Phenolic is a term for a resin that is made from a combination of phenol and an aldehyde. Phenolic is usually used when rigid materials are required, for example in creating moldings for various products, or on bearings, insulation or binders.
Phenolic as a term can also be used in order to describe the whole class of phenols, which are simple hydrocarbon groups that have similarities to alcohol. There are many types of phenolic compounds, and it ranges from the most common like the compound that is responsible for the heat in chili peppers to other compounds like cresols, dopamine and creosote. Even though the word phenolic can be used in order to refer the said compounds individually, the more appropriate term that should be used is phenolic compound.
Phenolic resins could be manufactured by combining a phenol with any aldehyde, although the resin made with formaldehyde – also called a phenolic formaldehyde resin or PF, is the most commonly used. Phenolic resins were actually the first resins synthesized by scientists and it was marketed under the popular brand name Bakelite.
Phenolic is used widely in making consumer fittings. The plugs on various electronic devices, pot and pan handles, and screw tops on majority of sodas are some of the things made with phenolic resin. Phenolic resins are very popular because it is affordable and also easy to mold, which makes it ideal for use in any application that needs cheap plastics. Phenolics are also used as a binder in holding together different types of composite woods like plywood and chipboard.