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Chemistry Project: Silk & Nylon

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Sarah Mei

on 7 June 2013

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Transcript of Chemistry Project: Silk & Nylon

by: Sarah Mei Silk & Nylon History of Silk Silk Silk History of Nylon Silk is a protein, made from amino acids and a polymer. There are twenty-two different structures for R, that makes the twenty-two amino acids. The R group is sometimes called the side group or the side chain. The structure of this side group is responsible for the special properties of silk and indeed for the properties of any protein. Nylon
Nylon is a polyamide, meaning that, as with silk, its polymer units are held together through amide linkages.

Carothers’s nylon was made from two different monomer units—one with two acid groups and one with two amine groups—alternating in the chain.
Carothers’s version of nylon became known as “nylon 66” because each monomer unit has six carbon atoms. Successes of Silk The demand for silk opened worldwide trade routes and it also led to the growth of cities that depended on silk production or the silk trade and helped establish other industries, such as dyeing, spinning, and weaving, that developed alongside sericulture. Silk brought great wealth and great change to many parts of the globe. The first use of nylon, in 1938, was for toothbrush bristles. It had many of the desirable properties of silk; it did not sag and wrinkle; but most important, it was far less expensive than silk. With exceptional strength, durability, and lightness, nylon quickly found a use in many other products such as fishing lines and nets, strings for tennis and badminton rackets, surgical sutures, and coatings for electrical wires.
During World War II, nylon was used to make tire cords, mosquito netting, weather balloons, ropes, parachutes, and other military items. Because of the introduction of nylon and a wealth of other modern textiles and materials has had a vast influence on our world. Nylon's Structure Silk Other side groups are CH3 and CH2OH constituting together about 85% of silk’s overall structure. The side groups in the silk amino acids are physically very small, and the small size is an important factor in the smoothness of silk.
Chains of the protein molecule lies parallel with adjacent chains running in opposite directions. This produces a pleated sheet structure, where alternate R groups along the protein chain point either up or down. The flexible structure resulting from the pleated sheet structure is resistant to stretching and accounts for many of the physical properties of silk. Successes of Nylon
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