Phenolic resins are found in myriad industrial products. Phenolic laminates are made by impregnating one or more layers of a base material such as paper, fiberglass, or cotton with phenolic resin and laminating the resin-saturated base material under heat and pressure. The resin fully polymerizes (cures) during this process forming the thermoset polymer matrix. The base material choice depends on the intended application of the finished product. Paper phenolics are used in manufacturing electrical components such as punch-through boards, in household laminates, and in paper composite panels. Glass phenolics are particularly well suited for use in the high speed bearing market. Phenolic micro-balloons are used for density control. The binding agent in normal (organic) brake pads, brake shoes, and clutch discs are phenolic resin. Synthetic resin bonded paper, made from phenolic resin and paper, is used to make countertops. Another use of phenolic resins is the making of duroplast, famously used in Trabant automobiles.
Phenolic resins are also used for making exterior plywood commonly known as weather and boil proof (WBP) plywood because phenolic resins have no melting point but only a decomposing point in the temperature zone of 220 °C (428 °F) and above.
Higher end billiard balls are made from phenolic resins, as opposed to the polyesters used in less expensive sets.
Sometimes people select fibre reinforced phenolic resin parts because their coefficient of thermal expansion closely matches that of the aluminium used for other parts of a system, as in early computer systems and Duramold.
The Dutch painting forger Han van Meegeren mixed phenol formaldehyde with his oil paints before baking the finished canvas, in order to fake the drying out of the paint over the centuries.
Atmospheric re-entry spacecraft use phenol formaldehyde resin as a key component in ablative heat shields (e.g. AVCOAT on the Apollo modules). As the heat shield skin temperature can reach 1000-2000 deg C, the resin pyrolizes due to aerodynamic heating. This reaction absorbs significant thermal energy, insulating the deeper layers of the heat shield. The outgassing of pyrolisis reaction products and the removal of charred material by friction (ablation) also contribute to vehicle insulation, by mechanically carrying away the heat absorbed in those materials.