Zytel is a modern composite material characterized by its hardness and resistance against external influences on the one hand and its low weight on the other. In the knife industry, it is used to make handle scales.
Zytel is a registered trademark of DuPont, a US chemical company. The name applies to several materials based on so-called thermoplastic polyamides. These are nylon-like plastics that can be shaped at high temperatures. In order to make Zytel, thermoplastic polyamides are combined with a certain amount of glass fibers (depending on the intended use, Zytel can contain up to 60% glass fibers) to increase the strength of the material. Zytel is distinguished by its high hardness and excellent resistance to abrasion and other external influences, including heat, cold, moisture and chemicals.
It is also very light. Like many other modern materials, Zytel is a composite. Composites are materials consisting of several different base materials. A composite takes on the properties and characteristics of the base materials, which in turn retain their individual structures. It is possible to achieve combinations of very different chemical or physical properties that would not exist in traditional materials.
Zytel combines hardness and resilience with a very low weight. The plastic material and glass fibers are combined by heating the plastic and embedding a glass fiber. As the material cools and hardens, the plastic and glass fibers are permanently bonded together. Zytel is a light material, easy to shape and highly shatterproof, which makes it an excellent choice for many high-quality products, including handle scales for knives.