Phenolic resin

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Bakelite shakers
MFA# 2010.488.1-2


Mantel clock
MFA# 2015.3039

Any of several thermosetting resins prepared by the condensation of Phenol with aldehydes (Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde, furfural, etc.). Phenolic resins were first made in 1872 when Adolph Baeyer reacted phenol with acetaldehyde. Bakelite phenolic resins were developed by Leo Baekeland beginning in 1907. Examples of phenolic resins are Bakelite, Novolac and Catalin. Phenolic resins are used for molded parts, as adhesives and as varnishes.

See also phenol formaldehyde.

Synonyms and Related Terms

phenol resin; phenoplast; cast phenolic; resina fenólica (Esp.); résine phénolique (Fr.); resina fenolica (It.); resina fenólica (Port.)

Examples: Bakelite [Union Carbide]; Fiberloid [Monsanto]; novolac; Catalin; Marblette; Agatine; Durite; Durez; Prystal; Fiberlon; Opalon; Carvacraft


Physical Properties for Selected Thermoset Resins

General Characteristics of Polymers

Resources and Citations

  • B.Barth, "Phenolic Resin Adhesives" in Handbook of Adhesives, I.Skeist (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1977, p.382-416.
  • Care and Identification of Objects Made from Plastic, Conserve O Gram 8/4, National Park Service, September 2010.
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 599
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988
  • ASTM, "Standard Terminology Relating to Paint, Varnish, Lacquer and Related Products", Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Section 6, Paints, Related Coatings and Aromatics, ASTM, D16, 7-Jan, Jul-96
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002

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