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Bakelite /ˈbеɪkəˌlaɪt/ is a material based on the thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin, polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride developed in 19071909 by Belgian-American Dr. Leo Baekeland. Formed by the reaction under heat and pressure of phenol (a toxic, colourless crystalline solid) and formaldehyde (a simple organic compound), generally with a wood flour filler, it was the first plastic made from synthetic components. It was used for its electrically nonconductive and heat-resistant properties in radio and telephone casings and electrical insulators, and was also used in such diverse products as kitchenware, jewelery, pipe stems, and children's toys. In 1993 Bakelite was designated an ACS National Historical Chemical Landmark in recognition of its significance as the world's first synthetic plastic.[1] Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Thermosetting plastics (thermosets) are polymer materials that cure, through the addition of energy, to a stronger form. ... The earliest commercial synthetic resin is based on a Phenol formaldehyde resin with the commercial name Bakelite, and is formed from an elimination reaction of phenol with formaldehyde. ... Year 1907 (MCMVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1909 (MCMIX) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Belgian-Americans are citizens of the United States who are of Belgian ancestry. ... Leo Hendrik Baekeland (1863-1944) Leo Hendrik Baekeland (Ghent, November 14, 1863 - February 23, 1944) was a Belgian-American chemist who invented Velox photographic paper (1893) and Bakelite (1907), an inexpensive, nonflammable, versatile, and popular plastic. ... Phenol, also known under an older name of carbolic acid, is a colourless crystalline solid with a typical sweet tarry odor. ... R-phrases , , , S-phrases , , , , , Flash point -53 °C Related Compounds Related aldehydes acetaldehyde benzaldehyde Related compounds ketones carboxylic acids Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 Â°C, 100 kPa) Infobox disclaimer and references Formaldehyde (methanal) is the chemical compound with the formula... Wood flour is finely pulverized wood, generally made from sapless softwoods such as pine or fir, or less frequently from hardwoods. ... For other uses, see Plastic (disambiguation). ... Nonconductors or electrical insulators are materials which lack movable electric charges, and which therefore lack a low-resistance path for charge flow. ... Insulators are materials which prevent the flow of heat (thermal insulators) or electric charge (electrical insulators). ... This is a list of food preparation utensils, also known as kitchenware. ... Jewellery (spelled jewelry in American English) consists of ornamental devices worn by persons, typically made with gems and precious metals. ... A teddy bear A toy is an object used in play. ... The ACS National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program was launched by the American Chemical Society in 1992 and has recognized over 50 landmarks to date. ...

The retro appeal of old Bakelite products and labor intensive manufacturing has made them quite collectable in recent years. Retro is a term used to describe the culture of the past. ...

The name Bakelite was originally a brand, trademark name, but it is currently considered a generic term for all phenolic resin products, though some phenolic products besides Bakelite are brand-named. [citation needed].

Bakelite AG (a German company) claims to own the trademark in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Benelux, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia.[2] Location of Benelux in Europe Official languages Dutch and French Membership  Belgium  Netherlands  Luxembourg Website http://www. ...



Structure of Bakelite
Structure of Bakelite

Bakelite Corp. was formed in 1922 from the consolidation of three companies. General Bakelite Co., Condensite Corp. and Redmanol Chemical Products Company, an early plastics manufacturer formed in 1913 by Lawrence V. Redman. The American Catalin Corporation acquired the Bakelite formulas in 1927 and currently manufactures Bakelite cast resins. Image File history File links Bakelit_Struktur. ... Image File history File links Bakelit_Struktur. ... Lawrence V. Redman (September 1, 1880 - November 26, 1946), was a Canadian chemist and businessman who spent much of his adult life in the United States. ...

