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HomeBakelite (see Phenolic or Micarta)


(BAKELITE) Bakelite (see Phenolic or Micarta)   
Bakelite (see Phenolic or Micarta)
Bakelite is a generic named material based on the thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride, developed in 1907-1909 by Dr. Leo Baekeland. Formed by the reaction under heat and pressure of phenol and formaldehyde, generally with a wood flour filler, it was the first plastic made from synthetic polymers. It was used for its nonconductive and heat-resistant properties in radio and telephone casings and electrical insulators.

Structure of BakeliteDue to its hardness and durability, it was considered as a material for making pennies in the United States during World War II, due to copper being needed for shell casings. Several patterns were made in 1942, but steel was used instead in 1943 and recycled shell casings in 1944 and 1945. Bakelite Corp. was formed in 1922 from General Bakelite Co., Condensite Corp. and Redmanol Co. The company was acquired by Union Carbide and Carbon Corp. in 1938.

Bakelite Limited was formed in 1927 from the amalgamation of three suppliers of phenol formaldehyde materials: the Damard Lacquer Company Limited of Birmingham; Mouldensite Limited of Darley Dale and Redmanol Limited of London. Around 1928, a new factory opened in Tyseley, Birmingham in September 1931. It was demolished in 1998.

Phenolics are little used in general consumer products today due to the cost and complexity of production and their brittle nature. An exception to the overall decline is the use in small precision-shaped components where their specific properties are required, such as molded disc brake cylinders, saucepan handles, electrical plugs and switches, and electrical iron parts. Today, Bakelite is manufactured under various commercial brand names such as Micarta. Micarta is produced in sheets, rods and tubes for hundreds of industrial applications in the electronics, power generation and aerospace industries.

The retro appeal of old Bakelite products, especially kitchenware and toys, has made them quite collectible in recent years: A quick search of, for example, eBay turns up hundreds of listings for all things Bakelite, ranging from radios to poker chips to telephones.

Bakelite Phenolic sheet is a hard, dense material made by applying heat and pressure to layers of paper or glass cloth impregnated with synthetic resin. These layers of laminations are usually of cellulose paper, cotton fabrics, synthetic yarn fabrics, glass fabrics or unwoven fabrics. When heat and pressure are applied to the layers, a chemical reaction (polymerization) transforms the layers into a high-pressure thermosetting industrial laminated plastic.

Bakelite Phenolic is produced in dozens of commercial grades to meet mechanical, electrical and thermal requirements.

PAPER REINFORCED PHENOLIC NEMA XX per MIL-I-24768 PBG Normal electrical applications, moderate mechanical strength, continuous operating temperature of 250°F.

CANVAS REINFORCED PHENOLIC NEMA C per MIL-I-24768 TYPE FBM NEMA CE per MIL-I-24768 TYPE FBG Good mechanical and impact strength with contiunuous operating temperature of 250°F.
LINEN REINFORCED PHENOLIC NEMA L per MIL-I-24768 TYPE FBI NEMA LE per MIL-I-24768 TYPE FEI Good mechanical & electrical strength. Recommended for intricate high strength parts. Continuous operating temperature 250°F.
NYLON REINFORCED PHENOLIC NEMA N-1 per MIL-I-24768 TYPE NPG Superior electrical properties under humid conditions, fungus resistant, continuous operating temperature of 160°F.

Commercial names include: Bakelite, Bakelit, Baquelita, Bakélite, Bachelite, Bakeliet, Bakelit, Baquelite, Bakeliitti, Bakelit

information from Wkipedia
  • To Order or View Bakelite Phenolic on Professional Plastics website, click here.
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