- The phenol is a type of aromatic hydrocarbon . This means that the material contains a group of six carbons which are linked together in a circular arrangement. This particular molecular shape permits the molecules to link to the other molecules at some selected sites around the ring. The aldehyde will provide a linking molecule which in turn creates a regular or rigid pattern of phenol groups. This type of reaction occurs as heat is applied and creates a very strong, stable polymer which is dubbed as thermoset plastic. Hydroxybenzene is often referred to as phenol and is a common material. There are other phenol chemicals that can be used, including material which is separated from cashew nut shells. There is a wide range of use for the phenolic sheet in both home and commercial applications. It can be cured around the canvas or the fiber core in order to create rigid parts which are used for pump impellers, gears as well as other heat-resistant applications. If the paper is saturate with this type of resin, you can create a widespread laminate for bathrooms and kitchens. In the early 20th century, the resin would be mixed with wood fibers in order to create Bakelite. This material is a popular item used as oven handles, decorative door, cooking tools and cabinet parts.
One of the major benefits of phenolic resin is its resistance to fire. The material will char rather than burn. Char is a typical reaction wherein the molecules will be changed to a carbon structure rather than having the material burn away as ash. The resins that are exposes to extreme heat will give off few toxic fumes which make them useful in automotive and aircraft parts. In the spacecraft, rocket nozzles and heat shields, the materials can be made out of phenolic resins and provide a material that will resist burning and just wear away.