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Phenolic is the name usually given to a resin made of phenol and an aldehyde. It is used anywhere rigid materials are needed, particularly to create moldings for consumer products, for some bearings, for insulation, and as a binder.

Phenolic may also be used as a term to describe the entire class of phenols. These are simple hydrocarbon groups, similar to alcohols. Phenolic compounds are varied, ranging everywhere from the heat agent in chili peppers to dopamine to the cresols from creosote. While the word phenolic may be used individually to refer to these compounds, the term phenolic compound is more appropriate.