Shellac

E904lacShellshellac workshellacked
Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug, on trees in the forests of India and Thailand.wikipedia
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Kerria lacca

lac bugsLaccifer laccalac bug
Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug, on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. Shellac is scraped from the bark of the trees where the female lac bug, Kerria lacca (order Hemiptera, family Kerriidae, also known as Laccifer lacca), secretes it to form a tunnel-like tube as it traverses the branches of the tree.
This species is perhaps the most commercially important lac insect, being a main source of lac, a resin which can be refined into shellac and other products.

Wood stain

stainedstainwood staining
Shellac functions as a tough natural primer, sanding sealant, tannin-blocker, odour-blocker, stain, and high-gloss varnish.
The vehicle often may be water, alcohol, a petroleum distillate, or a finishing agent such as shellac, lacquer, varnish and polyurethane.

Lacquer

lacqueredlacquersnitrocellulose lacquer
From the time it replaced oil and wax finishes in the 19th century, shellac was one of the dominant wood finishes in the western world until it was largely replaced by nitrocellulose lacquer in the 1920s and 1930s.
The term lacquer originates from the Sanskrit word lākshā representing the number 100,000, which was used for both the lac insect (because of their enormous number) and the scarlet resinous secretion, rich in shellac, that it produces that was used as wood finish in ancient India and neighbouring areas.

LP record

LPLP albumvinyl
Phonograph and 78 rpm gramophone records were made of it until they were replaced by vinyl long-playing records from the 1950s onwards.
At the time the LP was introduced, nearly all phonograph records for home use were made of an abrasive (and therefore noisy) shellac compound, employed a much larger groove, and played at approximately 78 revolutions per minute (rpm), limiting the playing time of a 12-inch diameter record to less than five minutes per side.

Lac

sticklacgum-laclac pigments
Shellac comes from shell and lac, a calque of French laque en écailles, "lac in thin pieces", later gomme-laque, "gum lac".
Seedlac which still contains 3–5% impurities is processed into shellac by heat treatment or solvent extraction.

Glazing agent

glazeedible wax glazesglazes
It is processed and sold as dry flakes (pictured) and dissolved in alcohol to make liquid shellac, which is used as a brush-on colorant, food glaze and wood finish. Shellac, edible, is used as a glazing agent on pills (see excipient) and sweets, in the form of pharmaceutical glaze (or, confectioner's glaze).

Kerriidae

lac insectlac insectskerriid
Shellac is scraped from the bark of the trees where the female lac bug, Kerria lacca (order Hemiptera, family Kerriidae, also known as Laccifer lacca), secretes it to form a tunnel-like tube as it traverses the branches of the tree.
These insects secrete a waxy resin that is harvested and converted commercially into lac and shellac, used in various dyes, cosmetics, food glazes, wood finishing varnishes and polishes.

French polish

French polisherFrench polishingFrench-polisher
Luthiers still use shellac to French polish fine acoustic stringed instruments, but it has been replaced by synthetic plastic lacquers and varnishes in many workshops, especially high-volume production environments.
French polishing consists of applying many thin coats of shellac dissolved in denatured alcohol using a rubbing pad lubricated with one of a variety of oils (see below).

Polymer

polymershomopolymerpolymeric
Shellac is a natural bioadhesive polymer and is chemically similar to synthetic polymers, and thus can be considered a natural form of plastic.
Natural polymeric materials such as hemp, shellac, amber, wool, silk, and natural rubber have been used for centuries.

Phonograph

turntablesgramophoneturntable
Phonograph and 78 rpm gramophone records were made of it until they were replaced by vinyl long-playing records from the 1950s onwards.
The first commercial vinylite record was the set of five 12" discs "Prince Igor" (Asch Records album S-800, dubbed from Soviet masters in 1945). Victor began selling some home-use vinyl 78s in late 1945; but most 78s were made of a shellac compound until the 78-rpm format was completely phased out. (Shellac records were heavier and more brittle.) 33s and 45s were, however, made exclusively of vinyl, with the exception of some 45s manufactured out of polystyrene.

