Paraffin application in industry

Paraffin wax

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

Major Industries

The candle, packaging, thermostat and distillation industries are all major users of wax.

Specialized Industries

Following is just a short list of the specialized industrial uses of wax.

candles

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.

Barrier Coating

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.).

Board Sizing

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.

Caulking Compound

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.

Corrosion Inhibitor

Petroleum waxes possess excellent film forming and water repellant properties making them valuable components in rust preventative formulations.

Cosmetics (General)

Petroleum waxes serve as safe base material, solvent or carrier to provide moisture barrier, modify viscosity, or solidify formulations.

Crayons

Paraffin waxes serve as a pigment binder. They assist in the transfer of the pigment from the crayon to the desired substrate.

Dental Wax

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

Drink Cups

Petroleum waxes provide structural rigidity and reduce liquid penetration through the paper substrate.

Explosives

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.

Fabric Finishing

Paraffin waxes and wax blends can be applied to fabric to add desired characteristics such as "drape", wrinkle or moisture resistance.

Firelogs

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.

Floor Polishes

Petroleum based waxes enhance the gloss and buff ability characteristics of a polish or paste primarily for wood floors.

Insulating Wax

Paraffin waxes are utilized in numerous electrical applications as a result of their insulating capabilities.

Investment Casting

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.

Leather Treating

Crude scale and paraffin waxes are employed to soften and impart water repellent to leather goods.

Metal Coatings

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.

Physiotherapy

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.

PVC Lubricant

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.

Rodenticides

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.

Matches

The amount of paraffin wax applied to the surface of matches, although minimal, helps to regulate their burning.

Textile Treatment

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.

Tissue Embedding

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.

Food

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.

Agriculture

In the fertilizer industry, paraffin waxes and special mixtures are used as anti-caking additives to simplify the handling, transport and dosing of fertilizers.

Rubber

Paraffin wax is used as an additive in producing tyres, insulating them from ozone and avoiding cracks occurring in them.

Clipboard

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.

Ski Wax

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.

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