Polymers and materials
Natural polyamides include wool and silk. One of the best known synthetic polyamides is nylon. All these products are polymers made of monomers linked by an amide bond. Nylon 6 (or polyamide 6) is produced from caprolactam, which in its turn is produced from fossil oil. In the 1950ies, nylon 6 was already produced in Emmen by the AKU (Algemene Kunstzijde Unie) factory.
On the Emmtec Industry & Business Park, DSM Engineering Plastics is a producer of polyamide 6 granulate. Polyamide 6 is used in applications ranging from automotive, electronics and electrical, to furniture and packaging. It should be possible to produce caprolactam from biomass, however, no commercially viable production processes has been developed so far. Other polyamides can actually already be made from biobased sources. Form more information see the biopolymer section.
Senbis Polymer Innovations develops yarns and monofilaments from polyamids. BASF Innofil3D develops 3D printing solutions from polyamides. Within SPIC-Emmen new polyamides can also be synthesized via polycondensation.
The chemical company DSM produces polyamide 6 and derived compounds in Emmen. Senbis Polymer Innovations is a R&D service provider on polymers. BASF Innofil3D is a producer of filaments for 3D printing. For the development and up-scaling of new sustainable polyamides and applications thereof, local companies and knowledge institutes have joined forces via the initiative SPIC-Emmen (sustainable polymer innovation cluster). More info at www.spic-emmen.com