One of the first plastics made from synthetic components, it was used for its electrical nonconductivity and heat-resistant properties. It can be molded very quickly, allowing identical units to be mass-produced. Moldings are smooth, retain their shape and are resistant to heat, scratches, and destructive solvents. It is also resistant to electricity, and prized for its low conductivity. These characteristics made Bakelite particularly suitable as a molding compound, an adhesive or binding agent, a varnish, and as a protective coating.
Bakelite was particularly suitable for the emerging electrical and automobile industries because of its extraordinarily high resistance to electricity, heat and chemical action.