. Find more on Gray´s scientific pursuits at periodictabletable.com.
Get Nylon From Liquid
Easy | | | | |
- Carefully pour the sebacoyl chloride solution on top of the hexamethylenediamine solution (both are available from chemical suppliers). If you have trouble keeping the chemicals in separate layers, ask a bartender for help.
- Use tweezers to grab the layer between the two liquids and pull it up.
- The thread will appear as fast as you pull it from the mixture. You can collect it around anything that´s convenient. I used a roll of paper towels stuck on a paint roller.
- The final product: thread-from bottles of chemicals.
First, these chemicals are NASTY in their concentrated forms - you get choking fumes and neither should be used neat. Sebacoyl chloride is generally a 10% or thereabouts solution in Hexane or another organic solvent, Hexamethylene diamine is about the same strength solution in water.
Second, the fibre isn't safe to handle since it will contain unreacted chemicals inside the porous hollow tube. It can't really be made safe if you use this method.
Practical_Chemist says , you need plasticiser
W/O it , its useless .
200 years ago , Vinyl chloride , in a window
thickened from sunlight , the Chemist
STILL COULD NOT USE it , for lack of
Nylon 66 was tossed , it was "discovered" later
by another person , who "refined" the formula and
the pdt ...
Better p[lastics have Nitrogen . The air is mostly
Nitrogen , yet Wikipedias , fearfull of the masses
making their own Nylon , Fertilizer , smokeless powder
distract all on the process of NH3 ammonia .
For your needs , NH3 is stored in water , condensed
out , when needed . For fertilizer , you dont need
to "salt" it to NH4+NO3- .. Go strate for the
best application method , under the soil .
BTW , another Detour is solar voltaic panels .
Polished alum 12" by 120" polished alum' panels
will start your steam engine , to spin a generator
to produce electricity . Charles Kurnutt , 29 palms
California , for credit .
Amonia absorbtion frigs , dont use Hydrogen nor anti-
corrosion additives . Farraday used silver chloride ,
But you can distill NH3 from cleaning solutions .
BTW Software will turn a WiFi and a DSL into
the new world Cell Phone . www . n a t r i u m 4 2 . c o m did the HDD .