Bakelite Parts is made from a formulated thermosetting phenolic resin and is the first commercial plastic.Phenolic resins are commercially important today because of their low cost, ease of manufacture, can be formulated for a wide range of applications, and exhibit excellent properties once cured. Durable in applications that require prolonged exposure to moisture, acids, cleaning solutions, lubricants and high temperatures. The market for phenolic resins includes: wood construction adhesives (plywood, oriented particle board, particle board); molding compounds for laminates, friction materials such as brake pads and clutch plates, abrasive products such as abrasive wheels, casting molds, and gears, pulleys and Rigid parts for rollers; paper and cloth impregnated for engine filters; adhesives for printing inks and tire manufacturing.

The simplest form of phenolic resin is the product of the reaction of phenol or substituted phenol with formaldehyde. Resins are divided into two basic categories, depending on the ratio of phenol to formaldehyde and process chemistry. The novolac is produced because the molar ratio of formaldehyde to phenol's acid-catalyzed condensation is less than 1: 1, so it is favorable for the reaction of formaldehyde with various phenols. The result is a more or less linear oligomer of non-crosslinked aromatic rings connected via methylene, as shown in Figure 13 (note that both ortho and para substitutions will occur on the phenol ring, but only the ortho Bit-display replacement). Due to the lack of formaldehyde relative to phenol, novolak resins have no residual reactive functional groups and do not cure to form a crosslinked material until additional formaldehyde is added and heated. Other formaldehyde is usually added in the form of hexamethylenetetramine or paraformaldehyde

Another major category of phenolic resins is resols. Resole phenolic resins are prepared under alkaline conditions with a ratio of formaldehyde to phenol greater than 1 (Figure 23). This ratio results in more than one methylol group on some phenol rings, so the resin will eventually be sufficiently cross-linked to make it insoluble in the reaction medium. To avoid reaching the gel point, when the viscosity reaches the target value and neutralizes the mixture, monitor the resin viscosity and stop heating. Excess hydroxymethyl means that the resole resin will be cross-linked without further addition of formaldehyde.