Bakelite Limited was formed in 1926 from the amalgamation of three suppliers of phenol formaldehyde materials: the Damard Lacquer Company Limited of Birmingham; Mouldensite Limited of Darley Dale and Redmanol Chemical Products Company of London. Around 1928 a new factory opened in Tyseley, Birmingham. (The building was demolished in 1998.) The company was acquired by the Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation in 1939. Year 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the British city. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Year 1928 (MCMXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Tyseley is a district in the southern half of the city of Birmingham, England, near the Coventry Road and the districts of Small Heath and Yardley. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... Union Carbide Corporation (Union Carbide) is one of the oldest chemical and polymers companies in the United States, and currently has more than 3,800 employees. ...


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 moulded disc brake cylinders, saucepan handles, electrical plugs and switches and electrical iron parts. Today, Bakelite is manufactured and produced in the form of sheets, rods and tubes for hundreds of industrial applications in the electronics, power generation and aerospace industries, external living, and under a variety of commercial brand names. In organic chemistry, phenols, sometimes called phenolics, are a class of chemical compounds consisting of a hydroxyl group (-OH) attached to an aromatic hydrocarbon group. ...

Bakelite distributor rotor
Bakelite distributor rotor

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. Image File history File links RotorBakelite. ... Image File history File links RotorBakelite. ... Distributor cap. ...

Bakelite Phenolic is produced in dozens of commercial grades and with various additives to meet diverse mechanical, electrical and thermal requirements. Some common types include:

  • 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 continuous 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 and 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.


  • U.S. Patent 0,942,809 Condensation product and method of making same

(After following the patent link, click on the "Images" button to view the patent. You will need a TIFF (.tif) viewer to view the patent.) “TIFF” redirects here. ...


Bakelite radio at Bakelite museum
  • Holton (Leblanc) once used Bakelite in the manufacture of saxophone mouthpieces.
  • Eastman Kodak used Bakelite when making the Brownie 127.
  • Due to Bakelite's hardness and durability, it was considered as a material for making pennies in the United States during World War II because copper was needed for shell casings. Several patterns were made in 1942, but steel was used instead in 1943 from recycled shell casings in 1944 and 1945.
  • Bakelite was used for the first solid body electric guitar, the Rickenbacker "Electro Spanish model B".
  • In the United Kingdom, many people refer to traditional black rotary dial telephones as "Bakelite phones" or "Bakelite telephones", regardless of the actual material used to make the device. A Bakelite telephone typically carries a kitsch or retro image.
  • Bakelite was used in the construction of the MP38/40 sub-machine gun, made famous by the Nazis during WWII
  • A variant of Bakelite called Catalin became very popular in the 1930s, especially in making radio cases. Colorful "Bakelite Jewelery" (non-dark brown in color) is probably misnomer of Catalin for its Bakelite predecessor. Catalin is a trademarked name.
  • Bakelite is mistakenly used as a term for many vintage guitar parts made of polystyrene, urea-formaldehyde, or other early plastics. An example of a true Bakelite part is the pickguard found on early 1950s Fender Telecasters.
  • The Russian material 'Shpon', which was used widely in WW2 for aircraft structures, is a wood laminate impregnated with phenolic resin and cured in a heated mould. The aft fuselages and outer wing panels of the Polikarpov I-16, early MiGs, and the early Yak fighters are Shpon mouldings, for example.
  • The Russian AK-74 assault rifles used magazines made of Bakelite and were an unusual orange in color.
  • When rubbed, original Bakelite has a telltale odor.
  • The original triangular hand guards of the M16 rifle were composed of Bakelite.

Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,536 × 2,048 pixels, file size: 476 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Picture of Bakelite radio. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,536 × 2,048 pixels, file size: 476 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Picture of Bakelite radio. ... Holton is a division of Leblanc Incorporated (a division of Conn-Selmer), and is Leblancs French horn line. ... Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: EK) is an American multinational public company which produces photographic materials and equipment. ... The United States one-cent coin, commonly called a penny, is a unit of currency equaling 1/100 of a United States dollar. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... A special version of the United States penny coin manufactured from zinc-plated steel, rather than copper, during World War II in 1943. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1944 (MCMXLIV) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... A solid body electric instrument is a string instrument such as a guitar, bass or violin built without its normal sound box and relying on its electric pickup system to directly receive the vibrations of the strings. ... Rickenbacker 330JG Rickenbacker International Corporation, also known as Rickenbacker (IPA pronunciation: ) [1]), is an electric guitar manufacturer, notable for having invented the first electric guitar during the 1930s. ... A German Fe TAp 615, a widespread rotary dial telephone of the 1960s to the 1980s The rotary dial is a device mounted on or in a telephone or switchboard that is designed to send interrupted electrical pulses, known as pulse dialing, corresponding to the number dialed. ... Kitsch is a term of German origin that has been used to categorize art that is considered an inferior copy of an existing style. ... Retro is a term used to describe the culture of the past. ... The Nazi party used a right-facing swastika as their symbol and the red and black colors were said to represent Blut und Boden (blood and soil). ... German soldiers at the Battle of Stalingrad World War II was the most extensive and costly armed conflict in the history of the world, involving the great majority of the worlds nations, being fought simultaneously in several major theatres, and costing tens of millions of lives. ... Catalin (see Americancatalin. ... For other uses, see Polystyrene (disambiguation). ... Urea-formaldehyde is a transparent thermosetting resin or plastic, made from urea and formaldehyde heated in the presence of a mild base such as ammonia or pyridine. ... Phenolic resin can include any of various synthetic thermosetting resins, obtained by the reaction of phenols with simple aldehydes and used to make molded products, including pool and snooker balls, and as coatings and adhesives. ... Polikarpov I-16 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2003 The Polikarpov I-16 was an advanced Soviet fighter aircraft when it was introduced in the mid-1930s, and it formed the backbone of the Soviet Air Force at the beginning of World War II. The diminutive fighter prominently featured in the... AK74 assault rifle The AK-74 assault rifle is the modernized version of the AK-47 developed in 1974, chambered in a smaller cartridge (5. ... M16 (more formally United States Rifle, Caliber 5. ...

See also

The Ansco Panda was a simple childs bakelite box camera made by the Ansco camera corporation of Binghamton, New York in the 1950s. ... Bayko poster from the 1950s. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with micarta. ... The earliest commercial synthetic resin is based on a Phenol formaldehyde resin with the commercial name Bakelite, and is formed from an elimination reaction of phenol with formaldehyde. ...


  1. ^ http://acswebcontent.acs.org/landmarks/newproducts_t.html#bakelite
  2. ^ http://www.bakelite.de/eng/D_04.htm

External links

  • Jörg J. Zimmermann's Virtual Bakelite Museum in Basel, Switzerland: one of the largest private collections world-wide
  • Bakelite: The Material of a Thousand Uses
  • Bakelite: Collectible Plastic
  • Virtual Bakelite Museum of Ghent 1907-2007

  Results from FactBites:
Bakelite page (1565 words)
Rare Bakelite yellow and orange dot bangle; dots protrude from the circular holes so light shows through; approximately 1" wide x 1/4" thick; a few places where glue is apparent and one small rough spot on the outside; otherwise fine condition.
Yellow Bakelite bangle with inlaid translucent orange dots; about 3/8" wide; inside diameter about 2-1/2"; there is a crack in the bracelet by one of the inlaid dots and some discoloration in the same place (see larger photo on html page); otherwise fine condition.
Two great Bakelite bangle bracelets--one in greenish yellow (slightly marbleized) and the other in a honey-amber color with brass accents; both are 3/4" wide and have an inside diameter of about 2-1/2"; each is in fine condition.
Bakelite History (1622 words)
Bakelite is a sort of plastic material which was invented by the Belgian Leo Beakeland (1863 - 1944).  Leo Beakeland went to the USA as an immigrant in 1889.  He understood that the USA was a better country to make a career than Belgium.
The end on the patent on Bakelite was only one of the factors which contributed to the success of Bakelite and other plastics in consumer goods during the 1920s and 1930s.
Bakelite and other kinds of plastics were made for this task, they were cheap, became attractive substitutes for traditional materials, needed less hand labour than other materials and were beautiful as well.
  More results at FactBites »



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