It's no wonder that phenolic resins have been used for nearly a century in the adhesives industry. They are the oldest of the synthetic polymers being developed in 1872 and first achieving commercialization in 1908. Phenolic resins have and will continue to play an important role in the history of adhesives.
Phenolic resins represent some of the lowest cost adhesives, and they are available as one- and two-part liquids, emulsions, powder, and film. Phenolic resins can be used as either a:
* Base resin in an adhesive,
* Modifier in an adhesive formulation, or
* Co-reactant to produce a new molecule with good mechanical and adhesive properties.
The phenolics have good adhesion to most substrates, good high temperature properties, water and weather resistance, resistance to burning, and high strength. In recent decades they have been replaced in many structural applications by tougher epoxy or polyurethane adhesives. However, phenolic resins are relatively inexpensive and can be made available as waterborne systems.