The chemical structure and mechanical properties of phenolic resins and related polymers

  • Peter R. Spragg

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Paper-based phenolic laminates are used extensively in the electrical industry. Many small components are fabricated from these materials by the process known as punching. Recently an investigation was carried out to study the effect of processing variables on the punching properties. It was concluded that
further work would be justified and that this should include a critical examination of the resin properties in a more controlled and systematic manner.
In this investigation an attempt has been made to assess certain features of the resin structure in terms of thermomechanical properties. The number of crosslinks in the system was controlled using resins based on phenol and para-cresol formulations. Intramolecular hydrogen bonding effects were examined using substituted resins and a synthetically derived phenol based on 1,3-di-(o-hydroxyphenyl) propane.. A resin system was developed using the
Friedel Crafts reaction to examine inter-molecular hydrogen bonding at the resin-paper interface.
The punching properties of certain selected resins were assessed on a qualitative basis. In addition flexural and dynamic mechanical properties were determined in a general study of the structure-property relationships of these materials.
It has been shown that certain features of the resin structure significantly influenced mechanical properties. :F'urther, it was noted that there is a close relationship between punching properties, mechanical damping and flexural strain.
This work includes a critical examination of the curing mechanism and views are postulated in an attempt to extend knowledge in this area of the work.
Finally, it is argued that future work should be based on a
synthetic approach and that dynamic mechanical testing would provide
a powerful tool In developing a deeper understanding of the resin fine structure.
Date of AwardSept 1972
Original languageEnglish


  • Chemical structure
  • mechanical properties
  • phenolic resins
  • polymers

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