What is caprolactam (CPL)?
Caprolactam is a crystalline cyclic amide which is water-soluble in nature. It has a melting point of 70°C. Caprolactam is a very important raw material for the production of nylon 6 fibers and resins through the method of ring-opening polymerization. Cyclohexane and ammonia are the basic raw materials used for the production of caprolactam. Nylon 6 polymers are used to manufacture high-strength fibers, resins, and films. And has a wide range of applications from the textile industry to the automotive industry. The textile industry consumes around 68% of caprolactam for the production of nylon fibers for textile, carpets, and industrial yarns. And the rest of the caprolactam is used in manufacturing engineering resins and films.
Due to an increase in demand for caprolactam in end-use industries such as textile yarn, industrial yarn, engineering plastics, carpet fibers, and staple fibers; has driven the demand for caprolactam. Due to this the global demand for this compound is around 5 million tons per year. And the majority of this compound is used to manufacture nylon filaments and fibers for the clothing industry. The demand for caprolactam is also increasing in automobile industries for the production of engine covers and gears.
For the production of caprolactam, raw materials like cyclohexane, ammonia, and phenol are used. And these materials are mainly produced in the US and China region because of the presence of a large number of oil refineries in that region. The increasing demand for nylon 6 polymers in apparel, sportswear, swimwear, and fashion wear has also increased the demand for caprolactam.