The requirement for thermosetting plastics revealing great heat inertness, sturdiness, and fire-resilient aspects is increasing manifolds, thereby, amplifying the usance of phenolic resins across the globe. Phenolic resins are finding purpose in diverse applications – forest products, molding, burnisher, bricks & clays, and rubber vulcanization. However, phenolic resins are facing cut-throat competition with rival plastic, including polyethylene and polystyrene, restricting the growth.

Continuous experiments for decades have resulted in the commercial exposure of phenolic resins. The versatility of phenolic resins encourages manufacturers to leverage nanotechnology for enhancing specific characteristics of the resins. Phenolic resins are becoming commonplace in diverse sectors – electronics, and construction – following good mechanical aspects, and enhanced aesthetics. With concerns apropos environmental degradation escalating, phenolic resins are a great fit as eco-friendly variants.

In its new business intelligence report, Persistence Market Research suggests that the phenolic resins market reached a value of ~ US$ 6.5 Bn in 2018 with the sales estimated to ascend by ~3% in 2019 and the market is spectated to grow at a steady CAGR of ~4% over the stipulated timeframe. The constant demand for lightweight components in diverse industries, especially automotive, is set to propel the market. In addition, application of phenolic resins in the form of wood adhesives, molding powders, binders, laminating resins, and surface treatments is envisioned to sustain market growth.

Phenolic Resins – An Ideal Solution for the Automotive Sector Seeking Lightweight Components

With the lightweight trend increasingly penetrating into the automotive arena, innovators substituting metallic constituents with plastic- or fiber-based composites. Automobile manufacturers are thriving to achieve fuel and energy efficiency, realizing stringent environmental norms. As such, the substitution of metallic parts in the automobile sphere by recently formed phenolic molding composites, including phenolic molding composites derived from glass fiber and carbon fiber, becomes imminent.

The fact that weight decrement in automobiles equates to fuel efficacy is influencing automakers to focus on weight cutting of friction components. As the friction component is increasingly burdened with the applied frictional load, the demand for phenolic resins intensifies following excellent heat resilience. With the governments across the world issuing a clarion call for the production of electric vehicle fleets, car manufacturers are banking on sheet molding compound (SMC)-based phenolic resin systems to design durable, and fire-resilient battery boxes in EVs.

High Temperature and Moisture Resistance Paves the Way for Phenolic Resins in Adhesives

Phenolic resins are being utilized in adhesives for satiating the need for wood offerings and molding composites displaying good aesthetics. Adhesives based on phenolic resins are observing wide acceptance across industries, including processed wood products, infrastructure, and automotive, as surface treatment and binding agents.

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Phenolic resins showcase great resistance to moisture, and extreme temperatures, ideal for binding woods, such as plywood, laminated veneer lumber (LVL), and oriented strand board (OSB). The nitrile-phenolic adhesives deliver high peel strength suitable for seal–bonding applications in aircraft integral fuel tanks. In addition, phenolic resins exhibit low VOC emissions as compared to rival resin binder systems, for instance urea-formaldehyde.

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