Catalin is a brand name for a thermosetting polymer popular in the 1930s. Developed when the American Catalin Corporation took over the patents for Bakelite in 1927, Catalin is a cast phenolic which can be worked with files, grinders and cutters and polishes to a fine sheen. Chemically, it is a phenol formaldehyde resin. Catalin has a different manufacturing process (two-stage process) than other types of Bakelite resins (without using fillers such as sawdust or carbon black). Catalin is transparent, near colorless, rather than opaque, brown, so unlike other bakelite phenolics it can be dyed bright colors or even marbled. This has made Catalin more popular than other types of Bakelite. In the 1930-50’s it quickly replaced most plastic consumer goods.
Catalin is heavy, quite greasy in feel and as hard as brass. It is heat resistant and does not soften under boiling water. Like Bakelite it gives off a distinctive phenolic odour when heated