Commonly Used Wax Terms You Should Know

Commonly Used Wax Terms You Should Know

When you think of wax, you probably think of candles or waxed paper, but there are many other uses for wax. Learn about some different types of waxes:

Mineral Wax: Mineral wax is a waxlike mineral resin. It is a mixture of hydrocarbons found in connection with certain deposits of rock salt, coal or petroleum.

Crude Wax: Crude wax is an unrefined mixture that contains a high percentage of oil. It is used to manufacture scale and paraffin waxes.

Palm Wax: Palm wax is derived from hydrogenating palm oil. It is used for candle making.

Slack Wax: Slack wax is an unrefined crude wax that contains a high percentage of oil. It is typically yellow or brown in color. Slack wax is used to waterproof products

Synthetic Wax: Synthetic waxes are man made waxes composed from natural gas or ethylene. Examples of synthetic waxes are Fischer-Tropsch waxes and polyolefin waxes.

Natural Wax: Natural waxes are derived from plants, insects and animals. Examples of natural waxes are carnauba wax, candelilla wax and beeswax.

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Each wax type has its own properties. These are some common wax properties:

Congealing point: This wax property measures the temperature where the wax begins to “set” The congealing point is close to the solid state.

Needle Penetration: The needle penetration test measures the physical hardness of wax.

Viscosity: The viscosity is the measure of a liquid’s resistance to flow. For example, honey has a higher viscosity than water.

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