Plastics Europe Public LCI Database
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Data set: Polamide 6 (PA6) (01.00.000)

Full name
Polamide 6 (PA6); 1 kg of primary PA6 “at gate” (production site output) representing a European industry production average, in pellet form.; Europe-27; PA6 can be extruded, granulated and moulded in a wide range of textile, packaging and engineering applications. The main uses include fibers, films and engineering plastics. Applications range from automotive and electrical to food packaging. It should be noted that PA6 (polycaprolactam or Nylon 6) and PA6.6 (Nylon 6.6) are used for similar purposes. PA6 can be recycled mechanically or for feedstock; chemical recycling back to the monomer is commercially exploited.
Reference year
Valid until
Reference flow(s)
LCI result
LCIA results included?
Materials production / Plastics
Use advice for data set
Data set use approval
Plastics Europe Association of Plastics Manufacturers
General comment
The main data source was a data collection from European producers of polyamide 6 (PA6). Primary data on gate-to-gate PA6 production is derived from site-specific information for processes under operational control supplied by the participating companies of this study. Four different PA6 producers with plants in four European countries were participating in the primary data collection. They represent 57% of European PA6 production (EU27) in 2012. With the exception of caprolactam, the data for the upstream supply chain until the precursors as well as relevant background data, such as energy and auxiliary material, are from the DEAM, PlasticsEurope and Ecoinvent databases. For caprolactam, three caprolactam producers with plants in three European countries participated in the primary data collection. Polyamides are a group of polymers characterised by a carbon chain with –C=O–NH– groups interspersed at regular intervals along it. They are commonly referred to by the generic name Nylon and are usually identified by a numbering system that indicates the number of carbon atoms between successive nitrogen atoms in the main chain. This EPD is for Polyamide 6 (PA6), a polymer formed by ring-opening polymerisation of caprolactam, a cyclic monomer. Caprolactam has a peptide bond which is broken during polymerisation, after which new peptide bonds are formed at each end of the monomer. This leads to a backbone polymer. Among the intrinsic properties of PA6 are: high ten-sile strength, good abrasion resistance, elasticity, barrier properties of films, durability, flexible design, and easy processing. It is also resistant to acid and alkali chemicals as well as to hydrocarbons, solvents, fuels, waxes, and oils. In addition, PA6 is an electrical isolator. Weight reduction in automobiles and increased shelf life of fresh food are examples where PA6 ap-plications contribute to reduction of carbon footprint and costs in the use phase compared with standard solutions. Please keep in mind that comparisons cannot be made on the level of the polymer material alone: it is necessary to consider the full life cycle of an application in order to compare the performance of different materials and the effects of relevant life cycle parameters. This EPD is intended to be used by member companies, to support product-orientated environmental management; by users of plastics, as a building block of life cycle assessment (LCA) studies of individual products; and by other interested parties, as a source of life cycle information.
LCI Method Principle
LCI Method Approaches
  • Substitution - specific
Completeness of product model
All relevant flows quantified
  • Independent external review by
    Data quality indicators
    • Methodological appropriateness and consistency: Very good
    • Precision: Not applicable
    • Completeness: Very good
    • Geographical representativeness: Very good
    • Time representativeness: Very good
    • Technological representativeness: Very good
License and access conditions
License type
Access information
From PlasticsEurope
Owner of data set
Plastics Europe Association of Plastics Manufacturers
Technical purpose
Polyamide 6 for any relevant application
Input Products
Data set version
Time stamp (last saved)
Data set format
ILCD format
Compliance systems
  • ILCD Data Network - Entry-level (Overall compliance: Fully compliant)
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