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Bakelite

[bey-kuh-lahyt, beyk-lahyt] /ˈbeɪ kəˌlaɪt, ˈbeɪk laɪt/
Trademark.
1.
a brand name for any of a series of thermosetting plastics prepared by heating phenol or cresol with formaldehyde and ammonia under pressure: used for radio cabinets, telephone receivers, electric insulators, and molded plastic ware.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Bakelite

Bakelite

/ˈbeɪkəˌlaɪt/
noun
1.
trademark any one of a class of thermosetting resins used as electric insulators and for making plastic ware, telephone receivers, etc
Word Origin
C20: named after L. H. Baekeland (1863–1944), Belgian-born US inventor; see -ite1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Bakelite

bakelite

n.

type of plastic widely used early 20c., 1909, from German Bakelit, named for Belgian-born U.S. physicist Leo Baekeland (1863-1944), who invented it. Originally a proprietary name, it is formed by the condensation of a phenol with an aldehyde.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for Bakelite

synthetic resin formed from the chemical combination of phenols and formaldehydes. Bakelite is a hard, infusible, and chemically resistant plastic whose properties as a nonconductor of electricity have made it exceptionally useful in all sorts of electrical appliances. It is used in many industrial applications as an electrical insulator, in molding and casting operations, as an adhesive, and in paints and baked-enamel coatings. Phenol-formaldehyde resins are indispensable in manufacturing chemical equipment, machine and instrument housings, bottle closures, and many machine and electrical components.

Learn more about Bakelite with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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