This question was very easy to answer, up until now.
First: what is Zytel 42? It is a Natural Nylon 6/6 extrusion grade plastic resin. An extremely popular and heavily used material for machinable and durable plastic parts. For as far back as we can find information, this Zytel 42 Nylon 6/6 resin has been used in numerous food contact and food processing machine components.
We have just received notice that Dupont will be making some changes to their formula for this Nylon grade. For years we have provided our clients with Dupont Zytel 42 Nylon resin extruded into sheet, rod and other profiles. The Dupont announcement states that the Zytel 42 will no longer have a food grade rating – FDA approval. They will produce a new resin called Zytel 42FG, which will have all the approvals we always had with the Zytel 42.
Why in the world would a company do such a thing? Our guess is that this is a cleaver way to increase prices significantly without a standard and blatant price increase. Let’s just hide it in a new resin package.
Zytel 42 – will still be available, but without the FDA approval
Zytel 42FG – the ‘new’ resin will carry the FDA approval, but at much higher price
Nylon Food Grade still available
What is the difference between the old Zytel 42 and the new Zytel 42FG? From what we have read so far, nothing. It is probably the same material, new name. The ‘new’ Zytel 42 is actually the new ‘dumbed’ down resin – they just took away the Food Grade label, maybe took out an ingredient or two, and viola, new Zytel 42 – non Food Grade Nylon.
This news has spread quickly through our industry. As mentioned above, we have provided this material in this grade for over 36 years for Food Grade/FDA Approved applications.
The main reason for this article is to get the news out the the marketplace. Engineers and designers have been specifying this resin for their applications, and now, with out much notice, the product they assume is Food Grade will no longer be acceptable for these applications. It is unclear at this point whether the extrusion plants will be producing product from both resins, or opting to use one or the other. It appears that Nylon Food Grade resins my become a special, or that all materials may becomes standard as Nylon Food Grade.