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Richlite is a phenolic resin / cellulose compound material produced by Richlite Company. Like other phenolic resin / cellulose compound material it is a dense material made from partially recycled paper and phenolic resin. The paper is soaked in phenolic resin, then molded and baked into net shape in a heated form or press.

Originally distributed as a commercial kitchen surface in the 1950s, it has recently been adapted for use in skateboard parks as well as various other applications, such as residential counters, fiberglass cores and limited architectural applications.


The composition of Richlite is cellulose fiber and phenolic resin (a type of polymer) which is combined and baked for a smooth hard surface. The natural fibers are made from plant, animal and mineral sources. However most natural fibers are predominantly cellulose structure made up of continuous hydrogen and oxygen bonds.


  1. Cellulose derived from tree pulp is turned into large rolls of paper.
  2. The paper is then soaked in phenolic resin and goes up to a heating chamber to be dried out before being rolled back up.
  3. Then hundreds of these sheets are laid on top of each other and with the use of compression molding the stack is compacted.

Because of the resin's thermoset properties the resulting cooled material is hard.


It was used for the Boeing 747 for their air tables, hydroforming dyes, vacuum chuck faces, work holders, and proofing materials. Architecturally it is used for countertops. It has also been used for whaleboard in their fiberglass boat buildings. The more commercial uses as cutting boards, prep tables, and pizza peels.

Since the last quarter of the 20th century, phenolic resin / cellulose based compound material has been used as an alternative to ebony and rosewood to make stringed instrument fingerboards. More recently, also big guitar manufacturers started to use this kind of fingerboard material. [1]


Temperature resistance to 350 F.


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