Phenolic materials are much more versatile – and varied – than most people realize. When the term “Phenolics” is used in conversation (by those in the engineering and production world), people are not talking about any one particular thing. Instead, they’re talking about an entire category of mechanical and electrical grade materials that play a critical role in engineering, and therefore effects our daily lives – whether we realize it or not.
Case in point: C/CE Canvas Phenolics, L/LE Linen Phenolics and G11/FR5 are all very common – but they’re also all unique in a number of different ways, and applications, that make them certainly worth exploring.
The Use of Phenolics in the World Around Us
C/CE Canvas Phenolics (Mil-I-24768/16 and Mil-I-24768/14) are characterized by a few important properties, all of which make them viable for a number of interesting (and important) applications. These are electrical grade, high strength composite materials that are made up of a phenolic resin that has been inserted into layers of woven cotton canvas fabric – so to say that it’s strong is a little bit of an understatement.
On the performance side of things, C/CE Canvas Phenolics have excellent dimensional stability, great creep resistance, offer both high strength and stiffness and even bring with them terrific electrical insulating properties. All of these qualities, coupled with their general cost effectiveness when you consider what you’re getting, make them the perfect material for everything from gears to rollers to fixtures, pulleys, wear pads and more. They’re also often a pivotal part of insulators for various electromechanical devices.
Next up we have L/LE Linen Phenolics (Mil-I-24768/15 and Mil-I-24768/13), which are very similar to their C/CE Canvas counterparts with one important difference. Instead of that phenolic resin being implanted into layers of woven cotton canvas, as the name suggests it’s within layers of woven linen fabric. The other major difference here is one of cost – generally speaking, L/LE Linen Phenolics tend to be more expensive than C/CE Canvas because the former is using a finer type of woven cloth.
In terms of their performance properties they both offer a lot of the same benefits, but L/LE Linen Phenolics tend to be used for machined parts that have very small geometric features. That small size may be a problem for canvas-based materials, but would be a perfect material detail capability of linen.
Last but not least we have G11/FR5 (Mil-I-24768/11), which is by far one of the most common types of phenolic materials in existence. Characterized by its excellent machinability, light weight, superior resistance to both heat and wear and low moisture absorption, it’s used in so many different applications on a regular basis that it’s truly difficult to name them all. If you’re in a high pressure environment and are working closely with transformers, anything that has washers gaskets or wear strips, gears, bearings, terminal boards or industrial laminates, you’re interacting closely with G11/FR5 whether you realized it or not.
These are just a few of the many unique (and also very essential) uses of phenolic materials. Regardless of the specific option you are talking about or the eventual application it’ll be used in, one thing is for sure: when people need something that is rugged, versatile and dependable, they turn to phenolics for a reason. They’re all of these things and and can offer so much more, all at the exact same time.