More technically, polyamides are polymers containing repeating amide groups that are an integral part of the polymer backbone.
What is a polymer
Polymers are natural or synthetic substances that consist of an agglomeration of a large number of macromolecules, or monomers, to form a denser substance or material. Polymers can be formed by the agglomeration of several different monomers or of a single type of monomer.
Natural polymers can be proteins, which are agglomerations of amino acid and nucleic acid. While among synthetic polymers, we find polystyrene, polypropylene or even polyamides.
- Note that these lists are not exhaustive and we find many other types of polymer.
The amide functional groups are characterized by the attachment of a nitrogen atom to a carbonyl carbon atom. When the two remaining bonds on the nitrogen atom are attached to hydrogen atoms, it is called a simple amide. When one of the two remaining bonds is attached to alkyl or aryl groups, it is called a substituted amide.
So what are polyamides?
They are material composed of polymers and possessing amide linkages. The types of polyamides are aromatic, cycloaliphatic and aliphatic polyamides. Aliphatic polyamides are known as nylon. Obviously, there are several different types of nylon. The most common are nylon 6-6 and Nylon 6.
- The "6" in the name of the nylon refers to the amount of carbon bonds that exist in the polymer.
This is to say that polyamides are a family of natural or synthetic materials that are used in the water treatment industry to manufacture filtration membranes.
It is generally on the membranes of thin-film composite that polyamides are used.