Caprolactam is an intermediate primarily used in the production of nylon 6 fibres and resins. Caprolactam occurs as white, hygroscopic flakes or crystals with a distinctive odour. It is soluble in water, cyclohexane, chlorinated hydrocarbons and is usually used, stored and transported in liquefied form at about 80°C. Small amounts of caprolactam are also used in cross-linking for polyurethanes and in the synthesis of lysine. Growth in the caprolactam market is dependent on the nylon 6 business, which has suffered from poor profitability. Only Asia is expected to experience reasonably steady growth for nylon 6 and caprolactam. Another problem is that caprolactam production capacity is becoming geographically remote from its customer base. While nylon production is growing in Asia, over 43% of global caprolactam production capacity is based in western and eastern Europe, which has only 24% of nylon capacity.
Caprolactam dust can irritate the eyes, lungs and skin. It is a slight fire hazard.
To find out more Caprolactam Methodology September 2013