Urea formaldehyde resin

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An important class of amino resins. Urea formaldehyde plastic was first made in 1896 by condensing Urea with Formaldehyde to form a water-soluble resin. It was patented as a molding powder in 1923 called Pollapas by Frits Pollack. The thermoplastic resin was molded with heat and pressure into colorful household products. Urea formaldehyde resins soon replaced the thiourea resins (Beetle resin). Currently urea formaldehyde resins are most often used in foams, insulation, coatings ((baked enamels) and adhesives (Plywood, Particle board, etc.). They are degraded by heat, acids, and alkalis.

Synonyms and Related Terms

UF; urea-formaldehyde resin (AAT); urea resin; resina urea-formaldehído (Esp.); résine urée-formaldéhyde (Fr.); resina de ureia formaldeído (Port.)

Examples: Pollapas; Kaurit S; Beetle; Resopal; Cibanoid



Toxic by inhalation. Skin contact can cause irritation and allergies. Slowly evolves formaldehyde and ammonia.

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water.

CAS 9001-05-6
Density 1.47-1.52 g/ml
Refractive Index 1.54


Physical Properties for Selected Thermoplastic Resins

General Characteristics of Polymers

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 837
  • Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Caring for your Collections, Arthur W Schulz (ed.), Harry N. Abrams, Inc. , New York, 1992
  • Rosalie Rosso King, Textile Identification, Conservation, and Preservation, Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, NJ, 1985
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • Sharon Blank, An introduction to plastics and rubbers in collections, Studies in Conservation, 35, 53-63, 1990
  • History of Plastics: www.nswpmith.com.au/historyofplastics.html

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