Difference Between Nylon and Polyester

Main Difference

The main difference between nylon and polyester is that nylon has low maintenance and having strength, resistance, and good elasticity, whereas polyester is more breathable and shines for being water-resistant.

Nylon vs. Polyester

Nylon in its structure is mainly composed of nitrogen atoms whereas polyester has no nitrogen atoms in its structure. Due to the presence of amide groups nylon is also called as polyamide, while polyester is also called polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The monomers diamines and dicarboxylic acids are involved in the production of nylon; on the other hand, the monomers diols and dicarboxylic acids are involved in the production of polyester. Nylon is manufactured as a liquid, mechanically spun and dried into individual fibers; on the contrary, polyester is manufactured as spun into the thread from the chemical solution. Nylon has low moisture absorbency; conversely, polyester is wrinkle resistant. The durability of nylon is exceptionally strong, resistant to damage from oil and many chemicals, and abrasion-resistant, whereas polyester is strong, resistant to shrinking and stretching, resistant to moist chemicals, etc. Nylon melt then burns rapidly during combustion; on the flip side, polyester melts and burn at the same time. The environmental impact of nylon is that most nylon made from unavoidable oil refinery byproducts, while polyester is non-biodegradable but can be re-cycled. Nylon is light-weight, smooth, warm, soft, and quick-drying; on the contrary, polyester is light-weight, smooth, and quick drying. Nylon can be classified as a thermoplastic polymer; on the other hand, polyester can be classified as either thermoplastic or a thermoset polymer.

Comparison Chart

NylonPolyester
A common name used for molecules of polymer class that is composed of polyamides is called nylon.A common name used to define long-chain polymers collected of ester groups in the main chain is called polyester.
Chemical Name
PolyamidesPolyethylene terephthalate (PET)
Category
Thermoplastic polymerEither thermoplastic or thermoset
Monomers
Diamines and dicarboxylic acidsDiols and dicarboxylic acids
Nitrogen Atoms
Have nitrogen atomsNo nitrogen atoms
Appearance
Wide range of colors, lustrousSlightly slick, a wide range of colors
UV Resistance
SomewhatVery
Worldwide Production
Approximately 3.9 million metric tons, 11% of synthetic fiber productionApproximately 21 million metric tons, 58% of synthetic fiber production
Wearability
Low moisture absorbencyWrinkle resistant
Durability
Abrasion-resistant, exceptionally strong, resistant to damage from oil and chemicalsStrong, resistant to shrinking and stretching, resistant to moist chemicals, etc
Flammability
Melts then burns rapidlyMelts and burns at the same time
Environmental Impact
Made from unavoidable oil refinery productsNon-biodegradable but can be re-cycled

What is Nylon?

A common name used for molecules of polymer class that is composed of polyamides is called nylon. Due to their thermal properties, they are known as thermoplastics, and this group of polymers includes plastics. Due to the presence of amide groups nylon is also called as polyamide. The monomers diamines and dicarboxylic acids are involved in the production of nylon. Symmetrical backbones and semi crystalline structures make nylons very good fibers. Nylon gets its name according to the number of carbon atoms in diamine and dicarboxylic acids. E.g., nylon 6,6 has six carbon atoms in diamine and six carbon atoms in dicarboxylic acids. Generally, nylon is tough material. But mostly nylon is light-weight, smooth, warm, soft, and quick-drying Nylon is manufactured as a liquid, mechanically spun and dried into individual fibers. The durability of nylon is exceptionally strong, resistant to damage from oil and many chemicals, and abrasion-resistant but has low moisture absorbency. Nylon melts then burn rapidly during combustible. The environmental impact of nylon is that most nylon made from unavoidable oil refinery byproducts.

What is Polyester?

A common name used to define long-chain polymers collected of ester groups in the main chain is called as polyester. They are chemically composed of approximately 85% by weight of dihydric alcohol, ester, and terephthalic acid. In other words, the reaction between alcohols and carboxylic acids which produce esters cause the formation of a polyester. Polyester is manufactured as spun into the thread from the chemical solution. The monomers diols and dicarboxylic acids are involved in the production of polyester. Polyester is a durable material and is extremely strong, resistant to shrinking and stretching, resistant to moist chemicals, etc. Polyester is widely used in the food industry, and the textile industry, etc. Polyester melts and burns at the same time. Polyester is light-weight, smooth, and quick drying.

Types

  • Saturated Polyesters: Composed of saturated backbones. These are less or not reactive.
  • Unsaturated Polyesters: Composed of vinyl unsaturation, so, these are very reactive.

Key Differences

  1. Nylon in its structure is mainly composed of nitrogen atoms whereas polyester has no nitrogen atoms in its structure.
  2. Due to the presence of amide groups nylon is also called as polyamide, while polyester is also called polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
  3. The monomers diamines and dicarboxylic acids are involved in the production of nylon; on the other hand, the monomers diols and dicarboxylic acids are involved in the production of polyester.
  4. Nylon is manufactured as a liquid, mechanically spun and dried into individual fibers; on the contrary, polyester is manufactured as spun into the thread from the chemical solution.
  5. Nylon has low moisture absorbency; conversely, polyester is wrinkle resistant.
  6. The durability of nylon is exceptionally strong, resistant to damage from oil and many chemicals, and abrasion-resistant, whereas polyester is strong, resistant to shrinking and stretching, resistant to moist chemicals, etc.
  7. The environmental impact of nylon is that most nylon made from unavoidable oil refinery byproducts, while polyester is non-biodegradable but can be re-cycled.
  8. Nylon melts then burn rapidly during flammability; on the flip side, polyester melts and burns at the same time.
  9. Nylon is light-weight, smooth, warm, soft, and quick-drying; on the contrary, polyester is light-weight, smooth, and quick drying.
  10. Nylon is a thermoplastic polymer in the category; on the other hand, polyester can be either thermoplastic or thermoset polymer in the category.

Conclusion

Above discussion concludes that nylon has low maintenance and having strength, resistance, and good elasticity, whereas polyester is more breathable and shines for being water-resistant.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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