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Transcript of Nomex
a.k.a "Aromatic polyamide"
-A class of strong heat resistant fibers that have a benzene backbone
-Has 2 basic isomers
Both of these compounds were discovered by DuPont in the 1960's
You may recognize theses compounds by the names...
Both compounds are similar and are sometimes used together in certain products, however my interest is in Nomex
Many intense, fiery race car crashes including notable ones like Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald in 1964 showed there was a need for improved fire-resistant driving suits and equipment
By 1965, four drivers wore experimental meta-aramid suits, created by DuPont, to provide use-test information on the products comfort and several other characteristics
The introduction of meta-aramid driving suits brought to use the first commercial application of Aromatic polyamides. This was done by DuPont under the product name Nomex (1967)
Nomex started in the car-racing industry but from there it became the basis of fighter-jet suits and certain firefighter wear for its flame-resistant properties. However, Nomex is now widely used as the main ingredient in many police vest and "bullet proof" vests. It doesn't stop there though; Nomex is also used in eletrical insulation, air filtration and as a substitute for asbestosis.
Nomex Flight suit
Nomex bullet proof vest
Why do we love Nomex?
Because of its..
Example of Nomex products
High Chemical compatibility
Flexible (in thinner grades)
The diverse and useful properties that Nomex has allows it be a valuable asset in a vast range of applications. Here is a list of general applications I created from the DuPont website.
But how is it made?
Nomex is produced through a condensation polymerization reaction between the monomers: m-phenylenediamine & Isopthaloyl chloride
The Final Product
Condensation Polymerization reaction
Although DuPont first started commercially producing Nomex (meta-Aramid), they are not the only company producing the compound which causes the compound to have different commercial names in various countries
Now that you are convinced of how awesome meta-aramid compounds are, you and your environmentally conscious mind must be asking how this compound affects the environment.
Well the answer isn't pretty. Like most synthetically created products, meta-aramid does not naturally decompose, or at least in a time frame comprehensible to humans. However this does not mean that all meta-aramid compounds go to waste in landfills after their initial use.
Even though this compound does not naturally decompose it is still recyclable. Companies like Tejin, who manufacture the product will also take it back and recycle and reuse it! Furthermore, there are companies completely dedicated to recycling fibers like Nomex. An example of a company that does this is Security Fiber Recycling.
Ultimately I believe meta-aramid's are a fundamental compound to a variety of applications that people often neglect. If your still not convinced, watch this video.
The difference between Nomex and Kevlar is that Nomex has a 120 degree bond between rings where as Kevlar does not. The angle of the bonds weakens the strength of thecompound, however it increases its melting point.