Author Topic: Tenite  (Read 2945 times)

Online Jack Ryan

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Re: Tenite
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2020, 09:32:52 PM »
There are three kinds of Tenite: Tenite acetate, Tenite butyrate and Tenite propinate. Any one know which one was used by WECo to produce "soft plastic" telephones?

I have a lot of trouble trying to work out what plastics were used for various telephones. AE used Durez to make its coloured telephones but what is that? Durez is used as a brand or class of plastics, not a specific plastic.

Tenite is the same - "Tenite is a brand of cellulosic thermoplastic materials produced by the Eastman Chemical Company.". Note the word "materials".

Fundamentally, Tenite is Cellulose Acetate which was developed for film as a replacement for cellulose nitrate. Further modification lead to mouldable plastics. Tenite II is Cellulose Acetate Butyrate (CAB) which is what the 302 was made from.

Cellulose acetate proprionate seems to have been used for inks and coatings rather than moulded products.

I think there would have been further development over the life of the 302 and the 500. Later phones didn't stink and I don't think that is because they are younger.


Offline SUnset2

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Re: Tenite
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2020, 01:06:27 AM »
At my work we have a shelf with samples of materials from various plastics manufacturers.  I noticed the Tenite sample kit shown in the attached photo.  It shows the many colors that Tenite is (or at least was) available in.  We still make a few parts from CAB, as we call it.  We usually run it on weekends because it smells up the whole building.

Offline countryman

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Re: Tenite
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2020, 02:29:44 AM »
When I researched "Why does my 302 stink?" I came across this site:
The manufacturer of quality tools stays with CAB for it's superior properties other than the stink.

Offline rdelius

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Re: Tenite
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2020, 09:02:11 AM »
My grandfather worked for Tennessee Eastman Co in Kingsport Tn .Had some Tenite samples .

Offline 19and41

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Re: Tenite
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2020, 06:21:33 PM »
Usually as cellulose acetate ages it at some point begins to release a acetic acid odor.  I have a pair of good Ray Bans with frames made of it that are smelling pretty strong and beginning to contort as that type of plastic is wont to.  The age changes cause severe distortion of plastic portions of old radios.  I have a collection of older plastic handled tools and the cheesy aroma fills the room when that drawer is opened.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke