Applications in Industry
In industrial applications, it is often useful to modify the crystal properties of the paraffin wax, typically by adding to the existing carbon backbone chain. The modification is usually done with additives,micro crystalline wax , or forms of polyethylene . The branched properties result in modified paraffin with a higher viscosity, smaller crystalline structure, and modified functional properties. Pure paraffin wax is rarely used for carving original models for casting metal and other materials in the lost wax process, as it is relatively brittle at room temperature and presents the risks of chipping and breakage when worked. Soft and pliable waxes, like beeswax may be preferred for such sculpture, but investment casting waxes,often paraffin-based, are expressly formulated for the purpose.
In a pathology laboratory, paraffin wax is used to impregnate tissue prior to sectioning thin samples of tissue. Water is removed from tissue through ascending strengths of alcohol (75% to absolute) and the tissue is cleared in an organic solvent such as xylene. The tissue is then placed in paraffin wax for a number of hours and then set in a mold with wax to cool and solidify; sections are cut then on a micro tome
The candle, packaging, thermostat and distillation industries are all major users of wax.
Following is just a short list of the specialized industrial uses of wax.
The candle industry is one of the major sectors for the consumption of refined paraffin wax in the world, it being the preferred material for making candles. Moreover, despite the progressive diversification of wax applications, candle manufacture continues to be the destination of most paraffin wax produced throughout the world.
Petroleum based waxes and wax blends can be applied to numerous surfaces to reduce unwanted penetration or interactions of numerous liquids (water, grease, etc) and gases (oxygen, etc.).
Petroleum based waxes are applied in molten or emulsion form to provide moisture repellent to wood composite boards (oriented strand, particle, hardboard, gypsum, and medium density fiberboard)
Bottle Cap Liner
Petroleum waxes can be utilized to coat and secure cap liners into plastic caps. The wax serves to form a watertight seal between the bottle and the outer cap to reduce leaking if the bottle is overturned.
Petroleum waxes are used in the formulation of caulks and sealants to enhance process ability and functionality.
Chewing Gum Base
Paraffin wax is used to bind ingredients and serve as a modifier to impart characteristics. Occasionally, micro crystalline waxes are blended to modify these properties as well.
Petroleum waxes possess excellent film forming and water repellant properties making them valuable components in rust preventative formulations.
Petroleum waxes serve as safe base material, solvent or carrier to provide moisture barrier, modify viscosity, or solidify formulations.
Paraffin waxes serve as a pigment binder. They assist in the transfer of the pigment from the crayon to the desired substrate.
Paraffin waxes and wax blends are formulated to be high quality premium modeling waxes for use in dentistry. The waxes are usually provided by specialty businesses that utilize the paraffin and microcrystalline waxes with other materials to make a finished dental wax
Petroleum waxes provide structural rigidity and reduce liquid penetration through the paper substrate.
Paraffin wax is used in dynamite wrappers as a moisture barrier. Micro crystalline waxes are used as a desensitize in the manufacture of detonating fuses.
Paraffin waxes and wax blends can be applied to fabric to add desired characteristics such as "drape", wrinkle or moisture resistance.
Petroleum waxes (primarily slack waxes) are used to bind compressed wood particles and maintain shape. Waxes ease ignition of the product and support the burn properties.
Petroleum based waxes enhance the gloss and buff ability characteristics of a polish or paste primarily for wood floors.
Paraffin waxes are utilized in numerous electrical applications as a result of their insulating capabilities.
Paraffin and micro crystalline waxes serve as binders in investment casting waxes and assist in the removal of the blend after the mold is produced. Investment casting waxes offer exceptional dimensional stability required in precision castings of metals.
Crude scale and paraffin waxes are employed to soften and impart water repellent to leather goods.
Paraffin and crude scale waxes can be used on the surface of metals during production and shipping to provide lubrication and serve as a protective barrier (acid etching or moisture).
Paint and Varnish Removers
Crude scale and paraffin waxes reduce the evaporation of solvents prolonging their efficiency.
Low melt paraffin and crude scale waxes are used in physiotherapy to provide heat to an injured area. Waxes permit a greater release of heat for a longer period than water, completely surrounds the part being treated and the patient does not need to remain in a fixed position.
Paraffin waxes provide external lubrication during the extrusion of PVC.
Road Marking Paint
Petroleum waxes and atactic poly alpha olefins function as fillers and binders in thermoplastic road marking paints and tapes.
Paraffin and crude scale waxes are used as binding agents for the active ingredients in rodenticides.
surface protection , paints and varnishes
Paraffin waxes are used as additives in the production of printing inks and varnishes to improve the resistance of the products to friction or scratching or to achieve a certain appearance and to act as a barrier to moisture. It is also used as a ligand material for enamels, lubricating agents, corrosion protection, etc.
Petroleum based waxes enhance the gloss and buff characteristics of a polish or paste.
The amount of paraffin wax applied to the surface of matches, although minimal, helps to regulate their burning.
Petroleum waxes are utilized in textile treatment to provide lubrication, resisting penetration of water or other liquids, and impacting the feel, look, or performance of the finished product.
Paraffin wax has been used as an embedding medium in the study of tissue for over 100 years. It is a good embedding medium for routine histology because it can thoroughly permeate the tissue in its liquid form (when warm), and it solidifies (when cooled) with little damage to the tissue.
Toilet Bowl Gaskets
Crude scale and micro crystalline waxes are formed into rings designed to seal the connection between the toilet base and the drain flange.
Fully refined paraffin waxes typically have a low oil content (below .5% by weight), good color (+28 min ASTM), and are very hard. Most will meet FDA requirements 178.3710 (for use in contact with food) and 172.886 (for use in food). These types of waxes offer a variety of beneficial properties in numerous applications.
Paraffin waxes are used in different kinds of foods, such as, for example, covering certain cheeses for surface protection or for producing gum base, a fundamental ingredient of chewing gum. It is also used on citrus and other fruit to improve moisture retention, extending its life and freshness and providing shine.
In the fertilizer industry, paraffin waxes and special mixtures are used as anti-caking additives to simplify the handling, transport and dosing of fertilizers.
Paraffin wax is used as an additive in producing tyres, insulating them from ozone and avoiding cracks occurring in them.
The worldwide high demand in recent decades for furniture and housing has caused a search for alternative material to timber. This search gave rise to the invention and development of chip boards, in which paraffin wax meets the need for a moisture repellent ensuring the rigidity of the boards and their moisture resistance.
Paraffin waxes permit skiers to achieve much greater speeds through the production of a uniform, unblemished surface. Waxes are applied to the snow / ski interface to fill all voids in the ski base. The surface wax must be removed as it will actually stick to snow crystals reducing achievable speeds. The finished product is often a formulation of paraffin, micro crystalline, and natural waxes.