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Sign in. Sign in to view your mail. Finance Home. PR Newswire July 25, View photos. Theodore Ted S. Story continues. Recently Viewed Your list is empty. What to Read Next. Yahoo Life Shopping. Yahoo Canada Style. Yahoo Finance Video. Yahoo Finance. As the sales figures also show, the Bakelite Company produced "transparent" cast resin which did not include filler for a small ongoing market during the s and s.
The Bakelite Corporation was formed in after patent litigation favorable to Baekeland, from a merger of three companies: Baekeland's General Bakelite Company; the Condensite Company, founded by J. A wide variety of uses were listed in their trademark applications. The range of colors available included "black, brown, red, yellow, green, gray, blue, and blends of two or more of these".
In all these forms the fundamental basis is the initial Bakelite resin. This variety includes clear material, for jewelry, smokers' articles, etc. The molding material is prepared ordinarily by the impregnation of cellulose substances with the initial 'uncured' resin. A new Bakelite factory opened in Tyseley , Birmingham, around A new factory opened in Bound Brook, New Jersey , in In , the companies were acquired by Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation.
In , Union Carbide's phenolic resin business, including the Bakelite and Bakelit registered trademarks, were assigned to Hexion Inc.
On the 1st of April, Hexion filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In addition to the original Bakelite material, these companies eventually made a wide range of other products, many of which were marketed under the brand name "Bakelite plastics".
Once Baekeland's heat and pressure patents expired in , Bakelite Corporation faced serious competition from other companies. Because molded Bakelite incorporated fillers to give it strength, it tended to be made in concealing dark colors. Translucent jewelry, poker chips and other items made of phenolic resins were introduced in the s or s by the Catalin company under the Prystal name.
Making Bakelite was a multi-stage process. It began with the heating of phenol and formaldehyde in the presence of a catalyst such as hydrochloric acid, zinc chloride , or the base ammonia.
This created a liquid condensation product, referred to as Bakelite A , which was soluble in alcohol, acetone, or additional phenol. Heated further, the product became partially soluble and could still be softened by heat. Sustained heating resulted in an "insoluble hard gum".
However, the high temperatures required to create this tended to cause violent foaming of the mixture, which resulted in the cooled material being porous and breakable. Baekeland's innovative step was to put his "last condensation product" into an egg-shaped "Bakelizer". The resulting substance was extremely hard and both infusible and insoluble. Molded Bakelite forms in a condensation reaction of phenol and formaldehyde, with wood flour or asbestos fiber as a filler, under high pressure and heat in a time frame of a few minutes of curing.
The result is a hard plastic material. Bakelite's molding process had a number of advantages. Bakelite resin could be provided either as powder, or as preformed partially cured slugs, increasing the speed of the casting.
Thermosetting resins such as Bakelite required heat and pressure during the molding cycle, but could be removed from the molding process without being cooled, again making the molding process faster. Also, because of the smooth polished surface that resulted, Bakelite objects required less finishing. Another market for Bakelite resin was the creation of phenolic sheet materials. Phenolic sheet is a hard, dense material made by applying heat and pressure to layers of paper or glass cloth impregnated with synthetic resin.
When heat and pressure are applied, polymerization transforms the layers into thermosetting industrial laminated plastic. Bakelite phenolic sheet is produced in many commercial grades and with various additives to meet diverse mechanical, electrical and thermal requirements. Some common types include: . Bakelite has a number of important properties. It can be molded very quickly, decreasing production time. Moldings are smooth, retain their shape and are resistant to heat, scratches, and destructive solvents.
It is also resistant to electricity, and prized for its low conductivity. It is not flexible. Phenolic resin products may swell slightly under conditions of extreme humidity or perpetual dampness. The characteristics of Bakelite made it particularly suitable as a molding compound, an adhesive or binding agent, a varnish, and a protective coating. Bakelite was particularly suitable for the emerging electrical and automobile industries because of its extraordinarily high resistance to electricity, heat, and chemical action.
The earliest commercial use of Bakelite in the electrical industry was the molding of tiny insulating bushings, made in for the Weston Electrical Instrument Corporation by Richard W. Seabury of the Boonton Rubber Company. During World War I, Bakelite was used widely, particularly in electrical systems.
Important projects included the Liberty airplane engine ,  the wireless telephone and radio phone,  and the use of micarta-bakelite propellors in the NBS-1 bomber and the DH-4B aeroplane. Bakelite's availability and ease and speed of molding helped to lower the costs and increase product availability so that telephones and radios became common household consumer goods.
Bakelite was also very commonly used in making molded grip panels stocks on handguns, submachine guns and machineguns, as well as numerous knife handles and "scales" through the first half of the 20th century. Beginning in the s, it became a popular material for jewelry. By , designer Paul T. Frankl considered Bakelite a "Materia Nova", "expressive of our own age".
Performers such as Jerry Byrd loved the tone of Bakelite guitars but found them difficult to keep in tune. The British children's construction toy Bayko , launched in , originally used Bakelite for many of its parts, and took its name from the material.
During World War II, Bakelite was used in a variety of wartime equipment including pilot's goggles and field telephones. Bakelite and other non-metal materials were tested for usage for the one cent coin in the US before the Mint settled on zinc-coated steel.
They were sometimes modified to Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape purposes in case of capture. MI9 was forced to adapt to meet the challenge of a number of different compass solutions were devised, both covert and overt. In , Dutch art forger Han van Meegeren was convicted of forgery, after chemist and curator Paul B. Coremans proved that a purported Vermeer contained Bakelite, which van Meegeren had used as a paint hardener.
Bakelite was sometimes used as a substitute for metal in the magazine, pistol grip, fore grip, hand guard, and butt stock of firearms. By the late s, newer materials were superseding Bakelite in many areas. They still appear in some applications where their specific properties are required, such as small precision-shaped components, molded disc brake cylinders, saucepan handles, electrical plugs, switches and parts for electrical irons, as well as in the area of inexpensive board and tabletop games produced in China, Hong Kong and India.
Items such as billiard balls, dominoes and pieces for board games such as chess, checkers, and backgammon are constructed of Bakelite for its look, durability, fine polish, weight, and sound. Common dice are sometimes made of Bakelite for weight and sound, but the majority are made of a thermoplastic polymer such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene ABS.
Bakelite continues to be used for wire insulation, brake pads and related automotive components, and industrial electrical-related applications.
Bakelite stock is still manufactured and produced in sheet, rod and tube form for industrial applications in the electronics, power generation and aerospace industries, and under a variety of commercial brand names.
Phenolic resins have been commonly used in ablative heat shields. Bakelite items, particularly jewelry and radios, have become a popular collectible. The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted Baekeland a patent for a "Method of making insoluble products of phenol and formaldehyde" on December 7, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Early form of plastic. CAS Number. Interactive image. Chemical formula. Refractive index n D. Heat capacity C. Electrical Engineer's Reference Book.
The techniques of sedimentary mineralogy. An illustrated guide to bakelite collectables. London: Quantum. Retrieved February 23, June 28, American Plastic: A Cultural History.
Technology and Culture. The New York Times. February 6, Retrieved September 2, Synthetic resins and their plastics. Ayer Publishing. Census of dyes and of other synthetic organic chemicals. Washington, D. Tariff Commission. Retrieved August 31, Dordrecht: Kluwer Acad. Retrieved August 27, London, Angleterre: Studio Vista.