Rilsan® Polyamide-11: A success story for sustainable resource based engineering thermoplastic

I&EC 132

Jim Mason, jim.mason@arkemagroup.com, Technical Services and Applications Development Manager – Polyamides, ARKEMA Inc, 900 First Ave., King of Prussia, PA 19508
Rilsan® polyamide-11 (poly omega-amino undecanoic acid) is an engineering thermoplastic developed in 1942, and sold commercially for nearly 60 years. The monomer is a long chain amino acid that is synthesized through a complex process. All of the carbons comprising the polymer are from a renewable resource - the oil of the castor plant. This thermoplastic has been the preferred material for a variety of engineering applications from truck air brake hoses and automotive fuel lines to flexible pipes that transport crude oil from subsea wellheads to floating production platforms. Other technical applications include cell phone cases and corrosion resistant coatings for potable water system components such as valves and pump cases. This paper will describe some of the applications of polyamide-11, the eco-profile of the material as defined by ISO 14040 and 14043, and compare it to those of other engineering plastics.