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Nylon 12, a specialty plastic, used in auto brake lines is in short supply after a fire in a plant that makes a critical intermediate.

Article identifies key players. Evonik is vertically integrates producer making both Nylon12 and the intermediate. Arkema also produces but apparently from purchased intermediate. BASF and Invista are minor players who are attempting to help fill the void.

Nylon 66 is the most common Nylon; Nylon 6 used to be used in tire cords. Both are made from 6 carbon materials. Nylon 12 is unique in that it is made from 12 carbon raw materials.

Auto industry practices including just in time delivery (to reduce inventory) and focusing on a few suppliers as partners rather than many competitors--contribute to the severity of unexpected events.

The industry is thought to have no more than 60 days supply in the pipeline. Repair from the fire may take two years. Qualifying substitutes is being rushed, but may take too long. Meanwhile, supplies are short and people are scrambling.
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