Phonograph record

vinyl7LP
Phonograph and 78 rpm gramophone records were made of it until they were replaced by vinyl long-playing records from the 1950s onwards.
At first, the discs were commonly made from shellac; starting in the 1940s polyvinyl chloride became common.

Aleuritic acid

The major component of the aliphatic component is aleuritic acid, whereas the main alicyclic component is shellolic acid.
Aleuritic acid, or α-aleuritic acid, is a major ingredient in shellac, constituting about 35% of it.

Sealing wax

waxcolored waxmolten wax
Another use for shellac is sealing wax.
From the 16th century it was compounded of various proportions of shellac, turpentine, resin, chalk or plaster, and colouring matter (often vermilion, or red lead), but not necessarily beeswax.

Pharmaceutical glaze

confectioner's glazeresinous glazeconfectioners glaze
Shellac, edible, is used as a glazing agent on pills (see excipient) and sweets, in the form of pharmaceutical glaze (or, confectioner's glaze).
Pharmaceutical glaze is an alcohol-based solution of various types of food-grade shellac.

Bakelite

Bakelite CorporationBakerlitephenolic resin
Some applications use shellac mixed with other natural or synthetic resins, such as pine resin or phenol-formaldehyde resin, of which Bakelite is the best known, for electrical use.
Baekeland's initial intent was to find a replacement for shellac, a material in limited supply because it was made naturally from the excretion of lac insects (specifically Kerria lacca).

Bioadhesive

polyphenolic proteinbioadhesionadhesive
Shellac is a natural bioadhesive polymer and is chemically similar to synthetic polymers, and thus can be considered a natural form of plastic.

Schleichera

Schleichera oleosakusumCeylon oak
The least-coloured shellac is produced when the insects feed on the kusum tree (Schleichera).
The tree is a host of the lac bug Kerria lacca, whose female secretes a resin known as shellac to form a tunnel-like tube as it traverses the branches of the tree.

Plastic

plasticsadditivesadditive
Shellac is a natural bioadhesive polymer and is chemically similar to synthetic polymers, and thus can be considered a natural form of plastic.
The development of plastics has evolved from the use of natural plastic materials (e.g., chewing gum, shellac) to the use of chemically modified, natural materials (e.g., natural rubber, nitrocellulose, collagen, galalite) and finally to completely synthetic molecules (e.g., bakelite, epoxy, polyvinyl chloride).

India ink

Indian inkChinese inkblack ink
A binding agent such as gelatin or, more commonly, shellac may be added to make the ink more durable once dried.

Excipient

excipientsinactive ingredientsbinder
Shellac, edible, is used as a glazing agent on pills (see excipient) and sweets, in the form of pharmaceutical glaze (or, confectioner's glaze).
Occasionally, other coating materials are used, for example synthetic polymers, shellac, corn protein zein or other polysaccharides.

Wood finishing

finishingfinishesfurniture polish
It is processed and sold as dry flakes (pictured) and dissolved in alcohol to make liquid shellac, which is used as a brush-on colorant, food glaze and wood finish.
It usually consists of several coats of wax, shellac, drying oil, lacquer, varnish, or paint, and each coat is typically followed by sanding.

Resin

resinsresinouspine resin
Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug, on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. Some applications use shellac mixed with other natural or synthetic resins, such as pine resin or phenol-formaldehyde resin, of which Bakelite is the best known, for electrical use.
Shellac and lacquer are examples of insect-derived resins.

E number

E-numberEE numbers
When used for this purpose, it has the food additive E number E904.

Varnish

varnishesvarnishingSanding sealer
Shellac functions as a tough natural primer, sanding sealant, tannin-blocker, odour-blocker, stain, and high-gloss varnish.
Natural resins used for varnish include amber, kauri gum, dammar, copal, rosin (pine resin), sandarac, balsam, elemi, mastic, and shellac.