As part of the "Polymer chemistry" course, students of Environmental, Process and Energy Engineering created nylon themselves. The resulting nylon filaments were then examined for their various characteristics. Using the in-house methodology DSC/TGA (Differential Scanning Calorimetry coupled with thermogravimetric analysis), the students guaranteed that it was really nylon and were also able to take a look at the details of the thread produced using electron microscopy. The length of the thread was particularly impressive: the students managed to create a continuous thread that extended from the fourth to the first floor. While nylon itself is a classic synthetic material, modern alternatives were also discussed in the course, which are mainly characterized by their higher potential sustainability, such as biodegradability. In this way, students of environmental, process and energy engineering are facing the challenge of preserving the advantages of plastics, such as low density and very good mechanical properties, while at the same time combating the disadvantageous aspects such as hardly any decomposability - a task that represents an important part in the mosaic of sustainable future planning.
This is what the self-produced nylon looks like. Photo: MCI