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What is Bakelite?

by Team Goseeko


Bakelite is a polymer that consists of the monomers phenol and formaldehyde. This phenol-formaldehyde resin is a thermosetting polymer.

For instance, when the phenol is present in excess and the reaction medium is becomes acidic, the product of the condensation reaction is acidic. However, when the quantity of formaldehyde is more than phenol in the reacting mixture, and the reaction occurs in basic medium, the condensation product is Resol.

Additionally, these intermediate condensation products useful as resins in different industries. Bakelite is formed when Novolac undergoes cross-linking in the presence of a cross-linking agent. In general , phenol taken in excess acts as the cross-linking agent.

Therefore, Bakelite is the commercial name for the polymer , got by the polymerization of phenol and formaldehyde. These are the very old polymers that man synthesises. Phenol is made to react with formaldehyde. However ,the condensation reaction of the two reactants in a controlled acidic or basic medium results in the formation of ortho and para hydroxymethyl phenols and their derivatives.

The chemical formula of Bakelite is as follows:


Bakelite Properties

  • It is quickly moldable, and after that allowing identical units to form in a large scale.
  • Very smooth molding produced from this polymer they can retain their shape.
  • In addition, Bakelite moldings are heat-resistant and scratch-resistant and destructive solvents and has electrical conductivity,
  • Bakelite is resistant to electric current,and has electrical conductivity, therefore they do not show flexibility.

Bakelite has high strength, it usually retains its form even after extensive molding. it is also applicable in places where protection is required, to protect certain surfaces, from scratches and solvents and in the coating industry for coating surfaces.

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