views updated Jun 11 2018

Bakelite Trade name (coined by its inventor US chemist Leo Baekeland) for a thermosetting plastic used for insulating purposes and in making paint. It was the first plastic made by the process of condensation, in which many molecules of two chemicals (in this case phenol and formaldehyde) are joined together to form large polymer molecules, by splitting off water molecules.


views updated May 09 2018

Ba·ke·lite / ˈbāk(ə)ˌlīt/ • n. trademark an early form of brittle plastic, typically dark brown, made from formaldehyde and phenol, used chiefly for electrical equipment.

Bakelite P.

views updated May 23 2018

Bakelite P. name of synthetic resin used as plastic. XX. f. name of L. H. Baekeland, Belgian-Amer. inventor (1863–1944); see -ITE

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