Different types of phenolic composite materials have unique properties and purposes. Canvas-based phenolic is an easy-to-machine material that is less noisy than metal and less abrasive than fiberglass. It's available in two grades, C and CE, which have properties that make it suitable for use in electrical applications.

Atlas Fibre offers canvas phenolic and can help you choose the right composite materials for your project. Learn more about our canvas phenolic material options.

What Is Canvas Phenolic?

Canvas phenolic is a composite material made from woven cotton fabric and phenolic resin. The two materials are heated, pressurized and combined to create a lightweight, strong, and durable composite. Its properties allow it to be used to make gears, rollers, guides, and pulleys.

Types of Canvas Phenolic Material

Two types of canvas phenolic are available. CE-grade phenolic is appropriate for use in projects that require electrical insulation, while C-grade phenolic is mechanical-grade.

Atlas Fibre has both C- and CE-grade canvas phenolic available.


C-grade canvas phenolic qualifies for MIL-I-24768/14 and NEMA C. It’s a tough material with good mechanical properties. This option also has good moisture resistance, machining qualities and excellent wear resistance, making it appropriate for various applications.

C-grade canvas doesn’t spark, making it suitable for use in explosion-proof environments.

The properties of C-grade canvas phenolic are:

  • Tensile strength: 37,000 psi
  • Compressive strength: 11,200 psi
  • Flexural strength – LW -A 0.125″: 22,000 psi
  • Bond strength 2,000 psi 13 MPa
  • Shear strength: 14,000 psi 96 MPa
  • Hardness, M scale: 103
  • Specific gravity: 1.35
  • Flammability rating: 94HB
  • Maximum temperature: 125° Celsius (257° Fahrenheit)
  • Water absorption — 24 hours: 1.60
  • Izod impact strength at 49°C – LW: 1.95



CE-grade canvas phenolic composite material qualifies for MIL-I-24768/16 and NEMA C. Like C-grade canvas, it has good mechanical properties. It also has a greater impact strength than XX-grade paper phenolic. This material’s electrical insulating properties make it uniquely suited to electrical applications.

CE-grade canvas phenolic material offers these specifications:

  • Tensile strength: 36,000 psi
  • Compressive strength: 10,000 psi
  • Flexural strength – LW -A 0.125″: 17,000 psi
  • Bond strength 1,900 psi 13 MPa
  • Shear strength: 14,000 psi 96 MPa
  • Hardness, M scale: 100
  • Specific gravity: 1.37
  • Flammability rating: 94HB
  • Maximum operating temperature: 125° Celsius (257° F)
  • Water absorption — 24 hours: 2.00
  • Izod impact strength at 49°C – LW: 1.70

Benefits of Canvas Phenolic

Why use canvas instead of another phenolic material type? A few benefits of canvas phenolic include:

  • High impact strength
  • Reduced abrasiveness
  • Good machining and fabrication abilities
  • Mechanical support

Additionally, CE-grade canvas has good electrical insulating properties.

What Are Uses for Canvas Phenolic Laminate?

Examples of applications for canvas phenolic include:

  • Bearings
  • Gaskets
  • Gears
  • Guides
  • Rollers
  • Pulleys
  • Switches
  • Transformers
  • Washers

Available shapes include sheets, tubes, and rods.

Get a Quote for Canvas Phenolic Composites

Atlas Fibre can help you choose the most suitable canvas material for your projects. With our large inventory, we’re the primary supplier of thermoset composite materials in North America.

We’re dedicated to helping our customers minimize project costs and complexity. Contact us today for a quote.

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