In 1926, several chemists embarked on experiments with phenol-formaldehyde compounds and by 1928 had refined the resin to a clear mixture. The material still had some minor problems, so chemists around the world tried for many years to find dyes that would keep their color during the process needed to set the material. Eventually, a group of German chemists found a way to make dyes directly from coal tar. Combined with varying amounts of water, the dyes could be added to the clear resin to create a wide variety of colors. Although one problem was solved, the new resin still could not hold up to the molding process, so they did more experimenting and found they could use a technique called casting. In casting, the molten material is poured into a lead mold that is then put into an oven to cure for three to eight days. Each mold is then flipped onto its side and air hammers are used to tap the molded item out of its lead mold. Because this great new material could now be more easily utilized, the American Catalin Corporation bought the rights to import the new German dyes to the United States in 1928. Their company name is where we get the word “Catalin”. http://catalinradio.com/p-2817-history.html
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