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Phenol-formaldehyde Resin Market Global Industry Analysis and Forecast Till 2026

Phenol formaldehyde resins (PF) are also known as phenolic resins. Formaldehyde forms −CH2− bridges between two phenol molecules, producing chains. Linear chains are obtained when the reaction ratio is 1:1. Phenol, however, may also react with a third formaldehyde molecule. Whenever this happens, a branch is formed in the chain. Phenol-formaldehyde resins are synthetic polymers that are obtained through the reaction of phenol or substituted phenol with formaldehyde.

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Based on production, phenol formaldehyde resins can be categorized into two types. These are called Novolacs and Resoles. Novolac resins are produced under acidic condition with excess phenol, while resol resins are produced under basic conditions with excess formaldehyde. Novolacs are phenol-formaldehyde resin with a formaldehyde to phenol molar ratio of less than one. The polymerization is brought to completion using acid catalysts such as oxalic acid, hydrochloric acid, or sulfonate acids. This method of production restricts the formaldehyde to the production of a prepolymer known as novolac, which can be moulded and then cured with the addition of more formaldehyde and heat. In the first method, phenol and formaldehyde react directly and produce a thermosetting network polymer. There are many variations in both production and input materials that are used to produce a wide variety of resins for special purposes.

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In terms of application, the global phenol-formaldehyde resin market can be segmented into laminates, insulation, molding compound, wood adhesives, and others. The most important application of phenol-formaldehyde resin is in the production of composite boards, such as plastic laminate. The boards comprise a relatively incoherent material pasted with a phenol resin acting as a glue. Composite boards are used mostly for workbench tops but may also have higher prized usages in floors, doors, parts of machines, and printed circuit boards.

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