Nylon 11 or Polyamide 11 (PA 11) is a polyamide, bioplastic, and a member of the nylon family of polymers produced by the polymerization of 11-aminoundecanoic acid.
The chemical process of creating Nylon 11 begins with ricinoleic acid which makes up 85-90% of castor oil. Ricinoleic acid is first transesterified with methanol creating methyl ricinoleate, which is then cracked to create heptaldehyde and methyl undecylenate. These undergo hydrolysis to create methanol, which is re-used in the initial transesterification of ricinoleic acid, and undecylenic acid that is added onto hydrogen bromide. After hydrolysis, hydrogen bromide then undergoes nucleophilic substitution with ammonia to form 11-aminoudecanoic acid, which is polymerized into nylon 11. Polyamides (Nylon) comprise the largest family of engineering plastics with a very wide range of applications. Polyamides are one of the major engineering and high-performance plastics because of their good balance of properties. Polyamides are very resistant to wear and abrasion, have good mechanical properties even at elevated temperatures, have low permeability to gases, and have good chemical resistance, good dimensional stability, good toughness, high strength, high impact resistance, and good flow.