Phenolic plastic materials are often used to make objects such as switches, bearings, gears, washers and transformers. Depending on what it's added to, phenolic materials are heat and wear resistant, as well as easily machinable and corrosion resistant. Phenolic plastic can be added as an epoxy, resin, or added to fabrics to create phenolic sheeting.
You'll find phenolic material available in two grades: mechanical and electrical. Generally, electrical phenolic material is paper-based, while mechanical often contains glass. However, that's not all you need to consider:
1. Know government and trade standards for the industry in which you plan to use phenolic materials. Safety concerns require different industries to adhere to specific quality guidelines when manufacturing parts from phenolic materials.
2. Phenolic plastic can assume many interesting qualities depending on what it's combined with. Certain types of phenolic material are self-extinguishing, heat resistant or self-lubricating.
3. Think about your color choices. The color selection of phenolic materials varies depending on the base material and chemicals added. You can achieve anything from black to green, gray or brown.
Choose which type of phenolic material you needThere are many types of phenolic materials. Phenolic can be reinforced with paper, canvas, linen, or nylon for specialized functions. Linen reinforced phenolic is best for intricate mechanical and electrical parts, while nylon reinforced phenolic is fungus resistant and works well in humid conditions.
Buy specialized phenolic equipment designed for your industrySome places have materials treated with phenolic epoxy or resins created specifically for laminating, automotive uses, or building and furniture industries. In most cases these materials are mass produced and built to a specific industry's specifications.
Commission a custom treatment of specific objects with phenolic materialIf you need an unusual material treated with phenolic epoxy or resin, or you need a specific treatment mass produced, custom treating allows you to adjust everything to your needs. Special formulations of phenolic material are used in cryogenics and other niche industries.
- To get the best value for your money, look for mass-produced "economy grade" phenolic materials. These work best as materials for non-critical parts, and they can save you money because they're easily machinable and cheap. This type of phenolic material may not work for more specialized applications, but it's often available if you need large quantities in a hurry.